Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hairy Woodpecker

It didn't seem quite right to title this post as "Old Girl." However, this Hairy Woodpecker, retrapped recently at Springbrook, is 13 years old! She was banded here as a HY (Hatch Year) bird on October 4, 1998. In January 1999, she became, for records standardization, a SY (Second Year) bird. So, technically, on January 1, 2011, she became 13. Since her hatch date was probably sometime in March/April, she really did have her 13th birthday already!

The record for age for Hairy Woodpeckers is 15 years and 11 months, so she is not breaking any records. However, it is not common to find individuals that we can prove (with banding records) an age like this. The Bird Banding Lab has redone their website, so if you haven't checked it out recently, you should! You can report banded birds (dead or alive) and find lots of fantastic information that is known due to banding efforts.

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