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Kirtland's Have Arrived!
As of May 14, we have confirmed the presence of at least four male Kirtland’s warblers at the Adams County site where nesting has occurred each of the past three years. We found two of these birds when we first visited the site with our 2010 Kirtland’s warbler monitor, Nick Walton, on Monday, May 10. This was Nicks’ first day of work, so we cannot know with certainty how long these two birds may have already been present at the site.
Since Wednesday May 12, at least four males have been present, and all are banded. Two of the birds were first banded in 2008, making this the third year each has been present at the site. One of these birds was banded in the Bahamas in March of 2008. The identity of the other two birds remains unknown, because one bird has only 3 of the expected four bands, and the other is wearing only an aluminum band. We believe we know the identity of the bird with three bands through the process of elimination, but can only guess that the other bird may have somehow lost all three of its’ color bands. We are anxious to capture these birds to learn their identity.
On May 15 we received word of a single male Kirtland’s warbler at the same Marinette County site where a pair nested successfully in 2009. Volunteer observer Jack Swelstad was able to get a photo to confirm that this bird is not banded (below).
Cowbird traps have been in operation at the Adams County site since April 19. As of May 14, USDA Wildlife Specialist Barry Benson reports a total of 155 cowbirds have been captured, consisting of 99 males and 56 females. This year, we have again deployed three traps, and plan to operate them through mid-June, similar to last year.
We plan to again capture and place color bands on all unbanded Kirtland’s warbler males that we encounter. Ron Refsnider, our volunteer bander, will lead our banding efforts. We plan to commence banding operations around May 27.