In June of 2015, Delaware Nature Society began a Bird Banding project to compare the use of two early-successional areas, one at Ashland Nature Center, and one at Bucktoe Creek Preserve, by migrating and breeding species of birds.
Bird Bander Ian Stewart, ran the project through November, and was able to capture and band 413 birds of 37 species. Many of these were caught in mist-nets, and others were obtained as nestlings in bird boxes on the properties. The study included nest box species focusing on Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows to determine their fledging times and rates. Color bands were placed on Eastern Bluebirds to determine site-fidelity of the species, and whether the same individuals winter and summer at Ashland Nature Center and Bucktoe Creek Preserve respectively. The baseline data from the pilot program will be used to refine the approach to a three-year study that will commence in April 2016, to test a hypothesis about breeding and migratory bird use of different early successional habitat regimes in the Red Clay Valley.
Read the full study report:
Stewart, I. and Sebastiani, J. (2015) Results from a bird banding pilot study at Ashland Nature Center and Bucktoe Creek Preserve. Delmarva Ornithologist. Vol 44, pages 15 - 21