Monday, August 06, 2007

Lucky Peak update- August 5, 2007

Hi Folks...

Just an FYI, I have much less internet access than I've had the last 2 years while at Camas. Bearing that in mind, I'll try to update as much as possible but there will be delays as I'm only in town 2x/week.If something rare appears, I'll try to call it in to several folks that might be able to post. Thanks for your patience.

During July (16th - 31st, 16 banding days) we captured 1006 birds. This is our 3rd highest July total since we started banding in the middle of July in 2000 (thus, 8 seasons with similar data; 2000-2007)and totals have ranged from 500 to 1100 in each July. Thus, because our July captures are dominated by local breeders and dispersing birds from what I guess (it really is a guess) to be a 20+ mile radius, it seems that there has been pretty good productivity this year and there also seem to be abundant insects and fruit which should be a good thing for migrants as the season goes on. That said, our hummingbird#s seem to be lower than usual.

As for the smoke (there are quite a few wildlifes burning in Idaho), we did catch fewer birds on the first really smoky day but the last few days have been pretty busy and we've caught a number of birds with charcoal on their feet and smelling strongly of smoke - suggesting that they'd been in areas with recent fires on their way to us. Pretty cool to see! I've actually noticed the charcoaled feet most on immature Yellow Warblers (one of our 3earliest southbound warblers, along with MacGillivray's and Nashville).

As mentioned in an earlier post, we started getting appreciable #s of migrants around the 23rd of July and that has continued to pick up since. We caught our first Townsend's Warbler on July 30 (had 3 of them today; I think that makes 6 for the season so far), our first(and only so far) Gray Flycatcher on July 31, and our first Townsend's Solitaire (a major fruit consumer at Lucky Peak) yesterday. We continue to catch fat RB Nuthatches that are apparently migrating. Diversity should continue to increase through August and into early September.

The Aug 11 GEAS field trip should be a good time to see lots of color and diversity ....

All for now and good birding,
Jay

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