Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Songbird wrap-up at Lucky Peak

I just received an email from Caroline with the final season total for Lucky Peak: 7448! Way to go, songbird crew!!

Also, I think there is some interest out there about the dorky bird game the Lucky Peak crew played. So without's the final results (straight from Caroline's mouth):

The winner of "The Bird is Right" (you know, the game where we guess how many birds we're going to catch for the day) is John "the bot" Warzybok with 1157 points. Matt "Crazy" Gracey came in second with 1115 points. Caroline made a desperate bid in the end but still only got 969, and Corey had a strong showing (considering he wasn't around as often as our winner) with 817. Miguel totally lost with 551 points, 400 of which were donated to him by Patrick anyhow. The prize for our winner is...nothing...we gave the Boise Co-op gift certificates away to Miguel mid-season.

Dialogue for Kids-Public TV spot

Greg appeared on Dialogue for Kids, a Public TV show where experts in different areas answer calls and emails from children around Idaho. This week's topic was about bird migration and that is why Greg was part of the fun! Check it out at:
Read and see (watch the program on your computer!!) what kind of questions Greg and Rex (IDFG) answered!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Songbird monitoring season finishes

Hi Folks

We took the nets down after banding this morning and called it good for the fall 2006 songbird season at both the Camas NWR and Lucky Peak sites (raptors are still going at Lucky Peak) and it's been an amazing year.

I don't have exact totals but the Lucky Peak crew experienced what is by far the single-season record with well over 7,400 captures (possibly over 7,500 depending on how today went) when the previous season high (5,920) was set in 2004. Thus, 2006 broke the record by about 1,500 birds!! I'm hoping that this reflects positive trends for migrant populations breeding in and migrating through Idaho but it may just have been a banner reproductive year (... still a good thing).

Meanwhile, we finished with a very respectable 4,660 captures at Camas which is slightly higher than the 2005 total (~ 4,450). Interesting captures and sightings over the last few days included a late Nashville Warbler in the nets yesterday and a Western Tanager that I saw on a point count survey today; the tanager appeared to have a deformed bill which may help explain its tardiness.

Thus, between sites we captured over 12,000 migrants - quite a year. Thanks to all the visitors/helpers who came out to enjoy the great migration phenomenon with us and we'll hope to see you again next year.



Friday, October 13, 2006

Lucky Peak, 10/12/06


Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 60
Pink-sided Junco= 1
Dark-eyed Junco= 1
Oregon Junco= 111
Red-breasted Nuthatch= 2
Pine Siskin= 8
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 10
Mountain Chickadee= 1

Total banded= 194

Owl banding= 6 Northern Saw-whet Owls (Wednesday night)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lucky Peak-October 11, 2006


Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 35
Oregon Junco= 83
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 9
Hermit Thrush= 1
Spotted Towhee= 1
Pine Siskin=2

Total banded= 131

**Over 7000 songbirds have been banded for the season. The season ends this upcoming Sunday**

Hawkwatch= 15

Owl banding= 3 Northern Saw-whets (Monday night)
3 Northern Saw-whets (Tuesday night)

Monday, October 09, 2006

08 & 09 October--Lucky Peak

Apologies for not posting the last week (been out of town) seems as though the migration has slowed a bit. Songbird banding ends this coming Sunday so hopefully with this high pressure system pushing through we will see a good finale to songbird banding. Hawkwatch, hawk trapping, and owl banding continues until the end of the month.

Songbirds (Sunday, Ocotber 8)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 52
Oregon Junco= 35
Spotted Towhee= 1
Northen Pygmy Owl= 1
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 9
Townsend's Solitaire= 1
Hermit Thrush= 1

Total banded= 100

Songbirds (Monday , Ocotber 9)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 33
Dark-eyed Junco= 1
Oregon Junco= 30
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 2

Total banded= 66

Hawkwatch (Sunday, October 8) = 29
Hawkwatch (Monday, October 9)= 7

Owl banding= 0 (for both nights), total banded for season= 38

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lucky Peak, 10/02


Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 60
Townsend's Warbler =1
Oregon Junco= 25
Red-breasted Nuthatch= 1
Chipping Sparrow= 1
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 21
Hermit Thrush= 1
American Robin= 3
Townsend's Solitaire= 1
Cassin's Vireo= 1
Golden-crowned Sparrow= 1 (#15 of the season!!)

Total banded= 116
Over 6000 since 15 July have been banded.

Hawkwatch= 11

Hawk trapping= 1

Camas update - totals through Sept

Hi Folks

Just finished adding up the numbers through September for our operation here at Camas NWR. Through Sept 30 (since July 20), we have captured 4158 birds of 72 species. The top ten most commonly captured birds are: Wilson's Warbler (1813), MacGillivray's Warbler (314), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (213 - but add 71 over the last 2 days), Chipping Sparrow (212), Orange-crowned Warbler (191), Hermit Thrush (176), Yellow Warbler (128), Dark-eyed Junco (121), Brewer's Sparrow (100), and Warbling Vireo (90). Of these, I expect #s of RC Kinglets, the thrushes, and juncos to continue to build whereas the other species are either long-since done or else winding down.

Pales in comparison to the totals at Lucky Peak (over 6000 so far) but still some great numbers. We have just under 2 weeks to go before wrapping up our fall songbird work on Oct 15.



Lucky Peak, 9/30


Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 81
Wilson's Warbler= 1
Hammond's Flyctcher= 1
Oregon Junco= 18
Chipping Sparrow= 2
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 48
Hermit Thrush= 2
Spotted Towhee= 2
American Robin= 4
Cassin's Vireo= 1
Cedar Waxwng= 3

Total banded= 160

Hawkwatch= 111

Hawk trapping= 8

Friday, September 29, 2006

Lucky Peak update, 9/29


Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 119
Golden-crowned Kinglet= 3
Orange-crowned Warbler= 1
Wilson's Warbler= 1
Townsend's Warbler= 1
Oregon Junco= 31
Red-breasted Nuthatch= 3
Audubon's Warbler= 1
Mountain Chickadee= 3
Chipping Sparrow= 3
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 42
Hermit Thrush= 1
Spotted Towhee= 1
American Robin= 4
Townsend's Solitaire= 7

Total new banded= 221

Hawkwatch= 50

Hawk trapping= 5 (3 Cooper's Hawks and 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lucky Peak 9/28


Below are the numbers from today. Songbirds had a rockin' day!!


Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 145
Golden-crowned Kinglet= 2
Orange-crowned Warbler= 1
Oregon Junco= 26
Red-breasted Nuthatch= 3
Audubon's Warbler= 14
Chipping Sparrow= 8
Cassin's Vireo= 1
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 83
Golden-crowned Sparrow= 1
Hermit Thrush= 1
Spotted Towhee= 6
American Robin= 1
Townsend's Solitaire= 4
Cassin's Finch= 2

Total new banded=277

Hawkwatch= 156 (including 14 Northern Harriers and 31 Turkey Vultures)
Hawk trapping= 5 (4 Cooper's Hawks and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk)

New Photos from Camas NWR songbirds

Hi Folks

Below are photos of the recent Black-and-White Warbler (9-26) and one of 2 White-throated Sparrows we've banded recently (9-25 & 9-27).

While our overall capture numbers at Camas (89 new captures today, including 37 RC Kinglets) pale in comparison to the HUGE numbers passing through at Lucky Peak (they've banded over 550 birds, including ~ 280 RC Kinglets, in the last 2 days!!), we're still seeing many birds and good diversity.



IBO in the news!

There is a great feature on IBO in the Idaho Statesman Outdoor section.
You can also access the article at:

(yes, that one caption is wrong. It is not a Golden-crowned Sparrow being banded but a Sharp-shinned hawk)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lucky Peak, 9/26 & 9/27


Below are the numbers from yesterday and today at Lucky Peak. Included are hawkbanding, hawkwatch, and owl banding totals. Songbirds had a rockin' day today with 289 birds banded. It seems that the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and the White-throated Sparrows are really moving through. This is a great week to come on up to Lucky Peak--we hope to see you up there!

Songbirds-Tuesday, 9/26
Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 50
Orange-crowned Warbler= 2
Oregon Junco= 2
Audubon's Warbler= 23
Chipping Sparrow= 10
Cassin's Vireo=2
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 31
Mountain White-crowned Sparrow= 1
Hermit Thrush= 2
Fox Sparrow= 1
Total new banded= 146

Songbirds-Wednesday, 9/27
Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 146
Golden-crowned Kinglet= 2
Townsend’s Warbler = 1
Orange-crowned Warbler= 7
Oregon Junco= 35
Audubon's Warbler= 27
Pine Siskin= 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch= 5
Chipping Sparrow= 5
Cassin's Vireo= 1
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow= 61
Hermit Thrush= 2
Spotted Towhee= 1
American Robin= 1
Total new banded= 289

Owls- Tuesday night, 9/26= 7 Northern Saw-whet Owl
Total for season (since 9/22):
Northern Saw-whet Owl= 8
Flammulated Owl= 1
Northern Pygmy Owl= 1

Hawkwatch- Tuesday, 9/26 = 232
Hawkwatch- Wednesday, 9/27= 172 (including 81 Turkey Vultures)

Hawk Banding- Tuesday, 9/26= 14 (including 1 Northern Goshawk, 1 Merlin)
Hawk Banding- Wednesday, 9/27= 14 (including 1 hatchyear Golden Eagle and 1 Northern Harrier)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Camas update: B&W Warbler, etc.

Here's a copy of what I recently posted to IBLE (Idaho Birders Linked Electronically). I don't have photos ready to post for the recent catches (mentioned in today's post) but I will post 2 photos of fun catches from recent weeks ..... Jay


Hi Folks

Late this morning we captured and banded a studly adult male Black-and-White Warbler - our first this season. If I remember correctly, this date seems quite similar to when we banded an adult male last fall.

Also, we banded an immature White-throated Sparrow yesterday and over the last 2 days we've seen/heard/captured our first 'Myrtle' (Yellow-rumped) Warblers of the season. No sign of the BrownThrasher that was seen Sunday.

Lastly, with this nice fall/high pressure weather, we're experiencing a great push of migrants as the Neotropical migrants dwindle and the temperate zone migrants (especially kinglets & juncos) are building in numbers - providing impressive diversity on a daily basis. We're still catching/seeing big numbers of Wilson's Warblers (40 today, over 1650 banded for the season!!) but I expect their #s will start to decrease pretty soon here.


Wilson's Warblers of 2 different subspecies - 'pileolata' (Rocky Mountain race) on the left and 'pusilla' (Boreal/eastern race) on the right. Notice the paler coloration of 'pusilla'.

A young female Black-throated Blue Warbler that we banded on 9-11-06.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Anser Charter School visits LP!

This morning, Ann Moore's kindergarten class from Anser Charter School in Boise traveled up to Lucky Peak to participate in songbird banding. The morning was quite busy (128 new birds banded) with mostly Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrows. Highlights were a Townsend's Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Red-naped Sapsucker, Warbling Vireo, and 2 Golden-crowned Sparrows.

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Greg showing off a second year female Sharp-shinned Hawk

With this high pressure system pushing its way through this week, it is shaping up to be a stellar week for migration--both for songbirds and for raptors! Plan to come on up if you can!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lucky Peak, 9/24/06

Migration was in full swing this weekend at Lucky Peak. Yesterday 176 songbirds were caught with the majority being Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Oregon Juncos, and White-crowned Sparrows. One Golden-crowned Sparrow was also banded.

Today, 133 new birds were banded:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet= 35
Golden-crowned Kinglet= 5
Orange-crowned Warbler= 3
Hammond's Flycatcher= 4
Wilson Warbler= 1
Oregon Junco= 11
Audubon's Warbler= 1
Pine Siskin= 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch= 1
Chipping Sparrow= 4
Cassin's Vireo= 1
White-crowned Sparrow= 56
Hermit Thrush= 2
Western Tanager= 1
Spotted Towhee= 6
American Robin= 2

In total, since July 15th, 4904 birds have been banded.


Hello and welcome to the Idaho Bird Observatory's blog site! While IBO's webpage is being updated this blog will serve to inform you of the migration happenings, events, and activities that are currently taking place and those planned during the next upcoming months.

Jay and I will be updating this site as frequently as we can. We would like to highlight each day's captures, highlights and even share with you some pictures.

Fall migration is currently in full swing at both Lucky Peak and Camas NWR. Please come and visit before the season slips away.

Songbird banding will continue until October 15th from sunrise to 5 hours after sunrise both at Lucky Peak and Camas NWR. At Lucky Peak, hawkwatch and raptor trapping will run through the end of October (late morning-late afternoon). Owl banding started 2 nights ago and continues also through the end of October. The nets will open at sunset and banding will run through each night until dawn. Any visitors interested in owls should plan to arrive at Lucky Peak before dark. For all activites if the weather is unfavorable (rain, sleet, etc), banding operations will be suspended.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!

Happy birding!
IBO Education Director
Mission: to contribute to the conservation of western migratory landbirds through cooperative research and public education