Operation recovery--report on mist netting along the Atlantic coast in 1958


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Operation Recovery, 1958, resulted in the banding of 20,221 birds during August, September and October at the 18 most active netting stations on and near the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to Virginia. Banding totals for the more common species in the months of August and September were compared with totals for the same period in the preceding year. The Catbird was the only common species that registered a general decline in 1958. A summary of banding activity at each station is given. At Middletown, R.I., 72 specimens of 2 species of Hippoboscidae and one tick were collected from netted birds. One additional direct recovery and 6 subsequent recoveries of 1957 birds are listed and mapped together with several from October 1957 bandings (after the O.R. period). Ten direct recoveries of 1958 birds, including two from South America, also are listed and mapped. The relation between the weather and the arrivals of migrants at the coastal stations is analyzed with special reference to the period September 4-24, when a number of stations were manned simultaneously. All the large waves of migrants followed closely after the passage of cold fronts through the coastal areas. Largest numbers usually coincided with a sharp temperature drop in the Northeast and a strong flow of Polar air from the NW. Several waves in September were delayed for one or two days by areas of cloud and rain behind the cold fronts. In one unusual case when cloudy, wet weather persisted for several days over southern New England, some birds appear to have started to migrate under totally overcast skies; but complete analysis of this situation is complicated by the simultaneous arrival of other birds from clear areas to the northeast. Migration usually declined at the coastal stations as the high pressure cells moved eastward and the NW winds dropped; but movements of Catbirds usually continued or even strengthened under these conditions. Waves of Yellow-breasted Chats frequently occurred at the coastal stations in SW winds within Tropical warm sectors, and it is suggested that the birds were arriving from the southwest. Such movements appear to coincide with arrival of many other southern and western birds in the Northeast, and there is circumstantial evidence that these movements are shared also by a number of more common species.

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Operation recovery--report on mist netting along the Atlantic coast in 1958
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Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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