Metro Beach Metropark
Metro Beach Metropark
Passerine Banding Area Vegetation
Updated March 2011
The banding area is located at the west end of the maintenance road, about 0.4 miles SW of the Nature Center, which passes north of Pt. Rosa Marsh. Nets are set up in this area mainly to the south of this road, and west of the marsh. An approximate "center point" of the banding area is located along the road at N 42* 34' 32.5", W 82* 48' 42.3". The banding area is approximately 120 meters east-west, and 100 meters north-south, covering about 7.5 acres (3.0 hectares).
To the northwest of this point no mist nets are set up due to the difficulty of access. Vegetation northwest of the center point is mainly shrub-swamp with thick growth of Black Willows, Pussy Willows, and a few scattered Eastern Cottonwoods, Buttonbush, and taller Black Willows. This area is inundated with at least 12-inches (sometimes 24-inches) of water in spring, an inch or more of which frequently remains into early fall.
To the northeast of the center point is a mostly dry woodland, with a few wet areas adjacent to the shrub-swamp, consisting almost entirely of Eastern Cottonwoods and scattered individuals of Pignut Hickory and Boxelder. The woody undergrowth here contains a few Red-Osier Dogwoods, native Swamp Fly Honeysuckle, non-native and invasive Amur Honeysuckle, Virginia Creeper, Red Mulberry, and much Summer Grape and Wild Red Raspberry. Herbaceous species include mostly goldenrods and asters, with other species including a few individuals of a non-native orchid, the Helleborine and some small Poison Ivy plants. Three 12-meter nets, designated Upland Nets, are set in this area in a U-shaped configuration, with the center at: N 42* 34' 29.60", W 82* 48' 24.30". Another single 12-meter net west of here was used from 2004-2009.
To the southeast of the center point is an area of closely-spaced Black Willows adjacent to the road, which thins out to the south and east as it meets the marsh, which consists of a mixture of native Common Cattails and non-native, invasive Common Reed. On the edge of the woodland, adjacent to willows and Silver Maple, a single 12-meter net is set up and designated as Willow Net (east), with the center at: N 42* 34' 31.40", W 82* 48' 29.30". Herbaceous vegetation here includes abundant Spotted Jewelweed, sedges, goldenrods, and a few scattered Nodding Bur Marigold. Along the road, farther to the west, another single 12-meter net is set, designated as Willow Net (west), with the center at: N 42* 34' 31.90", W 82* 48' 30.60". Immediately north of this net is a large, dense stand of Swamp Rose, with a few small, widely spaced Pussy Willows and Red Mulberry to the south and east of this net. Herbaceous vegetation here includes mostly Spotted Jewelweed with a good number of the uncommon Monkey Flower, and a few Great Lobelia and Marsh Skullcap. In spring, both of these nets are set in several inches of mud with several inches of water on top, but in fall these nets lanes are mostly or entirely dry.
To the south of the two Willow Nets is an open area with grasses and a few Common Cattails, with an open swamp woods south of that containing little undergrowth as it is extensively flooded in the spring. Mostly Silver Maple occurs in this area. On the south edge of this swamp woods, a single 12-meter net, designated as Field Edge Net, is set among mainly Alternate-leaved Dogwood at the edge of a weedy field to the south. Herbaceous vegetation adjacent to this net includes mainly Spotted Jewelweed with a few Marsh Skullcap and Monkey Flower. The center of this net is at: N 42* 34' 29.80", W 82* 48' 30.40". In spring this net lane is several inches deep in mud but with little or no standing water and is dry in fall. Two hummingbird feeders, filled with sugar water that is changed twice a week, are placed near this net from early May to early June, and from early August to early October. On banding days, an empty decoy feeder is placed on the opposite side of the net to lure in hummingbirds.
South of the Field Edge Net is a weedy field with scattered small trees adjacent to marsh. One Green Ash tree, approximately 20-feet tall which died in 2009, is at the center of three 12-meter nets set in a U-shaped configuration designated as the Field Nets, with the center at N 42* 34' 28.03", W 82* 48' 30.83". In spring these net lanes are several inches deep in mud but with little or no standing water and are dry in fall. Surrounding the base of this dead ash are Alternate-leaved Dogwood which was 100% of the vegetation around this tree in 2004 but by 2009 about 50% was replaced by non-native, invasive Glossy Buckthorn. For about 50-meters in all directions, these nets are surrounded by dense weedy herbaceous vegetation which includes three species of smartweed; Arrow-leaved Tearthumb, Lady's Thumb, and Common Smartweed. Among these also includes fairly numerous Spotted Jewelweed, Boneset, Marsh Skullcap, and Blue Vervain, and smaller numbers of Wild Mint, Virginia Mountain Mint, Marsh Bellflower. Beyond this weedy vegetation to the west and south are large stands of Common Reed, and to the east is Cattail with widely scattered dogwood. A patch of Common Reed also occurs with dogwoods and Glossy Buckthorn between these and the Field Edge net.
Southwest of the center point is a swamp woods dominated by Silver Maples with individual Black Oak, Eastern Hop Hornbeam, and American Sycamore trees. Shrubby undergrowth is sparse and includes Buttonbush, Amur Honeysuckle, Summer Grape, and Wild Cucumber. Herbaceous vegetation is very sparse here and includes some Spotted Jewelweed, goldenrods, and Great Lobelia. Three 12-meter nets are set in a U-shaped configuration designated as the Swamp Nets, with the center at: N 42* 34' 32.50", W 82* 48' 32.70". In spring, these nets are set in several inches of mud with several inches of water on top, but in fall these nets lanes are mostly or entirely dry.
Aerial view of banding area (below in 2007), showing net locations as short white lines. Courtesy of Google Earth.
Common and Scientific Names of plants in the banding area are listed below. Net lanes where plants have been recorded are in brackets: U=Upland, We=Willow east, Ww=Willow west, FE=Field Edge, F=Field, SW=Swamp. Plants without net lane designations have been recorded within the banding area but not near nets, just along the roads, or are not frequent.
(Acer negundo) [U]
Shrubs & Vines
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) [SW]
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis) [U],
invasive but rare in ghis area
Plant identifications on this page should not be considered final, and are not guaranteed to be accurate! Additional plants are very likely to be added to this list over time. I have enjoyed many lively discussions about plants with volunteers, especially with Russ Brown. But any identification errors on this page are mine alone. - Allen Chartier.