Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Magee area 5/9 update

Earlier I posted some information about the state of migration at the boardwalk at Magee Marsh, Lucas Co., northwest Ohio, for today (Wednesday May 9). In that post I stated that numbers seemed higher than the previous day, but that I was waiting to hear results from the Black Swamp Bird Observatory' s main banding station, located on the Navarre Unit of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Ottawa Co., about 5 miles east of Magee Marsh.

Results from the BSBO banding station suggest that numbers were indeed higher today at Navarre, and I suspect that mirrors what was happening at Magee. Yesterday, May 8, the station banded over 800 birds, a very large total for there. Today they banded over 1100, the second-highest single-day banding total in the Observatory's history! The species composition at Navarre seems to have been about the same as that at Magee, with 28 species of warblers. Magnolia Warbler was the most numerous at both places. My wife Kim spent the entire day just banding Magnolias -- of the 1100-plus birds banded, 391 were Magnolia Warblers! Kim reported that a very high percentage of these were second-year males, so the species must have had a successful breeding season in 2006. Very significant to me was the fact that the banding station had few recaptures of birds from the previous day, suggesting that there was a substantial amount of turnover, with a lot of birds leaving and even more arriving. That was my impression at the boardwalk at Magee as well, where today there appeared to be more Magnolia, Bay-breasted, and Chestnut-sided Warblers than the day before, but fewer Blackburnians and Cape Mays. Those are just impressions, though, and the banding operation gives a much clearer picture. For details from the banding station, visit Black Swamp Bird Observatory and go to Research Projects : Passerine Migration Monitoring : 2007 Navarre Marsh Spring Migration.

At the moment there is overcast and scattered light rain over northwest Ohio so I doubt that many birds will be migrating tonight, and there shouldn't be as much turnover between today and tomorrow. Winds are going to shift around to the north and northeast for the next few days. Numbers of individuals will probably drop somewhat on the immediate lake front, as birds from this "wave" disperse or move on, but variety should stay excellent through the weekend.

Nature Blog Network