This is the second in a two-part series on the October 11th banding session at Seven Islands State Birding Park, Tennessee, with Mark Armstrong and Billie Cantwell banding. The first post can be found at this link: A Palm Warbler Kind of Day
Photo credit: Patty Ford
Fall is always an exciting season as migrants are moving through the area and wintering species are just arriving. Seven Islands provides a unique and exciting habitat for studying birds. Situated on more than 410 acres along the French Broad River, the park offers a combination of shrubby and native grassland habitat with food sources that attract many migrating warblers, wintering sparrows and other species.
Above, a female Hooded Warbler. Hooded warblers breed in eastern North America, including Tennessee, and winter in the West Indies, Mexico, to Panama. They live and forage in low, dense understory, often near water. Photo credit: Colin Leonard
Banding team members return from the nets to bring birds back to the banding station.
Above, Billie Cantwell places a band on an Indigo Bunting. Birds are banded and then examined for information that helps to identify their age, sex, and relative health at the time they were captured.
If it is possible to determine the sex of the bird, this information is also recorded, along with the amount of fat found on the bird's belly. A large amount of fat during migration indicates a healthy, well-nourished bird.
All of the data collected is recorded on a banding sheet, shown above, and will be reported to the United States Geological Banding Laboratory. Photo credit: Colin Leonard
In the image above, Mark Armstrong is about to touch an Eastern Phoebe's bill, but he gets a surprise. The phoebe snaps his beak making a loud clap. Phoebes are known to snap their bills during aggressive territorial interactions with other phoebes.
Visit the first post in this two-part report on banding: A Palm Warbler Kind of Day
Visit my previous posts on bird banding
Visit the Knoxville Chapter of TOS on Facebook
Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge now Seven Islands State Birding Park