Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eastern Bluebird

Since 2007, I banded 68 Eastern Bluebirds. Only four were adults and three others were fledged, hatching-year birds. The rest were all nestlings. I have never recaptured any of these babies. But this lack of retraps does not surprise me. Although young may over-winter with their fathers, second-year birds are “aggressively repelled” the following breeding season by both the fathers and the fathers' mates (Gowaty and Plissner 2015).

To my surprise, on 8 June this year, I photographed a banded male bluebird. Over time, bird bands tend to become dull and worn. The ring on this bluebird is a shiny, new band. I suspect this bird, therefore, is the only bluebird I bandedin 2015. On 27 April I banded an adult, male bluebird at our Dundas banding station, which is where I took this photograph. Of course this bird could have been banded elsewhere, but I think the odds favor my hypothesis.

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