Bird Banding at JANY (MAPS)

Acronyms. They can drive you crazy.

MAPS = Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship.
JANY = Jamestown Audubon New York

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Siblings

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Siblings - banded at Tom LeBlanc's SWAT (MAPS) Banding Station in Allegany State Park

Each MAPS station needs a unique four-letter code for the database. Tom’s station at Allegany is SWAT, which is not an acronym, but an activity you engage in while visiting: the bugs can be thick there! You can read about his banding adventures at

There are also four-letter codes for the bird names. These are abbreviations, not acronyms.

Juvenile American Robin
This is an AMRO – American Robin

Someday, he might look like his daddy:
Handsome male American Robin

House Wren
This is a HOWR – House Wren

This particular HOWR had a beak that didn’t line up properly:
House Wren's Crooked Beak
Shall we call her a HOWR with a CRBI (crooked bill)?

Gray Catbird
GRCA = Gray Catbird

Now, you might be thinking, “Oh, I get it! Use the first two letters of the first name and the first two letters of the second name. Easy!”

Not so fast…

Yellow Warbler
This one (from last week) is a YWAR – Yellow Warbler – which I don’t get. There is no other bird called YEWA, so why YWAR?

The hyphenated names, too, get weird, though some are logical – like Tom’s Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers above. They are, of course, YBSA.

This week, we were most delighted to recapture this fellow:

Hooded Warbler
HOWA – Hooded Warbler

He is the one that got away last week before weighing and before pictures, for which we teased poor Eric mercilessly. And we made him hold the bird for pictures:

Eric holds the one who got away
Eric and HOWA

I had to leave at 7:45am to go to work. I’m sure they caught lots more COBI (cool birds) after I left. (I made that last one up myself!)

One thought on “Bird Banding at JANY (MAPS)

  1. Funny co-incidence . . . it looks like BBL has just changed the alpha code for yellow warbler to YEWA. It makes some sense, but doesn’t that collide with the breeding population of yellow wagtails (YWAG) up in Alaska?

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