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Kirtland's Have Arrived!
On the first site visit on May 11, we were able to confirm the presence of at least four male Kirtland’s warblers at the Adams County nesting site, of which at least three were banded. This was the first day the site was checked, so we cannot know with certainty how long birds may have already been present at the site.
Since our primary monitor for 2012 is unable to begin work until next week, Daryl Christensen has graciously volunteered to perform surveys at the nesting site this past week. After four days of surveying many acres of young pine habitat, Daryl reports that as many as 30 males are currently present, including quite a few that are unbanded. So far, we have been able to identify 9 of the 18 color-banded males that were here last year, but other banded birds have been seen whose identities are not yet confirmed. Until we are able to capture and band the new birds, we can never be quite certain how many birds are on site, but it certainly looks like a good year ahead.
Over 21 volunteers are searching for Kirtland's warblers in the jack pines of 7 Wisconsin counties during our fifth annual Kirtland's warbler survey, May 15-June 15. On May 16 volunteer Jack Swelstad found a color-banded male Kirtland’s warbler at the same Marinette County site where he was banded last year. This marks the first time we have had a Kirtland’s warbler we banded in Marinette county return in a subsequent year. On May 17, Jack also reported hearing Kirtland’s warblers singing at two other sites, but was unable to get visual confirmation. He will be checking those sites again in the days ahead.
Cowbird traps have been in operation at the Adams County site since April 23. As of May 18, USDA Wildlife Specialist Barry Benson reports a total of 160 cowbirds have been captured, consisting of 95 males and 65 females. This year, we have again deployed three traps, and plan to operate them through late June, similar to last year.