[mou] strange banding day

jotcat jotcat at boreal.org
Sun Oct 28 18:30:11 EDT 2007

Hi Dan and All,

Some Black-capped Chickadees retreat from the northern parts of their range (or from higher altitudes) in winter, more in some years than others.  This maybe should be called irruption rather than migration, but we do have fairly frequent fall movements of BCCH going south along the North Shore of L. Superior.  We have been banding in autumn here in Cook Co. for only 15 years, so have limited data.  

Up until 2001, we would regularly catch 20 to 25 new BCCH during Sept.  We were not here in October until 1997, so may have missed some irruptions that came later.  In fall of 2001 we banded 301 new chickadees.  One bird, captured 9-22-01, was recaptured the next spring on 06-08-02 at Thunder Cape Bird Observatory across the bay from city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, about 100 miles northeast of us.  Another, banded on 10-08-01, was recaptured 05-21-02, also at Thunder Cape.  I have always wondered whether very many of these irruptive species survive and return north, so was delighted to hear that two of them made it that far at least.

The next irruption came in 2003 - we caught over 400 Black-caps, banded 270 (ran out of size 0), and had to close our station early in October.  One bird we banded 09-24-03 was recaptured by David Grossheusch at Hawk Ridge in Duluth on 10-01-03, roughly an 80 mile trip southwest for that bird.

We had normal numbers of Chickadees for the next 3 seasons, then after Sept. 9 this fall began seeing more Chickadees, and have banded 94 so far.  There are still plenty of unbanded BCCH at our feeders, so we will be able to catch a few more this fall.  Other birders have reported many more Black-capped Chickadees this fall, and most remarkably, Boreal Chickadees moving south also.  Our resident Chickadees stay with us all winter here.  

Check the Hawk Ridge web pages for their reports - they get about 3 times as many passerines as we do.

How far the Chickadees from Canada move I don't know.  When we lived in northeast Ohio, we regularly captured new Black-capped Chickadees moving through in March.  Like you, we had banded most of the local birds we saw at our feeders.  Some folks doing more fall banding would often catch 'extra' BCCH in November, about the same time Brown Creepers and Red-breasted Nuthatches would get that far south.  Numbers of these varied every year, some years we would not see any Brown Creepers in that part of Ohio, other times they would move through, some years they would spend the winter with us.  Ditto for the Red-breasted Nuthatch.  

Have the migrant Blue Jays reached the Northfield area yet?  There was a huge movement of these through here in late September.  If you catch a Blue Jay that needs a size 3 band, it's a northerner!

Good birding to all,
Carol Tveekrem, Schroeder, Cook Co.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: dan&erika 
  To: MOU net ; mnbird ; Rice County Listserve 
  Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2007 5:57 PM
  Subject: [mou] strange banding day

  Hi All--

  I have been traveling most of October and have been away for the last four days.  I was surprised to band 6 Black-capped Chickadees today.  Since I have an almost constant banding effort underway at home, I wonder where these birds came from.  Jansen reports chickadee migrations along the Superior shore, but there is no banding data to support chickadee migrations.  

  I also caught 5 White-breasted Nuthatches.  Two of these were already banded (8 October 2006 and 26 March 2007).  I would have assumed that I had already banded my local nuthatches.

  Best bird was this very partically albino Downy Woodpecker: http://www.northern.edu/tallmand/dat/misc/dowoalbino.jpg


  Dan or Erika Tallman 
  Northfield, Minnesota
  danerika at gmail.com

  ".... the best shod travel with wet feet" 
  "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes ...."--Thoreau 
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