Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 18:29:00 -0500
Reply-To: Giff Beaton <giffbeaton@MINDSPRING.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Giff Beaton <giffbeaton@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: Henslow's Sparrows
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GAbbers: For the last three days a team of sparrow researchers from Ohio
State University lead by Siri Ibarguan and I toured south GA looking for
Henslow's Sparrows. Here are the results of our searches (areas with no
results ommitted, of which there were many):
Chatham County: powerline at Bush Road north of GA 204, DeLorme 55 B9, 1
LeConte's. This is a very dry area, full of briars and very tough on pants
McIntosh County: powerline on private property, no public access (sorry).
11 Henslow's found, 5 captured, banded, and released.
Glynn County: Paulk's Pasture WMA, on "Main Road", the entrance with the
Check Station, along the powerline 0.2 miles west of US 341, DeLorme 63 C6.
17 Henslow's found, 7 captured, banded and released. 2 LeConte's, many
Brooks County, a pitcher plant bog, and Colquitt County, another bog, both
without public access (although the Colquitt site may become open soon): no
Henslow's found, in what looks like good habitat for them. We're not sure
why, but will be working with DNR personnel to try to figure it out. Both
sites we found Henslow's in (above) do have pitcher plants.
Miller County, Mahaw WMA (3 sections just west of the town of Colquitt),
DeLorme 56. No Henslow's found, even though there were some there in other
years in what still looks like prime Henslow's habitat. Did find one
Bachman's Sparrow, a very lucky find in winter. Also had a Boat-tailed
Grackle of the Gulf Coast subspecies near Moultrie, which is probably at
the extreme northern part of their range inland in GA.
This study is attempting to determine where the breeding populations of
Henslow's winter, by measuring known characteristics of individual birds
from different areas. Birds were captured one at a time, handled very
carefully and released unharmed. I am not always comfortable with banding
operations, but in this case (and many others) the birds were treated as
gently as possible before release, and none of the birds showed any
ill-effects from the experience. At one site we recaptured a bird from the
day before (it had moved from an area we had covered to a new area
overnight) and it was fine also. If any birders find any wintering sites
for this rare sparrow in GA you are encouraged to share them with GABO or
least to Todd Schneider, who is monitoring this species in the state. His
email address is: Todd_Schneider@mail.dnr.state.ga.us