Document 129540

Some notes on Painted Buntings
Samuel1•.and Isabel H. Tipton
We now have been banding Painted Buntings
(Passarinaciris) with aluminum and coloredbands
at Long Beach, North Carolina for five summers
(1973-1977).Mere are some of the observationswe
have made.
The birds we band are close to the northern limits
of their breeding range. We do not see the
behaviorin themale thatis reportedby
South Carolina observers. In fact, our birds, male
and female, are shyand the nestsare well hidden.
The multi-colored
malesbegintoarrive aroundthe
17th of April, and the latest observationof either
males was 67.5 • 1.9 (range, 63-73); for multicolored males 68.5 ß 1.5 (range,65-73);for green
males 66.0 ñ 1.0 (range, 63-67). In eight males
banded when green and returning multi-colored
the wing chordincreased2.4 ñ 1.5 (range,1-6).The
value for 11 provenfemaleswas 64.0ß 1.7 (range,
61-67).The wing length tends to increasewith age
in both males and females.
Wing Chord Criteria usedby us for sexinggreen
Painted Buntings:
Skull incompletely ossified in late summer and
fall, may showsmall'windows'throughfirstspring
Wing chord 66 mm or more.. MY/SY-M
Wing chord62 mm or less... MY/SY-F
sex at our station has been the third week in
September.One individual that we banded as a
green SY male in May 1973was the first one back
(multicolored)in 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977. We
rarely see a colored bird after the middle of
August,the excitingexceptionhavingoccurredon
21 September1977,when we had two birds that
had not been seensincethey were banded on 21
Julyand 23 JulyasgreenSY malesto come bacl•as
shiningmulticoloredmales--their moltscomplete
exceptfor waxy sheathson primaries8 and 9. This
observationsupportsErma Fisk's contention that
the green malesbecomemulti-coloredat the complete (post-nuptial)molt of the secondyear. (Fisk,
We have banded 32 proven males (13 multicoloredand 19 green with cloacalprotuberances,
of which 8 returned multi-coloredthe following
summer);11 provenfemales(by broodpatch)and
36 greenbirds of unprovensex (27MY, 1 SY, and 8
AMY). Thirteen males, four females, and one of
unknown sex returned the following year, five
males and one female returned the secondyear,
two males the third year, and one the fourth year
followingthe year of banding.This year, 1977,with
eightMY birds, was the mostsuccessful
year so far, as determinedby our nettingrecords.
We have seen one proven green male singing
territoriallybut we did not observenestor young.
Wing chord63-65mm .......
Skull completelyossified
Wing chord 64 mm or less... AMY-F
Fisk, Erma J. 1974. Wintering populationsof
Painted Buntings in southern Florida. BirdBanding45:353-359.
113 W. 23rd Street Long Beach,Southport,NC
Color-markedTurkey Vultures
and Black Vultures
White vinyl wing markers have been placed on
Black and Turkey Vultures near Blacksburg,
Virginia, in a studyof their movements.
Persons who observe such marked
The wing chords for our birds averaged slightly
lower than thoseFisk reported (1974).Our values
asked to note the species,wing marker, and date
and locationof the sighting.Send this information
to the Bird BandingLaboratorywith a copy to Irvine D. Prather, Dept. of Biology,Virginia PolytechnicInstituteand StateUniversity,Blacksburg,
in millimeters
ß one standard
for all
Vol. 3, No. 1
Tree Sparrowrecoveryand return
A Tree Sparrow (Spizellaarborea) No. 1360-75876
was banded on I February 1975 by Dr. Maurice
Broun,at New Ringold,PA. On 23December1975I
trapped this bird at Lake Bluff near Wolcott,NY.
On 9 February 1977 this Tree Sparrow was
recapturedby Dr. Broun at the originalplace of
A comprehensive
bibliographyof'the North and
SouthAmericanmartins(Prognespp.)is currently
in preparation.It will includeall papersdealing
solely or partly with martins, except local
annotated checklists.Authors wishing to have
JohnH. Buckalew
should send an abstract or
reprint to Charles R. Brown, Box 1309, Austin
Ed. Note: Wolcottis 200milesNW of New Ringold.
Nest site tenacity
of a Scarlet Tanager
On 15 May 1977I capturedan AHY F Scarlet
Tanager (Pir•nga Olivacea) with a large brood
patch, at a banding station in the Ramapo
Mountainsof New Jersey.The bird was taken to a
location0.2mi. from the siteof capturefor banding
and recording.
After banding,the bird accidentallyescaped(we
usually return birds to the trapping site for
releasel.I notedthat it flew up and over the cabin
in the generaldirectionof the trappingsite.Fifteen
minuteslater the bird wasfound againin the same
net of the originalcapture.
The tanagerwas very docile and did not bite as
forcefullyas the othertanagerscaptured.
Two Wood Thrushes
and a Hermit
broodpatcheswere observedin the samearea, but
the tanagerappearednot to notice them. It was
somewhatsurprisingto find these speciesin so
closea proximity to one another.
Frederick S. Schaeffer
Editors' note
In the last issueof NABB (Vol. 2, No. 4, pg. 164),
pleasenotethat the exerptfrom Bird Bandingwas
reprintedwith thekindpermissionof theEditorof
Jan.-Mar. 1978
Requestfor informationon cowbirdnestlings-I am studyinggeographical
variationin the gape
colorationof nestlingBrown-headedand Bronzed
Cowbirds.In somelocalitiesthe rictal flangesand
tomiaare yellow, in other areasthey are white. A
preliminaryreporton thisstudywill appearearly
in 1978 in The Auk.
Since more information
needed.I would greatly appreciatereceivingthe
followingtypesof data from any location:colorationof the rictal flanges,tomia,mouthinterior and
eye-lidsof cowbirdand hostnestlings(if the latter
are presentI, host species,precise locality data,
and date.
The information
on coloration
is best if based on
observationsof live nestlings; however colored
photographsare alsovaluable.My studieswould
benefitif I had the opportunityto personallyinspectcoloredphotosbut thisis not a necessity.
Most nestlingswill probably have rictal flanges
and tomia that can be describedas clearly yellow
or clearlywhite,but if youwishto reportdatawith
greateraccuracy,and especiallyif the colorseems
intermediate, the nestling cowbird can be compared againsta colorstandard.Page250and251in
Birdsof North America by Robbinset al. showthe
headsof warblersandpresentnumerousshadesof
yellow.Theseshadesof yellow (or othersappearing in Robbins)can be matchedwith thoseof live
nestlings.-- StephenI. Rothstein,Departmentof
BiologicalSciences,Universityof California,Santa
Barbara, CA. 93106.
North American Bird Bander
The humanside of bird banding
Thisletter waswritten by a PeaceCorpsVolunteer
in the Philippinesto H. Elliott McClure (now of
Camarillo,CA). Dr. McClure was in chargeof the
Migratory Animal Pathological Survey in
Southeast Asia at the time. The bird mentioned
"string"about1/2of an inch apart.This set-up,on
thepeak of a mountain,is stoodup andheld in the
shapeof a "V", the point to the ground.The net is
heldby a person,who,hishandplaced4 feet up
thepoles,either squatsor sits,waitingfor a bird to
fly into the net.To attractthe birds,to fly to and
hopefullyinto the net, a Petromax(a pressurized
kerosenelamp)is placedontheground,a few feet
to the right and behind the man holdingthe net.
was a Brown Shrike (Laniuscristatus)bandedthe
previous September as it crossedTaiwan on its
way from China to Luzon.
30 September1967
The net, soit is believed,mustbe facingWest.The
Dear Sir:
environmental conditions must also be correct:
Your'bird, number45324,showedup in Sagada
and haplessly(for it) flew into a net setup for ex-
Manila (approximately
17ø Lat.,121ø Longitude)
and sitsat an elevation of 5,000feet. The bird,
however,was caughton a mountainpeak,a short
walk from Sagada(mostlystraightup), and
perhapsanother1,000feet in elevationhigherthan
Becauseof its elevation,Sagada(andthe restof the
MountainProvince)hasa quasitemperateclimate.
Quite differentfrom the rest of the Philippines.
From what I can gather,the people of Sagada,as
well as the restof MountainProvince(Igorors),
havebeengoingup on the mountainpeaksto net
birds for as longas anyonecan remember.The
fellow who I gobird-nettingwith inheritedhis net
from his grandfather,who wove the net many
yearsagousingthebark of a specialtree.In times
past,birds caughtwere an importantsourceof
meat to the community;now, however,I believe it
is mostlydonefor sport,althoughthe birdsnetted
are eatenasnumber44324will probablybe. (45324
is now alive,but it cannot fly due to its collision
with the net and the subsequentstrugglethat ensued,betweenman andbird. We will attemptto
nurseit back to health and get it off the ground
again-- althoughit is quite doubtfulthatwe will
be successful.
If the bird doesfly again,we will
sendit backto HongKong;if it doesn't,we will eat
Perhapsyouwill find the methodsusedby the
Igororsto net birdsinteresting.The net, about10
feetwide, taperingdownfromabout10feet at the
top to about3 feet at the bottom,is stretchedon
andattachedto twobamboopoleswhichare about
14 feet in height.The net is madeof twistedbark
nettingof birdsis onlydoneat night;it mustbe a
cloudynight,with thecloudslow enoughto sweep
over the peakswhere the nettingis done.It is best
if the cloudsare blowingfrom Eastto West,thus
sweepingfrom behind,over,and away from the
directionthenet is facing.There are usuallybirds
in the Eastwind; althoughthereare, sotheysay,
birdless,Eastwind clouds.Sometimes,but rarely,
thereare birdsfoundin cloudsgoingin other
directions,but theremustbe cloudspresent.If
there are no clouds, there will be no birds. I went
up lastnightto try my luck;freezingon the mountain top,I waited for cloudsfrom 8pm until 4am
(theseare the usual timesfor netting),but during
this time no cloudsblew by; I caughtno birds.
The birdsthat the peoplecatchmustmostlybe
migratoryones,becausetheyjustnet duringa part
of the year: from the middle of Septemberto the
last of December.45324was caughtthe 27thof
We, here, supposethatyouare studyingthe migrationof thesebirds,but in a way thisseemsa little
illogical(tome, anyway),becausewho would ever
catch these birds in the courseof their flight?Of
course,youwere rightin thiscase,but it seemslike
Igororscatchingthesebirdsto eat wouldbe the exception-- mostpeopleswould not bother (the
birds are so small!),and if one doesn'tcatchthem
he certainlycouldn'tread your addresson the
band.Or are youstudyingthe totaltime elapsed
that the birds take to get back to HongKongafter
We wouldbe very interestedin and appreciate
45324and itskind.And anyhelp we couldgiveyou,
we will gladlydo so.
Peace Corps