Thursday, December 2, 2010

Year of the Chickadee

I have posted my banding results from the past three years, 2008 to 2010.  The report can be viewed by clicking the tab near the top of the blog. I will occasionally update this list as I band additional birds.

I am comparing bird populations near Dundas and in Northfield, Minnesota.  The Dundas site is in forest edge near an open fen.  The Northfield site is in my backyard at the edge of a small woodland city park.

I thought 2010 should be called "The Year of the Chickadee," with a whopping 158 individual Black-capped Chickadees banded at my two sites.  The total is higher than the previous two years combined.  Looking at my data, however, 2010 really is "The Year of the Robin."  I ringed 161 American Robins at my Northfield site, mostly caught during October.  I can not explain this influx of birds.  I suspect my luck was the result of being at the right place at the right time--I was banding birds and the migrating robins just happened to be in my vicinity.

You may notice on my list that, with one exception, overall I have caught fewer birds each year.  I trust this decline does not reflect actual trends in bird populations.  With any luck, my research documents natural population fluctuations.  Another decade or so of data will shed light on this problem.  I will continue updating my banding report tab on a regular basis.

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