Harbor Herons Project: Banding Update

Kate Ruskin of the N.J. Audubon Society reports:

    This year, we banded Great Egrets on South Brother Island (Bronx) and Hoffman Island (Staten Island); Glossy Ibises on Hoffman and Canarsie Pol (Jamaica Bay in Queens); and Double-crested Cormorants on Swinburne Island (Staten Island). 
    We tagged about 40 Great Egrets with both color bands and radio transmitters for some of the biggest fledglings, and about 20 Glossy Ibises with color bands.   
   We color-banded about 200 cormorants in just 2 (exhausting) days, a new record for us.  Finally, we put just metal USFWS bands on about 40 Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. 
   I'll give you the final numbers soon once we go through all the data, but here are some pictures in the meantime:

Here's NYCA's Liz Craig with one of this year's radio-tagged GREGs.  The transmitters have an alphanumeric code on them, black letters/numbers on a white "band".  About 10 of the 40 tagged GREGs have radio transmitters, plus (hopefully!) you'll see some of the 17 radio-tagged GREGs from last year.

   Click here for earlier posts on the Harbor Heron Project.

   Click "Continue reading…" for the rest of Kate's report. Thanks, Kate!

  Of the GREGs that were only color-banded, birds from Hoffman Island have black letters on white bands, while birds from South Brother Island have black letters on green bands, like this bird DO.

Here's a GREG after it's been USFWS-banded (right leg), radio-tagged (left), and inked.  We put ink on either the birds' necks (South Brother) or bellies (Hoffman) mostly to help us avoid catching the same birds multiple times, but the ink should last for a few weeks so keep an eye out for that too please.

Here's an adorable little ibis chick being measured and banded.  One of our colleagues, Charlie Clarkson from UVA, measured their wings, bills, legs and sampled reguritant and feces (that's why this bird is wearing a ziploc baggie like a diaper).  The GLIBs were banded with a USFWS metal band (right leg) and a black letters on white color band (left).

Here are a bunch of banded DCCOs from last week's big banding victory– with help from NY City Parks employees and our project's own Adam Osborn, we banded about 160 fledglings in one day!

Another victory of that day was spotting J38, a bird that was banded on Swinburne Island in 2006, back home at the colony!  This is our first resighting at a colony, so after 4 seasons of banding, we were thrilled.

Finally, Liz is running a project that includes taking feather samples and banding gull chicks.  Here are two chicks running off after being banded.  They don't look happy, but hopefully we'll see them again.

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