Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Update
May 15, 2009
Kirtland’s have arrived!
As of May 15, we have confirmed the presence of at least five male Kirtland’s warblers at the Adams County site where nesting has occurred each of the past two years. Two of these birds, one of which was banded, were first observed on Tuesday, May 12, by Nick Anich, our 2009 Kirtland’s warbler monitor. On a visit to the site the previous day (Nicks’ first day of work), we did not observe or hear any Kirtland’s, even though we had excellent conditions. Given that there was heavy migration at many Wisconsin sites on Monday night, we believe that we may have detected the Wisconsin arrival date of the species.
The first banded bird observed at the site is the same bird from last year that was banded in the Bahamas on March 20, 2008. This bird actually attended two nests in 2008, one of which fledged two cowbird young, and the other apparently failed. A second banded male was first observed on May 14, and two additional banded birds arrived today. Two of these three males were parents of the two nests that successfully fledged young in 2008. At least one unbanded male is also present at the site.
Today we also received word of a single male Kirtland’s warbler at the same Marinette County site where a male and female were observed in 2008. Our volunteer observer was unable to confirm whether the bird was banded.
Cowbird traps have been in operation at the site since April 22. As of May 15, a total of 198 cowbirds have been captured and euthanized. This year, we have deployed three traps, one more than we used last year. We plan to operate these traps through mid-June, similar to last year.
We plan to again capture and place color bands on all Kirtland’s warbler males that we encounter. Ron Refsnider, our volunteer bander, will lead our banding efforts. We will commence banding operations around May 25, assuming that there are enough unbanded birds to justify our mobilization at that time.
Color-banded birds receive two different bands on each leg: one USFWS aluminum numbered band plus a colored band on one leg, and two colored bands on the other leg. Band combinations are described in the following sequence, referencing position of band and left and right legs: Top left/bottom left, top right/ bottom right.
This photo from 2008 shows the Bahamas-banded male (YA/IY). Y=Yellow, A=Aluminum, I=Indigo.
Joel A. Trick
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
2661 Scott Tower Drive
New Franken, WI 54229
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S. Webster Street - ER/6
Madison, WI 53703
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