by Tom Bartlett
September 21st through September 26, the 6th annual Middle Bass Island Fall bandout was held at the East Point Preserve. The banding team of Tom and Paula Bartlett were assisted by Lisa Brohl, John & Peggy Leopold, Cheri Everson, Tina Larson, Shane Roberts, Nancy Welter, and Julene Market. In addition, 28 individuals stopped by to observe the banding process. Nets were up by 6:30 AM each morning and down at 4:00 PM each day. A total of 95 individual birds were captured. 82 of the captured birds received new bands and 14 were recaptured birds with bands. Of the 82 birds banded, four were new for the island list of banded species. They were Cooper’s Hawk, Mourning Dove, Eastern Screech-Owl, and Northern Parula. One of the recaptured birds, a Black-capped Chickadee, was originally banded in 2010. Since beginning this project in 2009, 74 species of birds and 1058 individuals have been banded. A three year old male Downy Woodpecker, banded on September 22 was the 1000th bird banded on the island. This research clearly shows the importance of the Lake Erie islands to migrant birds. Our biggest news of the project came on September 19 when Tom received word from the Bird Banding Laboratory that a hatch-year Baltimore Oriole which banded on the island July 17, 2014 was recaptured near Minatitlan, Mexico on September 17, 2014. That is a distance of 1777 miles, straight line, and you know birds don’t fly in straight lines. This one of the major reasons we band birds!