Chico Fall Bird Banding Seasonal Report
Category: Birding at the Chico

 The fall bird banding season is over, sad but true. This season produced the usual birding excitement and some drama with three different bird banders at different times anchoring the team. The best bird was one that didn't get caught, what will become the first Colorado record of Tropical Kingbird discovered very close to the banding station nets by a 17-year-old and his two younger brothers.  Although the eastern species, Baltimore Oriole, makes an annual appearance at Chico, the one banded this fall was the first ever for Chico. Even better, Chico's first record, and therefore, the fist ever banded here, Pacific Wren was measured, studied, photographed from multiple angles and high-fives were given between the few of us in attendance after it was released back into the wild. The second ever Chico Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was also caught, but because of the difficulty in the identification of flycatchers in the Empidonax genus the bander thought it best not to put a metal band on the cool little flycatcher. Measurements and photographic documentation later proved the bird to be what we thought it was, one of the few confirmed records of this species in Colorado.  

Rain necessitated the nets to be closed on three days but still the total number of birds banded was a respectable 911 representing 60 bird species and two additional distinct subspecies.  Also exciting was the strong influx of mountain species indicating a lack of food in some neighboring mountain regions. Every season is different and I am already looking forward to the late April beginning of the next Chico banding season.

Posted by Bill M. on 10/07/2017
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