McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Week 12:  Mar 21 - Mar 27, 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:


Since the expected early spring migrants (American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird,
Song Sparrow, etc.) have yet to return to MBO, it's up to the American Goldfinches to
remind us the seasons are changing.  The scattered patches of black on the forehead
and bright yellow on the breast and throat are new feathers, likely grown within the
last couple of weeks.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

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  THIS WEEK WINTER TOTAL YEAR TOTAL SITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded 13 (4) 256 (14) 59 (10) 980 (49)
# birds (and species) repeat 2 (1) 109 (9) 34 (2) 212 (17)
# birds (and species) return 1 (1) 10 (3) 10 (3) 12 (4)
# species observed 14 36 26 138
# net hours 7.0 110.0 58.0 1032.5
# birds banded / net hour 185.7 231.8 101.7 94.8

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Banding assistants:  Tony Bezina, Christina Donehower, Marie-Anne Hudson, Noemie Laplante, Meghan Larivee, Catherine Lessard, Michael Mayer, Julia Mlynarek, Michelle St. Martin

Notes:  With the expectation of a busier spring season soon to come, we're keeping banding visits fairly limited toward the end of the winter season.  On Monday morning, a group of volunteers began the process of reinstalling the nesting boxes around MBO, for bluebirds, swallows, chickadees, wrens, and others.  Banding took place once this week, on Friday morning.

As noted last week, the American Goldfinches are rapidly moulting into their brighter summer colours.  Today one male already was almost entirely yellow on the upper breast, and the individual in the photo of the week was also looking very different from when it was originally banded in early December.  Despite windy conditions today, we caught 13 unbanded birds, the largest number we've had in a while.  Among them were 9 goldfinches, including the first females we've banded this year (another subtle hint that the spring migration is underway even if the traditional harbingers of spring are slow in returning).  

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