Welcome Swallow

Welcome Swallow
Welcome Swallow

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

NZ Banding Office Newsletters

Michelle of the Banding Office has recently produced two interesting and informative newsletters on bird banding in New Zealand. If you follow the links below you should get to them.

Many of you who have been following this blog for a while will recognize things in many of the articles reported and also many of the people involved. Including a Sparrow on Flicka, Monica's Kereru project and the dedicated Kate.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Queenstown - More Sparrows & Redpolls

We are back in Christchurch now but I managed to get a few more birds banded before we left. A very similar result as reported in the last post. A couple of morning sessions near the house where the birds caught were mostly House Sparrows both new and recaps. Also another session down at the stream where the majority of birds were juvenile Redpolls. With a total of 9 species caught there was a little variety, although most species were represented by very low numbers. The combined total was 86 birds of 12 species with 66 new and 20 recaptures.

Blackbird - 3 (2)
Song Thrush - 3 (0) includes the first caught at the stream.
Dunnock - 4 (0)
Chaffinch - (0)
Goldfinch - 1 (0)
The Goldfinch, an adult male that has probably been feeding on unripe thistles.
Greenfinch - 3 (0)
Redpoll - 28 (0) the only banded one seen was a well marked male that was clinging to the net but flew off as I reached out to secure it.
House Sparrow - 19 (16) surprisingly included were a number of older birds including both the oldest male and female recaps.
Yellowhammer - 1 (0)
The Yellowhammer was an adult female (I think)
Starling - 1 (1) The recap is the oldest one caught.
The Starling recap, an adult male
Silvereye - 2 (0)
Tui - 0 (1) A bird banded near the house and only the 2nd one caught at the stream.

We have to go up to Nelson for a family wedding so won't get back down again for a month or so.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Queenstown - A bit of variety

Although dominated by two species there has been a bit of variety in banding over the last few days. Eleven species were caught during sessions near the house and one at the stream site. A total of 67 birds caught with 52 new birds and 15 recaptured. The House sessions were dominated by House Sparrows and the Stream session by Redpolls.

Species caught were - (recaps in brackets)
Blackbird - 2 (0)
One of the Blackbirds had a very tatty tail and probably has trouble steering.
Song Thrush - 1 (0)
House Sparrow - 16 (11)
Dunnock - 3 (0)
Greenfinch - 2 (1) this is the first Greenfinch recaptured here so at a mammoth 17 days is the oldest for the species.
The Greenfinch recap.
Goldfinch - 2 (0)
Chaffinch - 2 (1)
Redpoll - 22 (0) mostly juveniles but a sprinkling of older birds.
One of the older Redpolls, a well coloured male.

A "Golden Crowned" Redpoll
Yellowhammer - 1 (0)
Silvereye - 1 (1)
Bellbird - 0 (1) the second Bellbird banded here and now the oldest for the species.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Queenstown - Final round up for 2016 and a start to 2017

I have crunched the numbers of birds banded down here for last year. A total of 1290 new birds of 17 species were banded and 465 recaptures of 14 species were made. The recap tally includes multiple captures of the same bird. This compares with 533 new birds and 194 recaptures made in the last 4 months of 2015. (Banding started in Sept)

Species caught were - (Recaps in brackets)
  1. House Sparrow - 422 (170) Also No 1 last year
  2. Redpoll - 257 (17)  No 7 last year. Numbers were boosted by a large number of juveniles caught at the stream at the bottom of the property.
  3. Silvereye - 227 (55) Down from 2nd
  4. Tui - 62 (46) Up from 12th. The big mover and a pleasant surprise.
  5. Chaffinch - 61 (29) Down from 3rd
  6. Dunnock - 58 (44) 5th last year
  7. Blackbird - 57 (47) 4th last year
  8. Bellbird - 37 (43) another big mover, 14th last year. Almoat all males.
  9. Greenfinch - 29 (0) 11th in 2015, might get a recap one day.
  10. Yellowhammer - 28 (6) down from 8th.
  11. Song Thrush - 17 (5) A  big drop from 6th.
  12. Goldfinch - 16 (2) 10th last year.
  13. Starling - 10 (1) 9th last year.
  14. Grey Warbler - 3 (0) new for 2016.
  15. Californian Quail - 3 (0) new
  16. Kingfisher - 2 (0) 13th in 2015. There appears to hve been a big drop in numbers this Spring/Summer with no breeding pairs as against 3 or 4 last year.
  17. Fantail - 1 (0) new. Surprised not more are not caught.
I won't be here as much this year so numbers for 2017 might be down a bit.

First session for 2017

I went down to the stream on Monday for a bit of a look and as there were a few birds about put a couple of nets up. Was pleasantly surprised to catch 24 birds. Most were Redpolls with 19, also 2 Greenfinch, 1 Starling, 1 Goldfinch and a House Sparrow recap.