Cape May Songbird Stopover Project

Northern Parula

Weeks 3 & 4

Cape May Songbird Stopover Project

As we entered Week 3 of the banding season, we hoped that the uptick in migration that we had seen in mid-august would continue and we weren’t disappointed! The first few days of September brought steady pushes of birds and it kept us busy with over 100 birds captured on four out of our six banding days. Week four on the other hand was a mix of poor winds and rain that kept birds away, that is until the migratory “stars” aligned and sent 200 birds into our nets on Saturday September 11 for our biggest day of the season! The usual suspects led the way with American Redstarts and Common Yellowthroats accounting for nearly 50% of the total birds caught for the day.

Canada Warbler
SPECIES NAMEWeek 3Week 4Total
American Redstart104123227
Northern Waterthrush15061211
Common Yellowthroat9599194
Black-and-white Warbler312253
Traill’s Flycatcher242448
Red-eyed Vireo102535
Yellow Warbler27835
Northern Parula72229
Gray Catbird8816
Northern Cardinal11112
Carolina Wren8210
Ruby-throated Hummingbird639
Carolina Chickadee437
Great Crested Flycatcher516
White-eyed Vireo426
Black-throated Blue Warbler415
Magnolia Warbler325
Indigo Bunting404
Western Palm Warbler044
Yellow-breasted Chat314
Connecticut Warbler033
Tennessee Warbler033
Worm-eating Warbler123
Baltimore Oriole112
Blue-winged Warbler112
Cape May Warbler022
House Wren112
Canada Warbler011
Cooper’s Hawk011
Downy Woodpecker101
Eastern Wood-Pewee011
Louisiana Waterthrush101
Nashville Warbler101
Northern Mockingbird011
Prairie Warbler011
Song Sparrow101
Swainson’s Thrush011
Yellow-shafted Flicker011
# SPECIES293540

Across the two weeks, American Redstart (227), Northern Waterthrush (211), Common Yellowthroat (194), Veery (58), and Black-and-white Warbler (53) made up more than 70% of total birds we banded during Weeks 3 and 4. All together we captured just over 1,000 birds of 40 species! Some of the highlights for the two weeks were Connecticut Warbler, Canada Warbler, our first Western Palm Warblers and an influx of Veerys.

Connecticut Warbler

As we head into the second half of September, we expect to see the peak of warbler diversity as the bulk of these colorful birds pass us by. While we’ll be sad to see them go, we look forward to the start of thrush and sparrow migration. The first of our migrant Gray Catbirds are starting to trickle in and we captured our first Swainson’s Thrush of the year – a sure sign that fall is finally starting to settle in!

Young male American Redstart
Veery. Note the warm reddish-brown tones, pale breast spotting, and indistinct facial markings.