Autumn Songbird Banding at Rushton Farm – A Community Treasure

Male Blue-winged Warbler banded this September at Rushton. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
Male Blue-winged warbler banded this September at Rushton. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
Fall has arrived, which means 20 billion birds are burning through the night sky with the big dipper at their backs as they navigate the stars on their way to the tropics.  As you lie cozy in your bed, think of a tiny warbler —weighing no more than a third of an ounce —flying 200 miles by the time the sun comes up.  These amazing animals can accomplish such feats by cover of darkness because the nocturnal atmosphere is cooler and more stable, thus preventing against overheating and unnecessary energy expenditure.  Flying by night also allows songbirds to avoid diurnal birds of prey like hawks.  In addition, night commuting gives small birds, like American redstarts that must replenish diminutive fat reserves often,  the opportunity for daytime foraging in stopover sites.  Finding a suitable stopover site can mean the difference between life or death for an exhausted migrant.
White-eyed Vireo being released after banding. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
White-eyed Vireo being released after banding. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
First year male American redstart banded at Rushton this August. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
Hatching year male American Redstart banded at Rushton this August. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
Speaking of great stopover sites, our bird banding station at our bird friendly Rushton Farm is open for “birdness”!
All are welcome to observe banding every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 6-10:30 AM, weather permitting, from now through the first week of November.   Bird banding enables us to understand species diversity, abundance, population changes, habitat use and stopover ecology at Rushton.
Young Chestnut-sided warbler getting a band this August. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
Young Chestnut-sided warbler getting a band this August. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
 In addition, this Saturday 9/17 we will be holding our annual Songbird Banding Open House from 6-11 AM.  All ages are welcome.  WCT Junior Birding Club members are encouraged to bring a friend!  Come out to enjoy the stunning beauty of these neotropical migrants and learn about bird conservation.
Rushton Woods Preserve and Farm is located at 911 Delchester Road, Newtown Square, PA.
There’s a lot going on in the woods,
Blake
Native Field Thistle awaiting the buzz of pollinator activity in the early morning light at Rushton this August. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff
Native field thistle awaiting the buzz of pollinator activity in the early morning light at Rushton this August. Photo by Blake Goll/Staff

One Comment Add yours

  1. Diane PERALTA says:

    Thanks so much, beautiful thistle Diane Peralta

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