Female Bellbird

Female Bellbird
Female Bellbird

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Island Bay Saturday 22 March - Heaps of Sparrows

Ros, Otis and I had a fairly busy morning at our Island Bay site this morning.
Ros enjoying a joke at Otis's expense
We were joined later by Sarah J and Kyle who claimed they had trouble finding us but we later found that  Sarah had been talking to her father in Canada, so we won't hold that against them. They unfortunately arrived too late for our morning tea which is a feature of banding at this site.
The full team (minus the slacker behind the camera) at work
We had near perfect conditions for most of the morning until the southerly wind got a bit strong. We caught 90 birds of 5 species with 77 new and 11 recaps. As is usual at this site during the Autumn the catch was dominated by House Sparrows, with the other noticeable thing being the almost total absence of Tui with only an occasional bird heard in the distance.

Species caught were -
Blackbird - 2 (0)
One of the Blackbirds, a juvenile had almost all of its head in pin feathers
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 3 (1)
Starling - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 69 (11) the oldest recap was banded Feb 2012.
All the Sparrows were in active wing moult with a number scoring 44 but none made the perfect 45.
One of the near perfect wings.

Interestingly the bird with the lowest score of only 5 also had the shortest wing length of 71mm but it was at 33.7g the heaviest sparrow weighed on the day.

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