Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Monday, 24 September 2012

Houghton Bay 24 Sept - Silvereyes

Ros and I had a session at the Houghton Bay Stream this morning with the principal aim of catching Silvereyes and checking for moult. We were successful with this and as well caught a few other birds. In all we caught 75 birds of 5 species with 63 new and 12 recaps.

Species caught were -
Blackbird - 1 (1)
Dunnock - 2 (0)
Greenfinch - 1 (0)
Grey Warbler - 1 (2) the oldest was banded Nov 2010
All the Grey Warblers had the reddish eyes of adult birds
Silvereye - 58 (9) 16 of the new birds and 3 of the recaps were in moult.  With this being just over 25% it is a significant number. Whether this is an unusual year with a lot of late fledged birds delaying the moult until the spring or whether we have not paid enough attention other years (and also not usually catching very many spring birds) I am not sure.

Of the 9 recaptures only 1 was banded at this site; with over 3300 banded there in the last 5 years this is surprising. 5 birds were banded at the Mt Albert site with 4 being from the 164 that were banded this year, 2 were from Hornsey Rd and another from Houghton Valley School.

There were several Silvereyes with pox-like lesions mostly on the foot but one had a large one below the eye.
Silvereye with pox like lesion 
  On a slightly different subject we had a report from a Zoo staff member that a band combination had been recovered from the remains (just the legs) of a bird in the Serval enclosure. On checking our records I found that this was not one of our birds. Suspecting it might be a Bellbird from Zealandia I forwarded the report on to them and was extremely surprised to hear back that it was a Hihi (Stichbird) that had made its way across town.

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