Category Archives for // banding
October 9, 2017

Bird Banding Recap

A glimpse into the richly variegated world of Pink-sided Juncos, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

September 26, 2016

Northern Saw-whet Owl x3

Prior to Saturday there had been zero Northern Saw-whet Owls banded on the Chico and only two had been seen.  But, on Saturday Laura-Marie caught and banded Chico’s first and then today, Monday, she caught Chico’s second (and two days later a third was caught).  Here volunteer banding assistant, Dr. Anna Joy gets to release the bird before she had to leave to teach anatomy/physiology to a bunch of college students.

Called Saw-whet because one of its calls resembles the sound

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September 16, 2016

Rare Bird: Prothonotary Warbler

One of the warblers every birder wants to see is Prothonotary Warbler.  The name comes for the very bright yellow that was compared to the yellow hoods of papal notaries. A better name, and one which was historically used for this species, is “Golden Swamp Warbler” which accurately describes both the color and the location where this species breeds.  It is in fact a swamp species and one of only two warblers who nests in tree cavities.  The closest to

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September 13, 2016

Cooper’s Hawk Caught

Accipiters like this Cooper’s Hawk feed primarily on birds. Their long tail and relatively short rounded wings enable them to fly rapidly through a forest in pursuit of prey unlike Buteos whose broad wings are made for soaring.  The the dark vertical bands on the breast of the Cooper’s Hawk indicate a young bird (orangey horizontal breast bands in adults).  Laura-Marie extracted, measured, and posed with this very cool bird at the Chico Banding Station. Male accipiters are noticeably smaller

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September 9, 2016

Bird Banding Techniques

The process of extracting a bird sometimes tangled badly in a mist net and then examining wing, bill, and feathers, while looking at fat reserves, eye color, feather molt, and other body characteristics takes many years of practice to keep the bird healthy before release. Common Grackles are common in spring and fall but usually avoid the Chico net lanes most years, but they have become one of the more commonly caught species this September. Here, Bird Conservancy of the

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September 8, 2016

Rare Chico Warbler

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ fall biologist/bird bander, Laura Marie Koitsch, captured, photographed (above) and banded a rarely seen (in Colorado) Canada Warbler this morning at the Chico banding station. This species has been seen a few times on Chico but this is the first one to be captured at the banding station since its inception. Canada Warbler, as the name implies, breeds north of us and mostly in the East, but they do breed due north of Colorado in

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September 7, 2016

Fall Bird Banding

During September the most commonly caught bird on the Chico is almost always Wilson’s Warbler (photo). They are an abundant breeding species from Alaska all across Canada to the eastern Canadian provinces and they are most common in the West. However, so far this fall, both the large Brown Thrasher and the diminutive House Wren have been caught and banded way more times than Wilson’s Warblers; the warblers just beginning to show up in the nets. The amount of black

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August 20, 2016

Bird Banding Beings September 1st

Chico is a bird migrant trap. Southbound birds heading to the southern U.S., Mexico, and for some species even to South America need to stop to restore their fat reserves.  A great place for them to do that is at Chico Basin Ranch. School groups, new birders and veterans alike, all see an amazing array of bird species at Chico.  Why don’t they look like they do in Spring? Come to the Banding Station to find out.  How do you

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May 21, 2016

The Smallest Oriole

Sexual dimorphism is here displayed by the brick-colored male Orchard Oriole and the yellow female. Orchard Oriole is an eastern species who breeds no farther west than western El Paso and Pueblo counties and it breeds on the Chico.  They arrive in mid- to late May and depart early, as early as mid-July since they only produce one brood per year.  They are a tropical species wintering from southern Mexico south to northern South America.  The males are stunning and

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