Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 1, 2018

On Thursday we did our first White-crowned Sparrow Project banding at McNary National Wildlife Refuge.  We need a special use permit to band there and it came through.  We had banded there in the initial White-crowned banding from 2009-2011.  Now we will hopefully track individuals banded there.

A great thing about this location is that it is accessible to the public and we will be holding public banding sessions.  At this moment we do not have the second session scheduled but it will be announced at the bottom of this (and future entries) when the date is determined.

Our first bird was exciting.  We caught a Sharp-shinned Hawk.  We cannot band raptors but it was exciting to see.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

We soon banded our first White-crowned Sparrow at this location.  We have 2 split colors so McNary will have all orange/yellow split bands.  Other locations may use this split too but if you are going to try to spot bands, you can note this split there.  The split bands are important as they designate these White-crowned Sparrows as being from our study.  No one else will use this split.  Remember that the order is important.  Colors are read and recorded this way:  upper left, lower left, upper right, lower right.  That means this bird is split, silver (federal metal band), light blue, light blue.  No other bird will get this combination.  We can track this bird and possibly see it next year with adult plumage.

White-crowned Sparrow
First one banded at McNary NWR

We also band other species but they only get a federal band.  The incidentals were a Spotted Towhee, a Song Sparrow, and a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (male)

We banded a total of 13 White-crowned Sparrows before weather pushed us to close.  Next session will be announced here when scheduled.  Once feeders go up at the refuge these banded birds may be more easily spotted.

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