Record Breaking Fall Season in Hammock Park

We had a very productive fall season with a total of 109 birds.  On four of the banding days we caught over 10 birds with only two slow days (7 and 6 bird days).  Our highest day was on October 25th with 34 birds caught.  It was a very hot fall with not too many strong cold fronts from the north resulting in a delayed migration.  Honestly, I think we could have caught migrants into mid November had we added additional days.  The last three banding days were all pretty good with 26, 34 and 22 birds each day.  Of the 109 birds, 93 were new captures and 16 were recaptures.  This is a new high for a fall season with the Fall 2014 being the next highest at 90 birds.  Our highest season so far has been Spring 2014 with 139 birds.  Fall 2015 - graph2

The fall brought us three new species:  Swamp Sparrow, Tennessee Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  We were lucky enough to catch a grosbeak on each of the last two days.  One was a young male and the other was a female.  Pretty cool to compare them with each other (see photos below).

Season Total:  109 Birds of 24 Species

  1. Gray Catbird – 25
  2. Indigo Bunting – 12
  3. Northern Cardinal – 11
  4. Carolina Wren – 8
  5. White – eyed Vireo – 8
  6. Blue Jay – 7
  7. Common Yellowthroat – 7
  8. Ovenbird – 4
  9. House Wren -3
  10. Swainson’s Thrush – 3
  11. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 3
  12. Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 2
  13. Tennessee Warbler – 2
  14. Acadian Flycatcher – 2

And single birds of the following species:  Brown Thrasher, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Tufted Titmouse, Painted Bunting, Swamp Sparrow & Downy Woodpecker.

Thank you to all the extremely dedicated volunteers!  You inspire me every season with your enthusiasm, creativity and support.  We could not do this project without you.

Thank you to everyone who share their incredible photographs of the birds and the banding each week.  Special thanks to Dave Noel and Cuneyt Yilmaz.  It’s great to know that images of these beautiful creatures we have the privilege to interact with are so well documented.


Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (yellow under wing coverts)


Young Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak (salmon colored under wing coverts)







Image 9

Beautiful Swamp Sparrow

Image 8

Checking for molt limits.

Image 5

Fly on Swainson’s Thrush until we meet again!

Last Day of Fall Banding Brings Some New (and Old) Friends


Bander, Jim McGinity, & visiting friend/bander, Tim Vargo, from Milwaukee!


Check out the cool yellowish underwing coverts of the wing and breast streaking (female Rose-breasted Grosbeak).


For the first time during our fall banding, we banded in early November (barely).  November 1st brought a total of 22 birds of 8 different species.  We also caught our second ever Rose-breasted Grosbeak (this time a female) and Tennessee Warbler.  These two birds added a bit of variety to the captures on top of our more usual Gray Catbirds (10) and Common Yellowthroats (3).

In addition to new feathered friends coming to visit, we welcomed an ecotour group from the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  This is where I used to work before moving to Dunedin 11 years ago.  They presented me with a jar of locally (to Milwaukee) made jelly for helping them out with their ecotour while in our area.

It was great seeing some old friends and making a few new ones.  What a great way to wrap up our fall 2015 banding season!


Another nice Tennessee Warbler (our second ever).