Scoping Swallows

It’s swallow city at Interdam! There are tons of Tree Swallows scoping boxes at our most upstream site. Some of the other sites have been a bit more quiet. We haven’t seen any nests yet, only a couple early beginnings with 1 or 2 pieces of grass and a feather. Some boxes had lots of bird poo (birds using the box to roost), a couple had rat nests, a few spider webs, one box even had a pile of walnut shells (not sure where these came from since squirrels don’t fit in these holes). Anyhow, lots of prospecting now means lots of nests soon!

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Tree Swallow pair claiming a nestbox

On a side note, here’s a Rock Wren near Putah Creek, probably the same one from the post on March 16, 2017! Same spot as last year. 🙂

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Rock Wren

-Evelien de Greef

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Tree Swallow arrivals

Quite a few Tree Swallows seen at the creek this morning, I saw at least 20+ while birding near Old Davis Rd. At first I just heard a gurgle when I opened my car door and thought there would just be one or two, but there were quite a few flying around. They are here! I’m excited for more to come, I love seeing the creek so lively with Tree Swallows. Spring is near.

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Tree Swallow!!

-Evelien de Greef

House Wren re-sight

Birder Rick Williams observed a color banded House Wren along Willow Slough just southeast of Woodland. Based on the color band combination, we can see that this House Wren was from a box at Russell Ranch, banded (as a nestling) in mid-May this year from a brood of 6 chicks. This young wren traveled at least 12 miles from the Putah Creek to Woodland! Here are a couple photos from Rick:

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Banded House Wren (blue over silver on R leg, black over green on L leg) seen on 8/27/17. Photo: Rick Williams

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Banded House Wren seen again on 9/3/17. Photo: Rick Williams

Because of the color bands, we were able to pinpoint which nestbox and brood the bird was from. This is valuable information for us because then we can observe dispersal patterns. If you see any color banded birds around, please let me know! 🙂

-Evelien de Greef

Migrating Tree Swallows

I went birding at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area this morning and saw hundreds of Tree Swallows! This group is unlikely to include our banded Tree Swallows from our nestboxes, as these are probably migrating from further up north. But how cool would that be if one of these guys was one of our banded birds!

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And there was also one Barn Swallow in the group. He really stands out with his orange colors amidst the green/blues and whites of the Tree Swallows.img_7084

-Evelien

Ash-throated Flycatcher resighting

About a week ago, a color-banded Ash-throated flycatcher was seen a few miles west of Davis by Manfred Kusch. Based on its band colors and the match of a few of the digits from some photos, we found that this bird was banded in 2009 by Picnic Grounds. That means this bird is 7 years old!

Here’s a photo Manfred Kusch took:

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Ash-throated Flycatcher. Photo: Manfred Kusch

We have not used color bands the past couple years due to funding, but hopefully we can pick it up again. It can provide a lot of valuable information! Based on the color bands on this Ash-throated Flycatcher, we could tell which nest it was banded in, as each nest would have a different color combination and order.