29-31 December 2000

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All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center

2000 Banding Year At
Hilton Pond Center:
A New Species

The first bird captured at Hilton Pond Center was a female Common Grackle banded on 28 June 1982. Since then, as local habitat changed from open field to young woodland, we have continued to monitor on-site bird populations by banding on a year-round basis. As the clock struck midnight on 31 December 2000, we had banded 38,283 birds from 122 species, continuing Hilton Pond Center's reputation as the most active long-term bird banding site in the Carolinas.

The just-completed banding year was barely above average, with 2,133 individuals captured (19-year average is 2,015); 80 species were banded (average is 71). Numbers would have been higher had not spring and fall migrations been almost nonexistent; fall migration was especially poor because of the lack of weather fronts in late September and early October. Nonetheless, we still averaged six birds banded per day for the year!

The only species new to Hilton Pond Center in 2000 was Swainson's Warbler (photo above), an elusive bird that is seldom seen in the Piedmont; two were caught in spring migration (1 and 30 May). In all, 42 of the 80 species banded were at or under the 19-year average.

This year, 509 Purple Finches accounted for nearly a quarter of all birds banded; 256 House Finches and 387 American Goldfinches made up another third. Especially lacking were Pine Siskins (2 banded; 19-year average is 81) and Yellow-rumped Warblers (31 vs. 90). Perhaps the "most unusual" bird was a Northern Saw-whet Owl; only 13 have ever been banded in South Carolina--eight of them at Hilton Pond Center.

A new record high was set for only one species: two Wilson's Warblers eclipsed the old record of one. Four other low-number species did tie old records: six Great Crested Flycatchers; one White-breasted Nuthatch, one Blackburnian Warbler; and one Winter Wren. The 195 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds banded in 2000 just missed the record high of 197 set back in 1995.

All 122 species that have been banded at Hilton Pond Center are listed below, with numbers of individuals banded in 2000.

Click here for comprehensive 19-year totals (mid-1982 through 2000).

Blackbird, Red-winged 0
Blackbird, Rusty 0
Bluebird, Eastern 7
Bunting, Indigo 6
Cardinal, Northern 72
Catbird, Gray 36
Chat, Yellow-breasted 2
Chickadee, Carolina 20
Cowbird, Brown-headed 4
Creeper, Brown 0
Cuckoo, Black-billed 0
Cuckoo, Yellow-billed 0
Dove, Mourning 13
Finch, House 256
Finch, Purple 509
Flicker, Northern 0
Flycatcher, Acadian 7
Flycatcher, Great-crested 6
Flycatcher, Least 0
Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied 0
Flycatcher, Willow 0
Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray 6
Goldfinch, American 387
Grackle, Common 16
Grosbeak, Blue 4
Grosbeak, Evening 0
Grosbeak, Rose-breasted 0
Hawk, Red-shouldered 1
Hawk, Sharp-shinned 4
Heron, Green 1
Hummingbird,Ruby-throated 195
Jay, Blue 3
Junco, Dark-eyed 22
Kingbird, Eastern 0
Kingfisher, Belted 1
Kinglet, Golden-crowned 3
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned 9
Meadowlark, Eastern 0
Mockingbird, Northern 2
Nuthatch, Brown-headed 0
Nuthatch, Red-breasted 0
Nuthatch, White-breasted 1
Oriole, Baltimore 0
Oriole, Orchard 1
Ovenbird 5
Owl, N. Saw-whet 1
Pewee, E. Wood- 2
Phoebe, Eastern 13
Redstart, American 9
Robin, American 10
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied 2
Screech-Owl, Eastern 0
Shrike, Loggerhead 0
Siskin, Pine 2
Sparrow, Chipping 133
Sparrow, Field 1
Sparrow, Fox 1
Sparrow, Grasshopper 0
Sparrow, House 0
Sparrow, Lincoln's 0
Sparrow, Song 5
Sparrow, Swamp 3
Sparrow, White-crowned 0
Sparrow, White-throated 52
Starling, European 1
Swift, Chimney 0
Tanager, Scarlet 3
Tanager, Summer 9
Thrasher, Brown 21
Thrush, Gray-cheeked 2
Thrush, Hermit 6
Thrush, Swainson's 16
Thrush, Wood 10
Titmouse, Eastern Tufted 12
Towhee, Eastern 32
Veery 3
Vireo, Philadelphia 0
Vireo, Red-eyed 9
Vireo, Blue-headed (Solitary) 0
Vireo, White-eyed 12
Vireo, Yellow-throated 2
Warbler, Bay-breasted 0
Warbler, Black-and-White 8
Warbler, Black-thr. Blue 6
Warbler, Black-thr. Green 0
Warbler, Blackburnian 1
Warbler, Blackpoll 2
Warbler, Blue-winged 3
Warbler, Canada 2
Warbler, Cape May 0
Warbler, Chestnut-sided 4
Warbler, Connecticut 0
Warbler, Golden-winged 0
Warbler, Hooded 1
Warbler, Kentucky 0
Warbler, Magnolia 19
Warbler, Nashville 0
Warbler, Orange-crowned 0
Warbler, Palm (yel. race) 0
Warbler, Parula (N. Parula) 6
Warbler, Pine 0
Warbler, Prairie 0
Warbler, Prothonotary 0
Warbler, Swainson's 2
Warbler, Tennessee 1
Warbler, WilsonÕs 2
Warbler, Worm-eating 2
Warbler, Yellow 0
Warbler, Yellow-rumped 31
Warbler, Yellow-throated 1
Waterthrush, Louisiana 2
Waterthrush, Northern 15
Waxwing, Cedar 0
Woodcock, American 0
Woodpecker, Downy 13
Woodpecker, Hairy 0
Woodpecker, Pileated 0
Woodpecker, Red-bellied 2
Wren, Carolina 25
Wren, House 1
Wren, Winter 1
Yellowthroat, Common 12
[Duck, Wood] -
[Bobwhite, Northern] -

80 Species Banded

2,133 Individuals


The following species were banded this week:

American Goldfinch--5
Dark-eyed Junco--1
Song Sparrow--1
Northern Cardinal--1
White-throated Sparrow--5
House Finch--4
Mourning Dove--1

This Week at Hilton Pond
is part of the

7 species
18 individuals

80 species
2,133 individuals
GRAND TOTAL (since June 1982)
122 species
38,283 individuals


Northern Cardinal
House Finch

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this Web site--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.