By Sarah Díaz for Island Connection
The Sullivan’s Island bird-banding station has had an eventful two weeks. The biologists have banded a handful of new species, which brings their species total for the station to 64.
Some of the new species include the Baltimore Oriole, Bell’s Vireo, Great-crested Flycatcher, and Northern Parula. The Sullivan’s Island crew has four biologists working to study the migratory birds that are passing through the Protected Land at Station 16.
As of Tues. Sept. 27, they have banded 427 birds so far in Fall 2016 and 1,317 birds since they first opened in Fall 2015. Banding birds enables biologists to learn more about their longevity, site fidelity during breeding and migration and also helps to create an accurate census of the many species that are passing through a specific area during migration. The discovery of a Bell’s Vireo on Sullivan’s Island is noteworthy.
This species’ summer range is in the Western U.S., and they are classified as vagrants in South Carolina. Strangely enough, the bird-banding station on Kiawah Island banded another Bell’s Vireo around the same week that the Sullivan’s Island station did.
If you would like to see more photos of the birds being banded on Sullivan’s Island, visit facebook.com/sullivansislandbirds.