Fall 2011 Migration Monitoring Begins

     Fresh on the heels of  summer banding in the prairies at our MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) sites we have launched into fall migration season. Although we kept busy with meetings, conferences, and the Missouri State Fair, a few weeks without banding seemed too long.
    As you may have noticed, birds are on the move. Shorebirds have been precursors to the passerines by migrating for the past month. Now the stray warblers, vireos, and fly-catchers are trickling in. We were pleased to band a few of these migrants on our first two days of the fall season at Van Meter State Park. There we have two banding sites. One banding station is run adjacent to the remnant marsh and the other on the hilltop. This week we will also be establishing a banding station at Foothills Park in Marshall.
     Already this fall we have been fortunate to band striking migrants like the Canada Warbler (left) and the Kentucky Warbler (below). Other birds include a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Mourning Warbler.
     North winds are beginning to prevail. With luck they just might bring us few more encounters with the amazing migrants. Keep your eyes peeled. They are little more challenging to see (and hear) than the spring migrants.

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