Welcome to Season Three of color banding Painted Buntings (PABU) in south Florida. To understand the program please see the pages for Seasons One and Two. We were very happy to have one of our banded birds documented on territory in Georgia this summer. See the very end of Season Two for details!
August 24, 2015: Like last year, Painted Bunting reports have been coming in since early August. It seems these birds were not going to hang around for very long. We have yet to band an early bird. But excitement started on August 24 - our first returning color banded birds. A male and a green returned to PB 44. Banded last March.
PB 10 also reported 2 returns from Season 1. 1 male, 1 green which we now know is female.
October 18, 2015: Two more returns. One from PB 26 and another from PB5!
October 21, 2015: The caged feeders we put out at Possum Long (property of Audubon of Martin County) had at least 2 greens today! Success.
Last night PB 46 reported still seeing some of the birds that were banded earlier this season but many new, unbanded birds. They also have a North Carolina bird!! We will update when we get data from Dr Rotenberg.
October 26, 2015: Returned to PB46 where we banded 13 buntings, and 5 incidentals (N Cardinal, N Mockingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Redstart). Also of GREAT interest we recaptured a bird originally banded in North Carolina (reported above on 10/23). Still no word on the original banding but now we have a federal band number to report. We WILL update.
October 27, 2015: Banded 4 greens at Possum Long during regular banding day there. Looks like the new caged feeders are working.
October 30, 2015: PB32 caught me up on a second return.
November 12, 2015: PB 47 Banded 4 Buntings and a Northern Cardinal. 3 male, 1 green
November 17, 2015: PB35 has built a wonderful smaller version of the caged feeders. Good points: Feeling of safety for feeding birds, flat surface to observe bands, can be "stored" during summer when no buntings are around. I assume the tray has a screen to prevent seed spoiling.
March 2, 2016: We banded at PB 57 and captured a banded bird that had been reported to us. It did not have a black/white split so we knew it was not one of our birds. We do not have information yet but we will add it as soon as we do. We also banded 3 other buntings (2 male, 1 green). We look forward to returning to this location.
Photo by Jane Wiewora
"My what big feet you have!"
March 10, 2016: PB 60 had fantastic Painted Bunting habitat. We banded 22 buntings (mostly male) and had incidental capture of 1 Indigo Bunting, 1 Gray Catbird, and 1 Northern Cardinal. We have now tied the Season One total of 249. Seven sessions left to go......
March 11, 2016: Return to PB 48 where we banded 2 more greens.
March 14, 2016: PB 61 - our second Broward county site! Great site where we banded 17 buntings and had incidental capture of 2 Gray Catbirds. On site were 2 Spot-breasted Orioles! Wish we had gotten one of those! One of the males had just one green feather in its tail. We consulted with Erik Johnson, the teacher from our trip to Louisiana. He told me that sometimes the first feathers to grow in (central tail feathers) may not get the correct hormonal signals to grow in red.
Part way through the season we learned how to determine "older" greens that would then be known females. Of the 241 greens that we banded, 106 were females and most of the rest of the "greens" were still young birds that we cannot tell if they were male or female.