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Atlantic Flyway review: Piedmont-Coastal Plain Region IV - Fall 1997: Robbins Nest, Laurel, MD (390-0765)

January 1, 1998

The 25th year of fall banding at this back yard station atop the Patuxent River gorge between Laurel and the 1-95 bridge netted more birds of summer and winter resident species than migrants. Myrtle Warbler was the only one of the six commonest species captured that is primarily a transient here. My 5214 net-hours, my fourth highest, were 48% above the 24-year mean of 3512, but the only species to exceed their previous high were Carolina Chickadee and Magnolia Warbler. Part of the reason for my low catch per 100 net-hours in recent years is the dieoff of dogwood from anthracnose and destruction of the shrub layer in my mature woods by an overpopulation of deer. For the first time, deer destroyed three of my nets. We also had the driest summer in decades, which killed some of the shallow-rooted vegetation this year.

The greatest declines from last year were in catbird (51 to 32), Hermit Thrush ( 27 to 12 ), and Blackand-white Warbler (11 to 3), and the greatest increases were in Myrtle Warbler (2 to 34), Carolina Chickadee (6 to 36), and Tufted Titmouse (10 to 31). The biggest changes from the mean of the first five years (1973-77) to the most recent five years (1993-97), not corrected for the 147% increase in net-hours, are increases in Rubythroated Hummingbird (1.2 to 7.6 ), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1.8 to 11.6), Common Yellowthroat (5.0 to 17.6), and House Finch (0.2 to 6.0), and decreases in Swainson's Thrush (26.6 to 17.2), Gray-cheeked/Bicknell's Thrush (9.4 to 3.8), Scarlet Tanager (6.6 to 2.2), and American Goldfinch (3.0 to 0.4).

The oldest of my 39 returns were a six-year-old Gray Catbird and a five-year-old Carolina Chickadee. Two birds banded here during the fall migration of 1995 were found to the northeast of here in the summer of 1997: a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (8000-85102) in Philadelphia, PA, and a Hermit Thrush (1521-58503) at Wentworth, NH. A Savannah Sparrow was the 121st species banded on our suburban wooded hectare.

Publication Year 1998
Title Atlantic Flyway review: Piedmont-Coastal Plain Region IV - Fall 1997: Robbins Nest, Laurel, MD (390-0765)
Authors Chandler S. Robbins
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Bird Bander
Index ID 5223807
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center