Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KODIAK: Refuge Set Up Mist Netting Station to Monitor Songbirds near Headquarters
Alaska Region, October 14, 2010
Print Friendly Version
Adult male yellow warbler captured during the 2010 Kodiak Buskin River Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS) program (Photo by Lisa Hupp, FWS).
Adult male yellow warbler captured during the 2010 Kodiak Buskin River Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS) program (Photo by Lisa Hupp, FWS). - Photo Credit: n/a
Volunteer Rich MacIntosh removes a Wilson’s Warbler from a mist net (Photo by Lisa Hupp, FWS).
Volunteer Rich MacIntosh removes a Wilson’s Warbler from a mist net (Photo by Lisa Hupp, FWS). - Photo Credit: n/a

In the summer of 2010, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) staff and volunteers established a Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS) Program near Refuge Headquarters on the Buskin River State Recreation Area. MAPS is a nation-wide program established in 1989 to monitor landbird survivorship and productivity through mist netting and banding. There are currently about 500 MAPS stations throughout the US. The Refuge created the program to complement the two road-side Breeding Bird Surveys conducted annually on Kodiak and to connect the public with conservation issues through bird banding.

We used mist nets to capture and band birds for six mornings between June and August, approximately once every 10 days.  To capture the birds we established 10 mist net stations over an area of about 20 acres. The mist nets are 12 meters long and 2.6 meters tall and made of very fine, soft nylon mesh, making them nearly invisible. Each morning that we banded the nets were opened at sunrise and were left open for exactly six hours. Unsuspecting songbirds flew into the nets and were entangled as they went about their daily business of finding food and defending their territories. Adhering to MAPS protocols allows us to calculate seasonal capture rates which will give us a measure of survivorship.  We can also use the ratio of young birds to adult birds captured as an index to productivity for the most abundant breeding species. The MAPS program requires that each station be run for at least five years.

This season on Kodiak, our six mornings were very productive. We banded 259 birds representing 16 species. Some birds were captured more than once during the season which brought the total number of birds handled to 351. The most common species captured were Wilson’s Warblers, Hermit Thrushes, and Fox Sparrows. We are still early in the data summary process, but interesting patterns are beginning to emerge when comparing our data with MAPS data collected between 1992 and 2001 throughout the state of Alaska. Statewide data typically shows two adult hermit thrushes caught for every young bird captured. This year on Kodiak we saw the exact opposite trend with almost twice as many young Hermit Thrushes captured than adults, suggesting very high productivity for this species. In comparison, the ratio of Fox Sparrow young to adults was very similar to the mean estimates reported from the earlier data, while the ratio for Wilson’s Warbler was much lower than in the 1990s. These contrasts could reflect regional differences in productivity, or possibly changes over time for species that have not exhibited significant differences in productivity between regions in the past.

Our cooperators from the community included Cindy Trussell, biology professor at Kodiak College, and Rich MacIntosh, a retired biologist with NOAA Fisheries, who was instrumental in establishing the Breeding Bird Survey Routes on Kodiak. Most mornings we had three to five volunteers helping us with the banding process including the Kodiak Refuge Youth Conservation Corps participants. We look forward to next season when many of our landbird species return to Kodiak from their southern wintering grounds. We hope to recapture several of the birds that we banded this summer since they commonly return to the exact same territory year after year to nest.


Contact Info: Robin Corcoran, 907-487-0229, robin_corcoran@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer