Bird banding in southern California

While working for National Audubon in beautiful southern California I managed a MoSI banding station for the winter. These banding stations are part of a large network monitoring overwinter survival of songbirds. The network has consistently grown to include stations in many states and location in Central and South America. We mist netted and banded a large variety of wintering species and a few migrants in early spring, some of the more exciting birds included Red-breasted Sapsucker, Acorn Woodpecker, and Wrentit. Below are a few photos of California and banding.

southern California has an incredible landscape

Starr Ranch, southern California Photo Stephan Lorenz

Wrentits are an amazing California specialty, their unique song bounces from dense thickets on steep slopes, one of my favorite species in North America.

Wrentit banded in southern California, Photo Stephan Lorenz

Yellow-rumped Warbler banded and released in southern California, Photo Stephan Lorenz

Bewick’s Wrens were common residents, by the beginning of the spring the banding site was literally invaded by House Wrens and we banded scores of them.

Bewick's Wren banded in southern California, Photo Stephan Lorenz

Birds were not the only wildlife and Mountain Lions actually were almost common here, while I never managed to photograph one, fresh tracks were seen almost daily.

Mountain Lion track southern California, Photo Stephan Lorenz

In addition to banding I also worked on a project surveying the threatened coastal Cactus Wren, a subspecies that is pretty distinct from the desert form and thrived on the Audubon Starr Ranch.

coastal Cactus Wren habitat southern California, Photo Stephan Lorenz

 

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