Respectable End to a Crazy Year

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!

The banding volunteers hanging out at the station.

Slow, Beautiful Day on Caladesi Island

There was a slight breeze from the N/NE this morning and a little coolness in the air as we boated over to the island. There was no moon so the stars were spectacular. We got the nets up before sunrise and waited for the birds. Then we waited and waited and waited. It was a pretty slow day overall with only 10 birds total and two of them were recaptures. It was also a low species day with 4 species caught. The highlight bird was the Veery caught first thing in the morning. Then, mid-morning we caught 6 Northern Cardinals and 2 Gray Catbirds in the same two nets. The rest of the day was a bit frustrating. One of the volunteers watched an Eastern Phoebe land on one of the nets then fly away. That’s the kind of day it was. We did get one of the canopy nets repaired (thanks, Bert) with new pulleys and rope/clips so it is as good as new.


Species Number

Northern Cardinal. 6

Gray Catbird 2

Veery 1

Common Yellow-throat 1

Total: 15

Recaptures: 2

Mist nets open for business:)
Hatch Year Veery