It may be hard for some to accept, but FALL MIGRATION has already begun!!! (Sorry summer). In preparation for our fall migration banding season in the Navarre Marsh Unit of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, our research team has been hard at work the past week clearing lanes, trimming back grapevine, and setting up nets for the new season before our volunteers arrive. With an official start as of yesterday, the season has already started off in a great way. Being only the second capture record for fall in the history of the station, our team was ecstatic to catch this hatching-year male Kentucky Warbler.
Regarded more as a "southern warbler," Kentuckys are uncommon to rare in NW Ohio during spring migration, let alone fall. We'll never know where this bird came from (maybe Oak Openings, maybe Michigan, or maybe he just wanted to fly north before fall). But we do know that he visited Navarre Marsh.
Whether or not this represents a northern expansion of the species is impossible to say. Only further years of research will be able to determine that. But for now, it represents a remarkable encounter and the knowledge to be gained from science.
Stay tuned during fall migration for our daily banding updates and follow along to find out what our research team is hearing, seeing, and banding in the field. You can also support our research team's efforts by sponsoring a mist net.
Ryan Jacob, Ashli Gorbet, Mark Shieldcastle