I was training for bird banding at our local MAPS banding station yesterday and this morning (although we were rained out today). The banding station I'm working at this summer is Vassar Meadows near Deary, about 20 miles east of Moscow. I do not run the station but visitors are welcome and I can provide more information if you are interested.
Yesterday we were banding out at Bloom Meadows on the East Fork Potlatch R. which is near Bovil, ID (actually just into Clearwater Co. if I'm reading the DeLorme right). One of the first birds we caught in the nets was a WILLOW FLYCATCHER that was caught at almost this exact spot same time last year (early June, 2004). In many species individuals return to the same place to nest in successive years (technical term = philopatry). Therefore banding in the same location in successive years can be used to estimate survivorship in that area. That is one of the goals of the MAPS program. The other is to estimate productivity = the number of young birds successfully fledged during the breeding season. Fledged young are captured in the nets
later in the breeding season and an index of productivity can be generated from this data. MAPS = Measuring Avian Productivity and Survivorship
The banding station is operated approx. every 10 days during the breeding season. There are > 500 MAPS stations across the U.S. including a number in our region (some of the banders are on inland birders and probably getting their stations going now!). Okay enough for the lecture.
We also banded an AMERICAN REDSTART at Bloom Meadows and - you can see a photo of it here.