McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 2:  April 4 - April 10, 2005

Welcome to the McGill Bird Observatory weekly report.  Click here for a complete listing of our archives.  Comments or questions are welcome at mbo@migrationresearch.org

PICTURE OF THE WEEK:


A milestone at MBO - the Song Sparrow above was our 1000th bird banded since
 starting operations last May.  An appropriate species with which to mark the occasion,
as later the same day we banded our 100th Song Sparrow!  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

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  THIS WEEK SPRING TOTAL YEAR TOTAL SITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded 19 (7) 19 (7) 78 (15) 999 (49)
# birds (and species) repeat -- -- 34 (2) 212 (17)
# birds (and species) return 2 (1) 2 (1) 12 (3) 14 (4)
# species observed 51 51 55 142
# net hours 115.3 115.3 173.3 1147.8
# birds banded / net hour 16.5 16.5 45.0 86.9

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Banding assistants:  Shawn Craik, Jean Demers, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson, Barbara Macduff, Betsy McFarlane, Crissy Ranellucci, Clemence Soulard, Kim Tendland-Frenette

Notes:  Thanks to a dedicated volunteer crew, we got all of the main spring nets up on Tuesday morning.  Taking advantage of some tricks we first applied to the winter nets, all are now top-tied, making it much easier to walk past the nets.  Most nets are in the same places as last fall, but an extra net has been added to the "B" section along the ridge north of the banding station, and an "A" net has been inserted between "C" and "D", on the 'inside' of the main loop path.  The small weekend crews also did a great job at cleaning up much of the junk that had accumulated on the site for two decades prior to the establishment of MBO. 

Tuesday was windy, and so we only caught two birds - an Eastern Phoebe and an American Tree Sparrow.  Saturday morning, our first bird was a Song Sparrow in D3, and it was our 1000th bird banded at MBO since we began operations in May 2004 (owls included).  Sunday we followed up with our first two returns of the spring, both of them Song Sparrows banded here last October.  A small flock of five American Goldfinches hit the net together, showing a remarkable range of moult among them.

New species have been arriving daily this week, including Eastern Phoebe (Tuesday), Golden-crowned Kinglet (Wednesday), Fox Sparrow (Thursday), Killdeer (Friday), Tree Swallow (Saturday), Chipping Sparrow and Belted Kingfisher (Sunday) .  Also, there have been a remarkable four additions to the overall site checklist this week.  Three were just flying by overhead - Double-crested Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull, and Iceland Gull.  However, on Sunday three Hooded Mergansers were seen swimming in the back pond, and we hope they might stay for a while along with the many Wood Ducks (as many as 13).

Last but not least, the migrant birds aren't the only ones making their first appearances of the year.  On Saturday the first Spring Peepers began calling from the back ponds late in the morning, and the Wood Frog below was spotted on the back access road.  A few flies and moths were seen too, but it will (hopefully) be a while yet before the mosquitoes begin harassing us while we check the nets near the water.


Photo by Marcel Gahbauer

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2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.