We have completed three years of a continuing migration study that is centered at the Hummer House in Christoval. Texas. Weekly banding efforts are conducted there from mid August through October and then in late March through May. These times correspond with the most active portions of the spring and fall migrations. The extended drought throughout the region has underscored the importance of the riparian corridors as migration routes for a wide range of passerine birds. Two of our station sites have nets along a riparian corridor. With water and food in short supply, many species have concentrated along these corridors. This has resulted in banding rates much higher than in the previous years of our study.
In previous years, most banding of Painted Buntings has taken place at the feeding ground near the headquarters. We have conducted our first season of banding Painted Buntings at station sites that are remote from the ranch headquarters. The Painted Buntings banded at these sites are representative of the populations outside the influence of the feeding area. We anticipate adding an additional remote station site during 2012. The extended drought greatly influenced breeding success in these sites. Only a small percentage of birds were able to produce offspring during the 2011 season.
We have established a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) station along the South Concho River near the Hummer House. Operation of this station began in May during the 2011 breeding. A complete report of the 2011 season is available on this web site.