Exploring Saipan’s Avifauna and Natural History

Annie Crary traveled to Saipan as a bird banding biologist for the Institute for Bird Populations and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife during the spring and summer of 2009 and fall of 2010 and ran six banding stations in different habitats on the island in order to determine molt sequence and timing of Saipan’s resident, nonmigratory landbirds, and to piece together information about breeding seasonality. Saipan is a small island that rests along the Marianas Trench 136 miles north of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. It has 13 species of native nonmigratory landbirds and four nonnative species, as well as numerous seabirds and shorebirds. Join us as we explore the rich natural and human history of a tropical paradise. Swim with colorful reef creatures, meet the birds of Saipan, learn the intricacies of avian molt, and discover new, undocumented molt patterns.

Crary was trained as a bird bander at Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector, Pennsylvania, and has traveled around the country and internationally studying avian ecology and behavior. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Grove City College, and her M.S. in Natural Resources from Ohio State University where she studied the effects of winter habitat quality, as determined by stable-carbon isotope analysis, on plumage characteristics and reproductive success in Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia). She is currently a PhD student and University Fellow at the University of Toledo where she studies trends in long-term bird banding datasets, and how anthropogenic factors, in particular climate change, affect avian populations, movements, and behavior.