July Banding Activities
With the passing of June, we completed most of the banding demonstrations and programs for school and camp groups that were part of our calendar during the spring season. In the month of July, we were able to focus our complete attention on the research projects that we are conducting at the Hummer House. In the early part of the month, we were delighted to have our friends, Bob and Barbara Ware of Arizona, return to the Hummer House and assist us for several days in the gathering of data for these projects. Shortly after they left, we were joined by Christian Walker of Austin who also assisted us in these projects. It is always good to combine banding with seeing old friends.
A great deal of our attention for the month has been focused on banding Painted Buntings at our station areas around the ranch. The East Windmill Station proved to be a great site for gathering data for these birds. Like many of the other species that had very little breeding success last year, the Painted Buntings have had a good summer for breeding. We banded a large number of hatching year birds during the month and look forward to next spring and determining the rate of return for these young birds. We have observed a fairly large percentage of these hatching year birds with low weights and hunger bands indicating that many have had a difficult time finding resources once they fledged.
We also operated the South Concho River MAPS Station for two sessions during the month. We were happy to welcome a Boy Scout Group from San Angelo during the session at the end of the month. All of these scouts were working to earn their Birding Merit Badge. We demonstrated the data gathering techniques that we used for MAPS Stations and discussed the research goals for our station as well as allowing the scouts to see and identify the birds netted during that effort.