Banding Blitz and Training Camp Photos

As promised, here are some pictures we’ve taken! (And a bit more about the goings-on up here this year.)

One of the projects PSBO is working on is collecting data of bird mark and recapture rates (through banding) of sites at different elevations. Prior to the adult banding camp, and still currently, we are exploring the regions around McDaniel Lake. This is in an effort to see how summer drought (and wet summers, like this one) affect bird populations. A site we explored was a small lake that two weeks ago was filled with water, and is now completely dry. While there, we found a chipping sparrow nest and banded two juvenile Brown Creepers.

This is a chipping sparrow nest we found at a lake at slightly lower elevation than our primary banding location. We monitored feeding rates - almost one feeding every two minutes!

Another interest of ours concerns the woodpeckers at high elevations, specifically the specialist species such as Williamson’s Sapsucker and the White-Headed Woodpecker. Ponderosa pine habitat is crucial to both species, and some research is currently being done on the White-Headed to gather more information about the bird. Forest fires are of great concern, since losing such types of habitat could cause a great deal of damage to the state’s ecosystem. Small regions of fire present ornithologists with an opportunity to study woodpeckers and the impact fires have on their survival and productivity. Not far from Cash Prairie is a site that recently burned, providing great potential habitat for woodpeckers and consequently opportunities for further research.

This sort of recently burned forest habitat could give us the opportunity to study the specialist woodpeckers in the region.

Speaking of Cash Prairie, here’s a great view of it from a slightly higher elevation! (Followed by a picture of the adult banding camp there.)

This is a great view of one of our high elevation meadow study sites. Such habitat is very rare, and it's easy to see the contrast between the meadow and the rest of the habitat! It's a small patch of bright green amidst the drier, forested surrounding.

Here was our crew! We all had a wonderful time.

And a couple more banding pictures.

This is what we look like with all that crazy banding equipment. Aren't those optivisors and Pyle guides stylish?

This is what everyone does when they go over the nuts and bolts of bird banding!

The last day with the teen camp is tomorrow, and we’ve got to get some sleep and prepare for Family Weekend this weekend. We’ll get some more pictures up of the teens and explain some detailed images of the birds we’ve caught soon.

– by Joey Smokey

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