Fall 1999 was among the poorest seasons in this banding station's 20 years of operation. Record high capture totals were set for only two species: Ruby-throated Hummingbird (41 individuals captured, none banded; previous high 21) and White-breasted Nuthatch (two individuals banded; previous high, one). The only other species that stood out as being unusually numerous was Blackpoll Warbler, for which the banding total (33 birds) was the highest since 1988. Bandings of several species (Red-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Ovenbird, Hooded Warbler, Canada Warbler, Eastern Towhee, and Field Sparrow) were at record lows, and bandings of many other species were below the long-term (1980-1998) mean.
The number of species banded was also below the long-term mean of 86 species, and tied the previous low. Possible contributing factors included drought conditions in Maryland and elsewhere in the East, which may have influenced nesting productivity and migration dates for some species; Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd, which influenced East Coast weather through much of September; the unprecedented scarcity of Hercules' Club (Aralia spinosa) fruits at the banding station; and occasional visits by a gray fox, which reduced operation of some nets in October and November. A season highlight was the August capture of 37 Red-eyed Vireos banded at this station in previous years, including a bird banded in August 1989. These are almost certainly locally nesting birds that feed on the abundant fruits of Viburnum dentatum in the powerline right-of-way in late summer.
Regular assistants at the banding station included Woody Martin, Susie Michaelson, Jane Nicolich, Gemma Radko, Jack Saba, Julie Tomita, and Laurie Walter. Danny Bystrak and Mary Gustafson each served as bander-in-charge on several mornings.
|Title||Atlantic Flyway review: Piedmont-Coastal Plain, Region IV, Fall 1999: Patuxent powerline right-of-way (390-0764)|
|Authors||Deanna K. Dawson|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||North American Bird Bander|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center|