Welcome to Season Two of color banding Painted Buntings (PABU) in south Florida. In early August, 2014 we began to notice reports of Painted Buntings returning to Florida. Actually they never left as they do breed in the state but that's north of where we are currently working. I sent an email to folks who had let us band last season and asked them to be on the lookout for returning birds and to maybe put their feeders out earlier than they typically had. Reports started coming in. Seven of the sites have already had Painted Buntings. Common knowledge is that Painted Buntings arrive in mid-to late September and there are not larger numbers until October. Likely all along some birds have arrived in August but were not noticed as numbers were low. Being aware had us ready to note the early returnees. I really wanted to start banding some of these "early birds" as we could tell so much from them if they had bands.
Best example of this is having a male arrive at a feeder. The next day there is a male at that feeder. Did the bird from Day 1 move on and another arrive? Can't tell. Will this bird stay once others arrive? Not sure. Where will this bird end up? By banding the "early birds' we'd know a bit more about their migration strategies.
We are waiting to see when the first banded bird from Season One arrives. We will post that here.
September 1: PB 4 We did not catch the bunting that had been reported here but we did have three incidental captures. We banded a Worm-eating Warbler first. And then we caught two Carolina Wrens - one was born this year, one was an adult.