Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Island Bay Fri 30 March

Ros, Bernard and I had a very successful mornings banding at Island Bay yesterday morning. In absolutely perfect conditions we caught a total of 109 birds of 8 species with 100 new and 9 recaptures. As expected the tally included a big number of House Sparrows but that number was even larger than I had anticipated.

Species caught were – (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird – 0 (1) a far cry from the 30 or so a couple of months ago
Dunnock – 1 (0) as has been the pattern this year a lot less than in previous years.
Chaffinch – 6 (3) all the recaps were banded on the same day back in January
Greenfinch – 6 (0)
Silvereye – 1 (0)
Starling – 1 (0)
Tui – 2 (0)
House Sparrow – 83 (5) All the Sparrows are now well into moult with a few having finished. Several were moulting primaries out of sequence.

House Sparrows moulting primaries out of sequence

All in all a very busy morning.

Had an interesting recovery reported this week with an e-mail from Colin M at Te Papa wanting to know the age of a House Sparrow that had been handed in to them back in January. The bird had been spotted dead on the road by a 3 year old boy and his mother had taken it into Te Papa's bird people. The bird had been banded at the Zoo back in June 2004 and is now the oldest Sparrow we have recaptured or recovered at any site, so great spotting for a youngster.

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