Cape’s Erratic Spring Weather Challenges Birds and Bird Banders

The Spring 2022 banding season was a study in extremes. It began with a combination of mid-April storms to the south, pushing migrating Hermit Thrushes, Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets north, and a fog bank forcing them to land on Cape Cod—a phenomenon known as a fall-out. As a result, we banded a record number of […]

As They Take Flight, Bird Banders Reflect on Fall Migration

Like the birds they’ve banded since September, assistant bird banders Nancy Ransom and Lila Fried are moving on to their overwintering locations. Both young women worked under the direction of master bander, James Junda, who oversees the sanctuary’s banding station as well as a station on South Monomoy in Chatham. The two split their time […]

Missing Bandito: Popular Banded Plover is No More

We often say that April and May are the best part of the coastal waterbird field season because Piping Plovers are returning and in full courtship mode. At that early stage, we’re usually feeling pretty hopeful. The season is too fresh to be marred by predators or stormy weather. This spring we were especially delighted to welcome back an […]

Spring Bird Banding: Waiting for the Right Wind

Having banded birds for 10 years in locations around the world, wildlife biologist James Junda has concluded that there’s only one reliable factor for forecasting whether a day will bring in a lot of spring migrants on Cape Cod: a southwest wind. Better yet– several days of southwest winds. “It’s not about temperature and it […]

Spring Brings Birds, Banding, and Snapshots

Years ago, spring always meant the return of bird banding and research at Wellfleet Bay. The Austin family, whose summer home was on what is now the wildlife sanctuary, operated an important bird research station from the 1930s through the 1950s. There was another period of banding here in the 1980’s. Four springs ago, after a […]

Tropical Weather and Bug Outbreak Reflected in Fall Bird Banding

Every banding season seems to have its memorable moments.  This year’s fall migration was marked by a tropical storm called Jose. Jose’s winds did a lot of crazy things with birds. Perhaps most significant was the extremely rare Masked Booby that was blown in to LeCount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. Late summer and fall featured a lot […]

Bird Banders Migrate to Wellfleet Bay from Different Ranges

There were two new faces at the bird banding table this fall while our master bander James Junda operates a second banding station out of South Monomoy. Banding assistants Mikayla Thistle and Frankie Tousley developed an interest in birds at opposite ends of the country. Mikayla, who’s from Massachusetts, was educated at Boston University and trained at the Manomet […]