USGS Licensed Bird Bander and APBPC Conservation Director, Neil Gifford, along with Field Ecologist & Environmental Educator, Amanda Dillon, Conservation Biologist, Steve Campbell, seasonal staff and volunteers Jane Tatlock, Brianna Gary and Alison VanKueren completed year 2 of our breeding season bird banding research. With only 7 mornings of effort in each of the two 20-acre sample areas, we captured and released 672 birds from 43 species, which includes 580 newly banded birds and 92 recaptures of birds previously banded. Eighteen additional species were observed but not captured at each of the two MAPS stations.
The 2014 season was productive with 136 more birds captured than in 2013 and our first MAPS captures of three species: eastern kingbird, pine warbler and yellow-throated vireo. We observed a large increase in American robin (29 in 2013 to 103 in 2014) and chipping sparrow (2 to 23), and notable increases in black-billed cuckoo (2 to 6), indigo bunting (3 to 7), field sparrow (26 to 42), and Baltimore oriole (28 to 40). Lastly, while it remained one of the top ten most captured birds in 2014, there was a notable decrease in the number of prairie warblers captured, from 31 in 2013 to 15 this year. Species captured in 2013(#) but absent from our nets this year included American woodcock (1), black and white warbler (1), mourning dove (1), orchard oriole (3), purple finch (1), tufted titmouse (3), Wilson’s warbler (1) and northern waterthrush (1). All but the 3 warblers (black and white, Wilson’s, and waterthrush) were routinely observed at the banding stations in 2014.
While one year cannot reveal trends, these differences are notable since a large portion of each banding site was treated with prescribed fire between the 2013 and 2014 sampling periods. By maintaining permanent net locations at each station we will begin to understand how routine habitat management may be influencing bird population dynamics and can adjust our management when needed.
In order of the number captured, newly banded birds included: gray catbird (104); American robin (103); field sparrow (42); Baltimore oriole (40); song sparrow (35); common yellowthroat (28); black-capped chickadee (25); chipping sparrow (23); prairie warbler (15); northern mockingbird (15); cedar waxwing (13); eastern bluebird (13); house wren (13); eastern towhee (11); house finch (10); eastern phoebe (8); indigo bunting (7); white-breasted nuthatch (7); black-billed cuckoo (6); blue jay (6); brown thrasher (6); common grackle (6); chestnut-sided warbler (5); pine warbler (4); veery (4); American goldfinch (3); ovenbird (3); red-breasted nuthatch (3); Trail’s flycatcher (likely alder flycatcher) (3); two (2) each of Carolina wren, downy woodpecker; eastern kingbird; northern cardinal; yellow-throated vireo; and one (1) each of brown-headed cowbird, eastern wood pewee, hairy woodpecker, Nashville warbler, northern flicker, rose-breasted grosbeak, ruby-throated hummingbird, wood thrush and yellow warbler.
The 92 recaptured birds belonged to 18 species including: field sparrow (24); gray catbird (16); common yellowthroat (14); eastern towhee (5); northern mockingbird (5); black-capped chickadee (4); prairie warbler (4); American robin (3); chipping sparrow(3); song sparrow (3); chestnut-sided warbler (3); eastern phoebe (2); and (1) each of Baltimore Oriole, black-billed cuckoo, brown-headed cowbird, brown thrasher, eastern bluebird, and indigo bunting.
MAPS is an international program of the Institute for Bird Populations and the US Geological Survey. Please visit the Preserve and enjoy the birds of the Albany Pine Bush; a National Natural Landmark, a NYS Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area.