Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Add Blue-winged Warbler, a Smattering of Migrants, and What's a BAWW?

With all this adding birds bit, driving to work today I had the somewhat hokey notion of Cape May as an already-great recipe to which migration adds ingredients almost daily, each changing the flavor and improving the dish. . .oi.

Anyhow, with that, add Blue-winged Warbler to the stew, specifically the one that sang a couple times from a residential area along the bay this morning as I cycled past. Also add an apparent increased number of Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhees, and House Wrens since my last ride a couple days ago.

Vince Elia had some nice April birding at Higbee this morning, with Black-and-white Warbler, Eastern Bluebird, Willet, Merlin, and a nice mixed flock of Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, most of which were in full breeding plumage.

Dave La Puma had another Black-and-white Warbler this morning, at Villas WMA, which reminds me - the four letter banding code for Black-and-white Warbler is a somewhat unexpected BAWW, and since we often use banding codes for brevity on CMBOBirds Tweets, Bert Hixon aptly suggested we offer a source for translating the codes into birds. Sooo. . .banding codes can be found in the Pyle guides, or here, courtesy of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

The four letter code is usually derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name, except in the case of names with hyphens (usually the first letter of each hyphenated word is used). For four-word names, the code takes one letter from each word, hence BAWW.

If the resulting abbreviation winds up being the same for two or more birds, it creates a "collision," e.g Barn Owl (BNOW) and Barred Owl (BDOW), and the above rules are not followed for either species involved. This avoids confusion on data sheets but sometimes stymies the uninitiated. You can read more about all this here, or track down: Pyle and DeSante, North American Bird Bander 28:64-79 (2003).

No comments: