Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 at Northwest River Park

By Shirley Devan, CVWO Volunteer.

[Brian Taber has invited me again this year to post info about the Prothonotary Warbler project at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake.]

Prothonotary Warblers continue to show strong fidelity to the nesting habitat at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake, VA.

Under the supervision of Dr. Bob Reilly, CVWO’s Master Bander, Steve Living and I are monitoring these cavity-nesting birds again this year. This is one of the songbird research projects sponsored by CVWO.

Steve Living is a Terrestrial Biologist with the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. I am a CVWO volunteer, Certified VA Master Naturalist and avid birder in Williamsburg Bird Club. Both of us are licensed to band songbirds as subpermittees working under Dr. Bob Reilly. Each of us relies on volunteers to help with the project.

After the 2011 nesting season, Bob Reilly repositioned over 20 of the 100 boxes to more suitable habitat.
We observed the first PROW eggs April 24 and banded the first nestlings May 16. As of May 22, 18 PROW nestlings have been banded and at least 55 of the 98 boxes have nest activity. We’ll be monitoring these boxes through mid-June at least and expect that we’ll band in excess of the 133 nestlings we banded last year. Prothonotary Warblers often have two clutches in one season.

The first females were trapped May 10. So far we have banded 13 adult females. We have “recaptured” 11 adult females [banded in previous years], four of whom were banded as adults in 2009, one was banded as an adult in 2010, and four were banded as adults in 2011.

Here is a photo of a nestling on the scales! He’s ambitious – trying out his wings already!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mississippi Kite at College Creek Hawkwatch

Fred Blystone and I watched as this adult Mississippi Kite, our first of the season, flew across the river low and right overhead! As is typical, because we are looking south, the bird was backlit, so the photo shows little detail besides the distinctive profile.
Brian Taber

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Bird Count

The Williamsburg Bird Club held its annual spring bird count on April 29. These American White Pelicans were present on the Hog Island Sector in Surry County ... one displayed the unusual breeding bill plate. American White Pelicans have been seen there since April 4. As a special bonus, this frisky mink also scampered past.

Brian Taber