Date: 1/1/20 8:23 am
From: Steven Brown <sbrown37...>
Subject: [cobirds] Banding Recaptures
Hey COBirders,

Happy New Year!

I have been collating some of my annual banding data and thought I’d share some interesting recaptures, to show you why we do this stuff.

Besides the passerine migrant banding I do at Clear Spring Ranch (El Paso Co), I also band “snowbirds” in my back yard in NW Colorado Springs, mostly juncos, Bushtits, chickadees, and siskins, to document site fidelity. Since 2012 I’ve recaptured 575 banded birds, some several times over several years. About 1/2 are probably breeding birds showing site fidelity at Clear spring Ranch, and about 1/2 are from my yard.

The ranch recaps are mostly of Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, House Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, Song Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow (some winter at CSR).
Some particularly site-faithful breeders:

Yellow-breasted Chat - banded as an adult female 8/16/2014, recaptured 5/9/15, 8/29/15, 5/18/16, 5/19/17, and 5/23/18, so at least 6 years old the last time I saw her.
Another YBCH - banded as an adult male ALSO 5/9/15, and recaptured 5/16/16, 9/2/16, 5/11/17, and 8/10/18. Together???

A Gray Catbird, banded 8/8/15 as a hatch year bird (sex unknown), recaptured 5/11/16, 6/13/16 by Dave Elwonger at CSR also, and 5/25/19 by me.

A Common Yellowthroat, banded as an adult male 5/3/15, and recaptured 5/11/16, 5/7/17, 4/30/18, 8/8/18, and 5/20/19, so at least 6 year old also.

A Yellow Warbler, banded as a second-year male 5/26/16, and recaptured 8/23/16, 5/7/17, 8/18/17, 8/7/18, and 5/16/19, (4 years old)

A Song Sparrow, banded as an adult (sex unknown) 9/27/14, and recaptured 10/8/16, 10/8/17, and 10/18/18, (at least 4 years old)
And dozens of birds caught 2 or 3 times.

(I have also had a few ‘foreign recaptures” of birds I banded away from the ranch, including a Brown Thrasher recaptured at Chico Basin Ranch (and I caught one of thesir as well), a Black-headed Grosbeak caught by a cat in Kemmerer, WY, a Bullocks Oriole found dead in Boulder, and last fall a Wilson’s Warbler banded 8/2018 and recaptured 9/2019 at Barr Lake by Meredith. Since statistically only about 1/10,000 banded migrant passerines are ever recaptured, I feel pretty good about these!


At home I have many examples of long-lived Dark-eyed Juncos (and I get at times 6 different subspecies here in winter)
An adult Oregon Junco banded as an adult female 10/2012, and recaptured in 2013 and 2017 (at least 6 years old)
Another adult Oregon Junco banded adult male 10/2012, and recaptured 2013, 2015, and 1/18/2016, (al least 5 years old)
Another Oregon Junco adult male banded 2015, and recaptured 2016, 2017, and 2018 (very faithful 4 year old!)
A Pink-sided adult female banded 10/2012, and recaptured 2013, 2014, and 2017 (at least 6 years old)
A Gray-headed Junco, adult male, banded 10/2014, and recaptured 2017 and 2018 (at least 5 years old)
Another Gray-headed Junco, adult male banded 12/2013 and recaptured 2014, 2016, and 2017 (at least 5 years old)
A Pink-sided Junco adult male banded 2014 and not recaptured again until 2018, (at least 5 year old)
and interestingly a Bushtit adult male banded in 2013, and recaptured 2014 and 2017 (at least 5 years old!)

Also I have reports of several of the siskins I banded being found around Colorado Springs, plus one of my Pine Siskins being found dead in Evergreen, and another Pine Siskin I caught here that was banded in Elkhorn, KS!

And more to-the-point, multi-year birds recaptured this winter:
A Slate-colored Junco, adult male, banded 12/5/2013, and recaptured in 2015 and 11/2019 (at least 7 years old)
Another Slate-colored Junco adult male banded 12/2013, and recaptured 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019 (at least 7 years old)
A Pink-sided Junco adult male banded also (!) 12/5/13 and recaptured 11/2015 and 11/2019 (also at least 7 years old)
An Oregon Junco adult male, banded 11/2014, and recaptured 2015 and 2019 (at least 6 years old)
Another Oregon hatch-year female banded 2014 and recaptured 2017 and 2019, (6 years old)
Another Oregon adult female banded 2014, recaptured 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019 (at least 6 years old)

I have recaptured hundreds of other juncos from multiple seasons, most only 2-4 years old, but what is fun is seeing some year-after-year, or even more fun, ones that have skipped several years to finally return.

So, yes, I am seeing a lot of site-fidelity in riparian nesting birds at Clear Spring Ranch, and older wintering juncos in NW Colorado Springs!

Thank you for indulging me,
Happy New Year,
Steve Brown

ps…… My first bird of 2020 was a Pine Siskin. (I have already banded 275 of them here this winter!)



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