July 1 - 31, 2006

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This Black-throated Green Warbler, banded July 26, is likely one of our first southbound migrants.
Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)-





2006 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded

27 (10)

33 (11)

935 (72)

5988 (95)

# birds (and species) repeat

2 (2)

2 (2)

237 (27)

1115 (42)

# birds (and species) return

2 (1)

2 (1)

98 (20)

167 (25)

# species observed





# net hours





# birds banded / 100 net hours





Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer, Marie-Anne Hudson, Barbara Frei
Assistants:  Averill Craig, Jean Demers, Isabel Julian, Gay Gruner, Betsy Mcfarlane, Barbara MacDuff, Chris Murphy, Clémence Soulard

Notes:  July was a month of heat, humidity and storms!  Despite the weather, we had 12 days of observation, 4 days of banding, and several days of site maintenance and prep work for the upcoming fall season.  The number of species seen during each visit ranged between 23 and 42, with the average hovering around 32.  The total number of species seen over the entire summer, however, stands at 65 (61 seen this month).  One new species has been added to the 2006 list: a Marsh Wren was heard burbling away on the far side of Stoneycroft during the census walk on the day of the Bird Protection Quebec field trip (more on that below).  Over the course of July, 15 species were added to this summer's list: American Black Duck, Red-tailed Hawk, Merlin, Chimney Swift, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Common Raven, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Tennessee Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Ovenbird, Savannah Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow.

In terms of unusual species at MBO, a Merlin zipped over the D nets being chased by an Eastern Kingbird, and a House Wren was making a fuss while its hatch-year companion was stuck in D2.  We had breeding House Wrens last year, but until now there’s barely been any sign of them!  It’s always surprising to have young birds pop up that have clearly been raised on site when there hasn’t been any sign of breeding activity.

The Bird Protection Quebec field trip was a wonderful experience.  We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather for our 30 visitors.  Unfortunately, beautiful weather for birders is not the same as beautiful weather for banders.  The bright sunshine made the nets stick out like sore thumbs, and the heat kept bird movement to a minimum, making for a catch of 1 lonely little Song Sparrow.  But at least we weren’t left completely empty handed!  The other 3 days of banding in July proved to be more productive, with 26 birds banded representing 10 species, 3 of which were new for 2006: House Wren, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Ovenbird.  The after-hatch year male Black-throated Green Warbler, as well as a heavily-moulting after-hatch year male Tennessee Warbler (netted but not banded), are sure signs that fall migration is gearing up!  Factoring in owls (not included in the table above), we banded our 6000th bird last week - a Song Sparrow, as several of our other milestone birds have been.  We can’t wait to see what we’ll be banding over the coming weeks!

                                                    This month's top 10   [last month's rank in brackets]
# individuals banded mean # individuals observed daily
Song Sparrow (10) Red-winged Blackbird (18) [1]
Swamp Sparrow (4) Song Sparrow (16) [6]
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (3) American Goldfinch (16) [2]
Yellow Warbler (3) American Robin (12) [-]
Least Flycatcher (1) Cliff Swallow (12) [-]
House Wren (1) Cedar Waxwing (8) [5]
Black-throated Green Warbler (1) Common Grackle (8) [-]
Ovenbird (1) Tree Swallow (6) [4]
Indigo Bunting (1) Yellow Warbler (5) [3]
Baltimore Oriole (1) Northern Cardinal (4) [-]

There was a lot of movement in this month’s top 10.  The Red-winged Blackbirds still managed to maintain their grip on the number 1 spot despite their average numbers dropping by about half.  The abundance of young Song Sparrows has propelled them up the list to number 2.  The Yellow Warblers have almost disappeared, dropping from the number 3 spot to number 9.  Four new species have climbed into the top 10: American Robin, which are beginning to flock; Cliff Swallow, which are breeding at the nearby weather station and come to MBO to feed; Common Grackle, which have begun to migrate over MBO in flocks; and Northern Cardinal, which have lots of young ones bouncing around the site.

About 30 members of Bird Protection Quebec came for a visit on July 29, 2006.  Though only 1 bird was netted, everyone seemed to have a great time walking the census route and doing general observations.
 (Photo by Barbara Frei)




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