The Florida Avian Conservation organization received some very good news this spring. Ann Paul with National Audubon Society arranged for the donation of a 16′ Key West boat to aid with our migratory bird research out on Caladesi Island. As many of you may know, we have been relying on the generosity of local volunteer boat captains to get out to our study site on Caladesi Island. This has been challenging with varying schedules and availability of different boats. We had been searching for a location boat donation to help us with this challenge. Ann coordinated the paper work for the donation through Audubon Florida and the Clearwater Audubon Society.
A big thank you goes out to project volunteer and boat captain, Bert Thomas. With his “sweat equity” and boat mechanic skills he was able to get the boat up and running reliably. We now have reliable transportation out to our study site so that we can continue our long-term migratory bird banding research.
The new FAC boat for running back and forth to Caladesi Island State Park.
After having to shut down our spring banding season out on Caladesi Island after one day in mid-March, we had to watch the migratory birds pass through our area without being able to collect data on them. It turned out to be a pretty good spring migration season for the bird watchers despite the Covid virus shut down.
We were allowed to go back out to the island to take down/store all the poles and rebar that we had set up back in early March. We decided to try banding for the morning before we put everything away. We had never banded this late in the spring season (May 9th) but it turned out to be a pretty good day. We captured a total of 15 birds of 10 different species. The highlights for the day were adding two new species to our list of birds we have banded during the last 10 years of the project! We caught an Eastern Towhee and a Common Ground Dove. Both of these birds are year round residents out on Caladesi Island but they had alluded our nets until now. They are beautiful birds and now these two individuals sport an aluminum band on their right legs.
We hope that the Covid Virus will wane in the fall and allow us to continue our research both at Dunedin Hammock Park and out on Caladesi Island State Park.
Wing of a male Common Ground Dove
Volunteer Andrew checking a male Indigo Bunting for fat
Handsome male Eastern Towhee
Man can Rose-breasted Grosbeaks bite:(
Have a good summer, banding station! We hope to see you in the fall!