by Education Intern Alie Mayes

Alie with a Great-Crested Flycatcher, a surprise catch at
our Grandfather Prairie MAPS site. 

MAPS Period three has just wrapped up for us here at MRBO and I think it’s a good time to take a moment to reflect over some of the events that have occurred so far this summer. 
MAPS is moving right along.  The sites, set-up, and procedures are becoming more familiar. We have caught some pretty cool species including Blue Grosbeak, Great Crested Flycatcher, and of course the   (nonexistent) Eurasian Meadowlark (really a juvenile European Starling…you just had to be there).
A day-old Purple Martin hatchling at landlord Randy Harlin’s
home just outside of Marshall, MO. 
June 8th and 9th we found ourselves attending the Schwartz Prairie Bio blitz hosted by the Missouri Prairie Foundation.  This event was full of great knowledge, people, and some pretty delicious food too!  Ny and I participated in workshops from Bats to Bryophytes. There was an especially good astronomy program. I had trouble turning in for the night because I wanted to keep listening to his presentation!

Purple Martin banding is in full swing for MRBO.  Daniel and I had a chance to go out for a couple hours with Dana the other day to see what it was all about. We were able to see a newly hatched Purple Martin. It was so small! It is amazing how quickly baby birds grow up!  Dana and Ethan work closely with Purple Martin landlords in Missouri to band many young (over 800 so far this year!). Of this population, only about 50% will make it through migration to next year. Of that 50%, about 10% will return to their original nesting site.   That means that if MRBO bands 100 Purple Martins at a nest site that 50 individuals, statistically speaking, will make it threw migration and only 5 of that 50 will come back to that exact nest site the next breeding season.  Because of this, everyone at MRBO hopes to hear from folks who have Purple Martin colonies in the areas around where we band.

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