Date: 6/1/19 9:40 am
From: Meredith McBurney <Meredith.McBurney...>
Subject: [cobirds] Bird Conservancy Banding Report -Chatfield, 5/31/19 (Last day!)
Feeling a certain let-down this first morning after the busiest spring
banding season in the dozen or so years we've had this station! It wasn't
even close - with a total of 1154 individual birds caught, we were 40%
ahead of the next closest year - 2009 with 819.

My short-term thinking is that there were a couple of factors contributing
to the big increase this season. First, there were several species that
came through the Front Range in huge numbers - most of you noticed the
Yellow-rumped Warbler invasion early in the spring - which was likely the
result of a super good breeding season last summer. (We had a record number
of Yellow-rumpeds last fall at Barr, followed by an even larger number this
spring.) Second was the weather, which included several storms and no
really hot weather. The cooler overall temperatures meant birds were more
active longer each day. The storms brought migrating birds down that
otherwise might have moved through without stopping and then kept birds
around while they waited for the storms to pass and the late snow in the
mountains to melt.

The excitement of the high number of birds during the storms was tempered
by the problems that the cold, wet, windy, sometimes violent weather
created for the birds. Many of you have noted dead or injured birds, nest
failures, etc. In the hand, we noticed other negative impacts,
particularly in some species, like Virginia's Warblers and Dusky
Flycatchers, whose arrival at Chatfield spanned the good weather early on
and the storms somewhat later, and both of which came through the station
in record numbers. The later birds carried less fat, had more severely
worn flight and tail feathers, and some even had body feathers that had
dried but remained matted together rather than fluffy, etc.

A more complete summary will follow when I've had a chance to get the data
compiled, which is going to take a few weeks. In the meantime, here is the
info from our final day (yesterday). The highlights were 3 quite old birds
being recaptured - a Yellow-breasted Chat and a Bullock's Oriole, both
banded in 2015, and (drum roll......) a Yellow Warbler female banded on the
same day (5/31) in 2012. The most amazing thing about this YEWA is that
she had not been caught in the intervening did we miss
her? Maybe we need to stay open into early June! Here's the breakdown of
the final 27 birds of the season:

Dusky Flycatcher 1
Cordilleran Flycatcher 1
Warbling Vireo 2
Swainson's Thrush 1
Gray Catbird 4
Yellow Warbler 6 new, 1 banded 2012, 1 in 2017
MacGillivray's Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Wilson's Warbler 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 3 new, 1 banded 2015
Lincoln's Warbler 1
White-crowned Sparrow, Mountain 1
Bullock's Oriole 1 banded 2015

Thanks to the great banding volunteer crew that makes it possible for us to
run the full station and educate kids of all ages on even the busiest of
days. And thanks to the many of you who visited the station, who took
photos and sent them to me, and who sent e-mails during the course of the
season. We are all part of a really supportive and enthusiastic birding

Meredith McBurney
Bander, Chatfield Banding Station
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

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