Metro Beach Metropark
Metro Beach Metropark
Winter extended into early April this year, with chilly conditions into the middle of the month. This was followed by a warming trend, then suddenly on April 23 there was a snowfall that shut down the operations for that weekend. Early May was also cool, and in general migration appeared to be about ten days behind schedule. By late May more seasonable temperatures had returned. We were fortunate to have missed days with rain and high winds.
Vegetation in the banding area was unchanged from that described in 2004, though the greater snowfall through the winter left much standing water, similar to levels at the end of May 2004 after a record rainfall month. By early June, water levels had receded somewhat, but not entirely. One net was relocated due to the extensive and deep water, and was located across the road adjacent to the cattail marsh, which was actually a drier situation.
SPRING 2005 RESULTS
Banding was conducted on a total of 16 days between April 3 and Jun3 4 (6 days in April, 9 days in May, and 1 day in June). As with last year, the daily standard was to have 7.5 nets open for a minimum of 6 hours (longer if conditions merit), beginning as soon as possible after entering the park at 6:00 a.m. and setting up all the nets. The total coverage of 112.75 hours, and 766 net hours, exceeded the minimum daily standard. This spring, the overall capture rate was 72.7 birds per 100 Net Hours, which was lower than last year’s 102.0, but still a good capture rate. Specific comparisons with Ellie Cox’s 1989-2001 study cannot be made as I have not completed reviewing the data from those years.
A total of 443 birds of 61 species were banded, with a peak day of 56 of 23 species on 25 May. Also, there were 106 recaptures (nearly double last year), and 7 birds were released unbanded.
Highlights included three Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, two White-eyed Vireos, 17 Brown Creepers (a very good number), four Carolina Wrens (a very good number), two Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Blue-winged Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Scarlet Tanager (adult male), Field Sparrow (only the 3rd or 4th ever banded here), and Rusty Blackbird. One of two Tufted Titmice banded was showing a brood patch, perhaps providing the first evidence of breeding for this species in the park. A true oddity was the hybrid warbler banded on May 14, which appeared to be a cross between a Black-and-white Warbler and either Chestnut-sided or Golden-winged Warbler. The bird was extensively photographed and measured, as well as its voice tape recorded. Details will be published elsewhere (see photos by clicking here). The most frequently banded species were Red-winged Blackbird (40), White-throated Sparrow (29), Song Sparrow (25), Swamp Sparrow (25), Yellow Warbler (24), Common Yellowthroat (24), American Robin (20). Last year’s large numbers of White-throated Sparrows did not appear this year, and there were low numbers of all the thrushes again. Notably absent were Red-eyed Vireo and Cape May Warbler. A complete listing of birds banded can be found in the table below.
Recaptures are an indication of how migrant birds use the area as a stopover site. This spring, there was a total of 106 recaptures, which included four birds originally banded by Cox, 18 birds banded in 2004, and two birds banded at other locales (known as foreign recaptures). Details of these recaptures are listed below the table.
The excellent capture and recapture rate this spring provides strong evidence for the importance of this area at Metro Beach for migrant birds as a stopover site, and an important area for breeding birds as well.
Table 1. New birds banded at Metro Beach Metropark in 2005.
Magnolia Warbler (AHY-F), 2300-74774, was banded on 10
September 2003 as HY-U in the Washington D.C. area, and was recaptured at
Metro Beach Metropark on 25 May 2005 [623 days]
American Goldfinch (AHY-F), 1651-57689, was banded in 31 July 2004 as SY-F by Allen Chartier at Lake Erie Metropark, Michigan, and was recaptured at Metro Beach Metropark on 27 May 2005 [300 days]
Returns from 2004
Downy Woodpecker (TY-M), 1291-11114, was banded on 04 April 2004 as SY-M and was recaptured on 15 May 2005 in breeding condition [406 days]
Downy Woodpecker (TY-M), 1291-11134, was banded on 17 April 2004 as AHY-M and was recaptured on 25 May 2005 [403 days]
Black-capped Chickadee (AHY-F), 2190-67253, was banded on 04 April 2004 as SY-U and was recaptured on 04 June 2005 in breeding condition [426 days]
Black-capped Chickadee (AHY-M), 2190-67254, was banded on 04 April 2004 as ASY-U and was recaptured on 30 April 2005 in breeding condition [391 days]
American Robin (AHY-M), 0842-29074, was banded on 10 April 2004 as SY-M and was recaptured on 10 April and 30 May 2005 in breeding condition [415 days]
American Robin (AHY-M), 0842-29086, was banded on 19 April 2004 as ASY-U and was recaptured on 10, 16, & 30 April and 27 May 2005 in breeding condition [403 days]
American Robin (AHY-F), 0842-29094, was banded on 24 May 2004 as SY-F and was recaptured on 14 & 25 May 2005 in breeding condition [366 days]
Gray Catbird (AHY-F), 8101-31316, was banded on 22 May 2004 as SY-U and was recaptured on 28 May 2005 in breeding condition [371 days]
Gray Catbird (AHY-U), 8101-31332, was banded on 29 May 2004 as AHY-M and was recaptured on 15 & 25 May [361 days]
Yellow Warbler (ASY-M), 2190-67385, was banded on 29 May 2004 as SY-M and was recaptured on 08 May 2005 [344 days]
Yellow Warbler (AHY-M), 2190-67393, was banded on 30 May 2004 as SY-M and was recaptured on 15 & 25 May 2005 [360 days]
Song Sparrow (AHY-F), 2091-09385, was banded on 18 April 2004 as ASY-U and was recaptured on 04 June 2005 in breeding condition [412 days]
Song Sparrow (AHY-M), 1171-55758, was banded on 22 May 2004 as AHY-M and was recaptured on 10 April and 04 June 2005 in breeding condition [378 days]
Red-winged Blackbird (ASY-M), 1152-09370, was banded on 12 May 2004 as ASY-M and was recaptured on 03 & 10 April 2005 [333 days]
Red-winged Blackbird (ASY-F), 8101-31334, was banded on 29 May 2004 as ASY-F and was recaptured on 28 May 2005 [364 days]
Baltimore Oriole (AHY-M), 8101-34780, was banded on 08 May 2004 as SY-M and was recaptured on 14 May 2005 [371 days]
Baltimore Oriole (AHY-F), 8101-31323, was banded 23 May 2004 as SY-F and was recaptured on 25, 27, & 30 May in breeding condition [372 days]
Baltimore Oriole (AHY-M), 8101-31330, was banded 29 May 2004 as SY-M and was recaptured on 28 May 2005 in breeding condition [364 days]
Returns from prior to 2004
Downy Woodpecker (AHY-M), 1571-44689, was banded on 29
September 1996 as HY-M by Ellie Cox, and was recaptured on 28 May 2005 in
breeding condition [3163 days]
Downy Woodpecker (ASY-M), 1291-11019, was banded on 29
April 2000 as AHY-M by Ellie Cox, and was recaptured in 2004, and on 15
May 2005 [1842 days]
Red-winged Blackbird (ASY-F), 901-55852, was banded on 7
June 1998 as SY-F by Ellie Cox, and was recaptured on 28 May 2005 in
breeding condition [2547 days]
Baltimore Oriole (AHY-F), 1631-01357, was banded on 05
May 2001 as AHY-F by Ellie Cox, and was recaptured in 2004, and on 14
& 28 May 2005 in breeding condition [1484 days]
I wish to thank the Metro Beach management, in particular Jim Pershing, for permitting this banding to be conducted on this property, and to thank the Nature Center Staff, particularly Leslie Sutton and Julie Champion. Thanks also to those able assistants who helped clear net lanes, and helped in many other ways through the season, including Russ Brown, Terri Chapdelaine, Mark O’Keefe, Carl Pascoe, Rachel Powless, Jason Sodergren, Sue Wright. I would especially like to thank Ellie Cox for encouraging me to continue the project she established in 1989.