ICE Ecologist Bands Most Birds in North America in 2009


During the 2009 field season, ICE ecologist Dr. Bob Meese and his banding team banded 18,416 tricolored blackbirds (Agelaius tricolor).  Reportedly, this is the most individuals of any bird species banded in North America in 2009.  From April 13th to July 27th, Bob and his team banded at 6 sites in 4 counties:

  1. 2 sites in Kern
  2. 2 sites in Yolo
  3. 1 site in Yuba
  4. 1 site in Colusa

The team banded birds for 287 hours, an average of 64 birds/hour, or more than a bird a minute!  The banded birds were 25% males, 74.6% females and 0.4% hatch-year birds, which are not assigned to a sex.  In addition, Bob recaptured 328 birds that he had previously banded, helping to document tricolor movements through space and time.  With this year's effort, Bob and his team have now banded 25,362 tricolors in 3 years, about 6.25% of all tricolors in California.  The trapping and banding methods employed are subjects of forthcoming articles in two journals: 

  • California Fish and Game
  • North American Bird Bander