John Rappole Speaks!

John Rappole, the scientist whose work on shifting bird breeding ranges forms the basis for the scientific goals of the CONE Welder installation, sent a few comments to an email thread with Ken Goldberg (the robotics researcher who is one of the main people behind the CONE project). I was lucky enough to be included on that thread, and John Rappole said it would be okay if I reposted his comments to the blog, so here they are:


I checked out the blog. They got just the kind of shots that we had hoped for the Green Jay. Silver left, Green right and Silver left, Black right were both part of a group of six birds that were captured on 30 April at 0700h near the feeders. All six are probably non-breeders (unknown sex and age with no brood patch or cloacal protuberance), probably young of the year from last year. Time will tell. I am hoping that Solon Morse, who is on-site working on rapid range change documentation at Welder for me, will be able to catch one or more of the breeding jays in the vicinity.

It looks like the bloggers are having fun on their own, and their guesses are on target so far – Baltimore Oriole, Painted Bunting, Louisiana Waterthrush, Barn Swallow, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Indigo Bunting, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, and European Starling are all correct. The only one I would question is the photo shown above the Indigo Bunting entry, which I think is probably a robin rather than a starling – but it doesn’t really matter. I think I will just keep out of the blog, and let them do what they want to do. Responding to their questions could become a full time job!



So there you go. It sounds like what we’re doing is definitely proving useful, especially with the identification of banded birds. With that in mind, here are a few banded-bird shots from the last few days.

First is this shot that txbird took on May 5, showing a rain-soaked Green Jay with a silver band on each leg:

And here’s what I believe is probably a female Brown-headed Cowbird photographed by txbird on May 6, showing a silver band on the right leg (left leg not visible):

Keep those banded-bird shots coming!

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