A wet day has given me a chance to finally crunch the numbers for the Zoo banding for last calendar year so here is a bit of a summary. The totals include, as well as the regular sessions, a number of sessions at the little stream over the fence and also some nestlings.
In all we banded 649 birds of 12 species and recaptured 266 of 11 species. This is slightly up on the average catch of 586 new birds over the 13 years we have been banding at the Zoo. A highlight of the year was a very successful workshop held on aging and sexing when Mike Bell come over from Blenheim and gave us the benefit of his knowledge.
|Mike passing on his knowledge|
Totals for last 3 years and ranking with 13 year average
Species caught were, in order of numbers of new birds.(Recaps in brackets)
1 Silvereye – 239 (173) Has been No 1 in all but 1 year and slightly up on the average.
|Silvereye reluctant to go free|
2 Greenfinch – 99 (33) Has been No 2 for the last 3 years before that was usually No 3 and numbers fluctuate a lot between years.
3 House Sparrow – 94 (25) Slightly below average numbers
4 Chaffinch – 69 (9) Well above average for new birds with numbers boosted by a large catch of juveniles at the stream site back in January.
5 Goldfinch – 37 (1) Moved up from 11th last year and well above the 13 year average. Another species boosted by juveniles being caught at the stream in January and also December.
6 Blackbird – 33 (10) about an average year
7 Tui – 25 (2) numbers boosted with a number of birds banded while in rehab at the Nest but the numbers generally follow the trend of increasing Tui over the last few years.
|Tui having its wing cord taken|
8 Fantail – 18 (2) About average numbers and another species caught regularly at the stream.
9 Dunnock 17 (8) After a fall in numbers last year has rebounded to be above average in 2012.
10 Starling – 11 (2) About an average number for the last 5 years but well below the 13 year average. We caught a lot more Starling in the first few years of banding and the drop is probably due to changes around the Zoo and net sites.
11 Song Thrush 4 (1) The most for several years
12 Grey Warbler – 3 (0) a very average year
Yellowhammer – none were caught. This species fluctuates a lot between years and numbers have dropped since the Zebras went and the hay containing grass seed stopped being fed.
Kingfisher – also a zero tally, we haven’t caught one at the Zoo now for 2 years.
An old Starling
Received a recovery report yesterday from the DOC Banding Office of a dead bird that had been reported to the DOC Information Center, unfortunately the person who took the call only took the band number and no other information. So we know it was a Starling banded at the Zoo back in Sept 2004 and at an estimated 3107 days is our oldest recaptured or recovered Starling. Pity we don't know a bit more about it.