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Prarie Warbler

By Sarah Díaz for The Island Eye News 

Prarie Warbler

Fall migration banding has already begun at the Sullivan’s Island Bird Banding Station! It may not feel like fall here on the island, but many songbirds are already en route to their wintering grounds in the tropics.

Most of the migrants we banded this week were very fat, such as this female Prairie Warbler. Fat is stored within the furcular hollow (breast bone) and can also form mounds on the flanks and lower abdomen.

Migratory songbirds must gain substantial fat stores in order to fly from their breeding grounds in North America to their wintering grounds in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The Protected Land on Sullivan’s Island is a prime stopover location in the Fall for migrants needing a pit stop during their long journeys, which can be 3,000 miles or more!

Other Neotropical migrants banded this week included Louisiana Waterthrush, Red-eyed Vireo and American Redstart.

If you would like to visit the Sullivan’s Island Bird Banding Station, you can contact Sarah Díaz at

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