Spring Landbird Banding Catch Exceeds 15-Year Average

The Manomet Center banding crew caught a total of 2,303 birds during the spring 2013 season, exceeding the average of the past 15 years.

 

The banders caught 1,592 new birds and encountered 711 repeats, birds that had been previously captured at the banding station. They had three extremely eventful days, all in May. On May 10th the team caught 185 birds, on May 16th they caught 209 birds and on May 30th they caught an astounding 248 birds.

 

Banding Director Trevor Lloyd-Evans said low temperatures led to later arrivals.

 

“It was a cold spring, and we didn’t have many southwest winds. The winds influenced migration, so the birds were held back a bit,” said Lloyd-Evans.

 

A total of 78 different species of birds were caught this season. Some were uncommon to southeastern Massachusetts, such as the White-crowned Sparrow, and the Kentucky Warbler.

 

The banders caught a total of 60 Willow/Alder Flycatchers, 56 of which were caught on May 30th.

 

 “We haven’t caught as many since 2002,” said Lloyd-Evans, referring to the Flycatchers. The team also encountered 64 Common Grackles at the banding lab, above average for this species of bird, which was heavily influenced by the cold spring.

 

The banders also welcomed more than 400 visitors from 10 different groups. The groups ranged from elementary schools to colleges such as Wheaton College, Bridgewater State University and Roxbury Community College.

 

The spring season exceeded the average of the past 15 years. There has been a 50 percent decrease for most bird species populations since the 1970s but many species have recently stabilized and have even started to increase throughout the years.

 

- Marina Duchesneau