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Wisconsin Kirtland's Warbler Update
June 29, 2009
Adams County Monitoring
Nest observations continue in the Adams County breeding area, as we try to determine the nesting outcomes of each of the eight mated pairs present at the site. So far our monitor Nick has found the nests of seven of the eight pairs, and on Wednesday, he observed the first Kirtland’s warbler fledglings. The first nest fledged four young, and a second nest fledged three young on Thursday. Two more nests are expected to fledge by the end of this week.
The two earliest nests at the site were both parasitized by cowbirds, and produced no Kirtland’s warblers. At least one of these females has renested and is currently incubating, so we are hopeful that she may still produce some Kirtland’s young this year.
Another significant find this week is the discovery of a Kirtland’s warbler nest at the new site in Adams County where a singing male was found just over two weeks ago. This site is at least six miles from the main Adams County breeding area. When found, the nest had very small young, and we estimate that they will fledge within the next few days.
In a recent development, a new, unbanded male appeared at the Adams County breeding area last Friday. We will attempt to capture and band this bird later this week.
We have had a very successful season banding Wisconsin Kirtland’s warblers, and this week we will attempt to capture the lone remaining unbanded male. We have also formulated plans to attempt to band fledglings, and will be making an effort to carry out those plans over the next several weeks. If successful, this could give us valuable information about the number of fledged birds that return to their natal site to breed in subsequent years. At least four of the males we captured and banded this year were judged to have been hatched last year. We will never know how many of these were actually produced in Wisconsin, but banding young this year could provide us that information in the future.
Although our official survey period is over, we are encouraging volunteers to keep checking potential Kirtland’s warbler habitat. It is still possible to find breeding Kirtland’s warblers at new sites. Anyone finding a Kirtland’s warbler is asked to contact either Joel or Kim at the e-mails and telephone numbers listed below.