Yesterday 26 November 2011, I was out banding raptors in the Punta Gorda area and encountered a wonderful surprise. One of the 3 American Kestrels I trapped this morning came with its own band.
Images of the birds and notes can be seen on my flickr page "FL Raptors" here:
Also on my Facebook profile.
Eager to find out more about where this little dude came from, I entered the band number into the BBL database. It turns out the bird was banded as a nestling from a box in Grimville, PA, USA on 4 July 2010. Making him a "second year" (calendar) bird ~18 months old. It was interesting that this individual was still undergoing tail molt and that the thin central shaft streaks on the breast (indicative of an immature male) were still apparent.
After receiving this information from the Bird Banding Laboratory in Patuxent, I looked up "Grimville, PA" and discovered it sat directly in the shadows of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA. I contacted an old friend there and sure enough, this bird is part of a study they are sponsoring where they monitor ~200 kestrel nest boxes in the surrounding four county area. Fun when these things happen and we can answer questions like, "I wonder
where this bird travelled from to get here?" :)
Port Charlotte, FL