Biennial Report 2018-2019 - Page 5

1,400+ birds banded for research at our properties Red-shouldered Hawk - Photography by Harold A. Davis Young Mourning Warbler - Photography by Ian Stewart migration, such as Eastern Meadowlarks. His work continued into summer where he confirmed breeding by several species including Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Yellowthroats and Field Sparrows, a declining species of conservation concern. Most of these breeding birds were found in the natural areas as these remain un-mowed to allow birds to breed successfully. The counts continued into fall where he found significant numbers of sparrows and insecteating birds such as Palm Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the meadows of the natural areas. These meadows were not mowed until the following spring which provided an excellent resource for these birds to feed and shelter during the winter months. This research highlighted the bird diversity found throughout Coverdale Farm Preserve and illustrated the value of preserving meadow habitat year-round. This comparative meadow field study work will continue throughout 2020. Nest Watch and Ashland Hawk Watch Through our Nest Watch program, in 2018 a remarkable total of 753 young birds fledged and were mostly Tree Swallows, House Wrens, and Eastern Bluebirds. The network of over 200 nest boxes spread across our properties are monitored weekly by a team of dedicated volunteers. The data is shared with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Nest Watch to study the current condition of breeding bird populations and how they may be changing over time as a result of climate change, habitat degradation and loss, expansion of urban areas, and the introduction of non-native plants and animals. For more than a decade, the Ashland Hawk Watch continues to provide important data about bird migration. In 2018-2019, more than 100 volunteers helped as spotters and data recorders for a combined 1,700 hours. A total of 27,813 migrant raptors were counted including fourteen raptor species such as Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrels. The Bird Conservation and Research Program is made possible through the funding, generous support and numerous partnerships including: Starrett Foundation, The Brokaw Family, Shrieking Meadow Foundation, Delaware Ornithological Society, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Longwood Gardens, and individual donors. Photograph: Wood Thrush Singing 5