MARCH 12: Final Banding Report-- flock size down to ~35
Here is Nancy Cox's final report for the winter of 2016-17. Many thanks for keeping us informed!
Sandia Crest Rosy-Finch banding project report March 12, 2017
Today Rio Grande Bird Research newly banded 1 more Brown-capped Rosy-Finch. Previously banded birds that were recaptured included: 19 Brown-caps, 8 Black Rosy-Finches, and 1 Gray-crowned (interior).
The Rosies are heading back to their summer/breeding areas. Today we saw 2 flocks totaling about 35 birds in the area. Quite a difference in abundance from the 200 plus Rosies we were seeing just two weeks ago. Another sign that it is time for the Rosies to move on is the change in their bill color. They are showing a lot of black in their bills. So for the Rio Grande Bird Research team, this was the last day of banding Rosy-Finches for this season.
We also banded a male Hairy Woodpecker who entered one of our traps today.
The road was in great shape. We have not had any fresh snow in a while and the sun has been melting the remaining snow rapidly.
Thanks to the many volunteers who helped process the 244 newly banded Rosy-Finches we had this season and the 14 that were from previous seasons. Our plan is to start up again next November as soon as the Rosies make their appearance.