Week 9:  May 23-29, 2006

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A sampling of some of our newly-banded species for this week (mounted in no particular
order - we claim no favorites!  Actually, there were the photos that I had on hand...):
Eastern Kingbird, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Veery, Canada Warbler,
 and Indigo Bunting.
   (Photos by Marie-Anne Hudson)-

MBO gratefully acknowledges the financial  support provided for the 2006 Spring Migration Monitoring Program by the James L. Baillie Memorial Fund of Bird Studies Canada






2006 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded

128 (31)

730 (62)

873 (68)

5926 (95)

# birds (and species) repeat

38 (15)

136 (20)

227 (22)

1113 (41)

# birds (and species) return

15 (10)

73 (19)

94 (20)

165 (24)

# species observed





# net hours





# birds banded / 100 net hours





Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer, Marie-Anne Hudson, Barbara Frei
Assistants:  Pierre Bannon, Jean Beaudreault, Martin Bowman, Manon Dubé, Gerard Frechette, Emily Gray, Gay Gruner, Gillian Kinsman, Betsy Macfarlane, Carine Lecoeur, Barbara MacDuff,
Francine Marcoux, Mike Mayerhofer, Alexander McNeil, Lynn Miller, Chris Murphy, Julie Pépin, Crissy Ranellucci, Katleen Robert, Kate Robinson

Notes:  This week was one of those weeks where you wait and wait for that big push of migrants ... and nothing much happens.  With winds coming from the south on 3 of the 7 days, we thought we'd be inundated with warblers and thrushes and vireos (oh my!).  However this push never really materialized, leaving only a trickle of migrants.  Later in the week the humidity went through the roof, quickly allowing the mosquitoes to enjoy the feast we laid out for them on a daily basis.  Though we discourage the use of bug repellant for those handling birds, we suggest that a quick spray to the back of the collar and the back of the hat before leaving the house (and then washing your hands), can provide a bit of relief.  These areas aren't generally touched too much over the course of the day, allowing you to go relatively bug-free without smearing birds with bug-repellant.  It's a win-win situation!

Despite the apparent trickle of birds, the DET never slipped below 55 species, with a high of 70 on Wednesday and a cumulative weekly total of 99 species.  New arrivals to MBO this week (11 species) were Pied-billed Grebe (though it seems to have disappeared again), a visiting Green-winged Teal, a pair of Gadwall, a fly-by Common Merganser, a flock of Semipalmated Plovers, an almost-caught Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-pewee, Alder and Willow Flycatchers,  Blackpoll Warbler, and Canada Warbler.  Of particular note for being new additions to the all-time MBO list were the Gadwall (long overdue) and the Semipalmated Plovers (a great surprise).

A highlight for this week was our fourth foreign recapture: a Traill's Flycatcher that was
banded June 5, 2003 in Michigan landed in our nets early Saturday morning.  The gray
sky only allowed a rather marginal photo to be taken of our special visitor. 
(Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)

Species diversity wasn't too bad on the banding side as well, though last Sunday's record (37 individuals, 18 species) is still quite safe for now with 8-13 species banded every day. Overall we banded 128 individuals representing 31 species, with newly-banded species (10 species) including Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Kingbird, Veery, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Canada Warbler, and Indigo Bunting. 

As always, we're eager to see what will hit the nets this coming week -- our last week of the season!  At this point nothing will surprise us: Barbara and Crissy walked up to the D nets only to find a female Mallard sitting in the bottom pocket, dragging the whole net down to the ground.  A quick opening of the net was all she needed to fly out. 

                                                          This week's top 10   [last week's rank in brackets]
# individuals banded mean # individuals observed daily
Red-winged Blackbird (21) [1] Ring-billed Gull (43) [3]
Yellow Warbler (13) [9] Red-winged Blackbird (38) [1]
Common Yellowthroat (13) [3] Canada Goose (32) [-]
Wilson's Warbler (11) [-] Mallard (26) [4]
Magnolia Warbler (11) [4] American Crow (23) [2]
American Goldfinch (9) [-] American Goldfinch (22) [5]
Cedar Waxwing (8) [-] Yellow Warbler (21) [6]
Northern Waterthrush (4) [-] Cedar Waxwing (15) [-]
Common Grackle (4) [6] Tree Swallow (13) [8]
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3) [-] Song Sparrow (11) [10]

The Red-winged Blackbirds held onto their top spot (for a sixth straight week!) with 21 birds banded, and Yellow Warblers rocketed to second place with 13.  It's amazing to us that we have been banding for 6 weeks and we're still banding new Red-winged Blackbirds,Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats.  Seems like there's no end in sight!  Another interesting addition to the weekly totals is the number of Wilson's Warblers banded, pushing them to fourth place.  The number of individuals observed daily has remained relatively stable save for the addition of Cedar Waxwings and a resurgence of Canada Geese, thanks to modest flocks flying past on a couple of mornings. With any luck the growing flocks of waxwings will hang around long enough for us to band most of them!

As always, we would like to extend a hearty thank you to all those mosquito-braving individuals who helped with census, net runs and banding - we couldn't do it without you!

On a non-birdy note, this week the Gray Treefrogs have really been singing, competing for air-time with the Yellow Warblers, Baltimore Orioles and Song Sparrows.  This little guy was found sitting quietly in the shade under a Northern Cardinal nest. 
(Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)



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