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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
Comments: cc: Siri Ibarguen <ibarguen.2@osu.edu>,
          Todd_Schneider@mail.dnr.state.ga.us
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

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 and legs.

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 Sedge Wrens.

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 Giff Beaton


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