May 5th, 2008 – A very special Brewster’s Warbler

Another beautiful spring day that was cold to start, but soon warmed by bright sunshine. The valley nets were frozen and it took a bit of coaxing to open them. The first couple of net rounds yielded good birds, but then the wind was our enemy, and hampered net results. So we had lots of variety, but no real numbers.

Just arrived are 2 new species for the spring: Brewster’s Warbler, and Great-crested Flycatcher.

Banded 17:
1 House Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 European Starling
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
3 Western Palm Warblers
1 Common Yellow Throat
2 Chipping Sparrows
2 Red-wing Blackbirds
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 20:
1 Brewster’s Warbler
1 Downey Woodpecker
1 Tree Swallow
1 Blue Jay
1 Ruby-crowned kinglet
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
7 Brown Headed Cowbirds
1 Baltimore Oriole

Retrapped birds outnumbered “new” birds.

There were a couple of interesting retraps. The tree Swallow was banded last year as a hatchling in a nest box (by Linda Thrower)

The female Oriole was banded in 2005, and not seen again until today.

But the most fascinating was the Brewster’s Warbler. Brewster’s are interesting birds the first place because they are a hybrid cross between a Blue-winged and a Golden-winged Warbler. He was banded as an After Hatch Year bird on May 2nd, 2001. We retrapped that bird 5 times in 2002, and we did not see it again until today. He is After 8 years old!!! Just think of the miles he has flown completing at least 8 round trip migrations to where, Mexico? Or Central America? And where did he spend his summers, if we did not see him in ’03 through 07? Wow.


Some photos from May 4th:

Beth with a Brown-headed Cowbird from a ground trap.
Beth with BHCO from GT.JPG

This Song Sparrow had a few white retrices. Typically, they are a fairly uniform brown color.
SOSP with aberrant retrices May 4 2008.JPG

Common Blue Violet
Common Blue Violet - Viola papilionacea May 4 2008.JPG

Round-leaved Violet
Round-leaved Violet - Viola rotundifolia May 4 2008.JPG

Spring Beauty.
Spring Beauty Claytonia virginica May 4 2008.JPG

Another alien invader.
Another alien invader may 4 2008.JPG

2 thoughts on “May 5th, 2008 – A very special Brewster’s Warbler

  1. Hi Fellow Bander,
    In regard to your tree swallow, what was the distance from where it was banded as a fledgling and then recaptured? Also do you notice a decrease in the number of tree swallows nesting in boxes?
    Please send your answers to my email address
    Susan Harwood

Leave a Reply