As with every other aspect of our lives, 2020 proved challenging for the Migratory Bird Banding Project out on Caladesi Island. After getting all the net lanes cleared and ready for the spring banding season, we only got in one day of banding on March 15th. Then, the state of Florida closed down all the state parks to everyone due to the COVID 19 crisis. We were able to get in a second day of banding on May 9th (while maintaining social distance) before taking everything down for the season and putting away all the poles, rebar, etc. We managed to band 23 new birds of 11 species during those 2 days.
In Fall 2020, the state park system allowed researchers into the parks. We were able to get in a full six days of banding which was great. We had a total of 97 new birds banded of 22 different species! Highlights included the American Redstarts, a good variety of warblers and only our second every Mourning Dove (they are tough to catch). As always, I want to thank our very dedicated volunteers. This year especially tested everyone’s patience and flexibility to stay safe in the pursuit of scientific research! I am hoping that we have a safe and more normal year in 2021!