Date: 2/6/19 7:32 pm From: <Meredith.McBurney...> Subject: [cobirds] Barr Lake Fall Banding Summary/Highlights
The middle of winter – a time when bird banders and many other field
biologists have a chance to catch up. So, a perfect time to share
highlights of the 2018 fall banding season at Barr Lake!
It was a big year for migrating songbirds. We caught 1,902 individual
birds, the most in any year in over a decade. It was comforting to have
such an excellent season after a dismal 2017 fall (we caught 75% more in
2018) and an equally terrible 2018 spring.
Almost every “regular” species did well. Wilson’s Warblers, almost always
our most frequently caught species, again led the parade. We caught 626,
which is more than any year since 2006, when we caught 647. However,
Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers (mostly Audubon’s) – at 213 and
232 respectively - were off the charts compared to normal years. These
three species (out of 61 total) accounted for over half of the birds we
caught. If we throw in Ruby-crowned Kinglets at 78 (another high number),
we get four species producing 60 percent of the birds caught.
Sparrows generally did well, with our three most commonly caught species –
Song, Lincoln’s, and White-crowned (Gambel’s) - all coming in well above
average. We also caught more Clay-colored Sparrows (39) than in any prior
year, but that was primarily because we caught 27 on September 5, the
morning after a rain storm hit during the night. The most interesting
thing about those CCSPs was that almost all of them had plenty of fat –
they stopped because of the rain, not to refuel.
In the extra-special species category, the Broad-winged Hawk was the big
adrenalin pumper and the Kestrel the personality award-winner. (This was
the first-ever BWHA and the first AMKE in over a decade.) Among the
species our nets are actually designed to catch, the closest to rarities
were a Tennessee and Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Field Sparrow, and 3 Marsh
Wrens (the first since 2007). No big storms blowing Eastern birds off
course this year.
Photos are posted on the Bird Conservancy website at
We are thinking about spring banding! I look forward to seeing many of you
at Chatfield sometime between April 25 and May 31. Find details at
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies