McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Week 13:  January 23-29, 2006

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:



This was the week of the redpoll!  Previously we had banded a grand total of only 3;
now it stands at 16.  Most have been second-year birds with relatively little red, but we
did have one richly-coloured after-second-year male, above.
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)-

Special thanks to Wildlifers in Baie D'Urfe for donating the seed to stock the feeders for MBO's Winter Monitoring Program - click here for information about the store.

-

 

THIS WEEK

THIS WINTER

2006 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

51 (9)

255 (15)

82 (12)

5135 (92)

# birds (and species) repeat

30 (4)

150 (6)

52 (5)

945 (41)

# birds (and species) return

4 (2)

15 (4)

9 (4)

87 (15)

# species observed

19

47

28

170

# net hours

26.0

108.5

42.0

6464.1

# birds banded / 100 net hours

196.2

235.0

195.2

79.3

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Assistants:  Shawn Craik, Jean Demers, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson, Betsy Mcfarlane, Lynn Miller, Greg Rand

Notes:   The above-normal January temperatures have continued, allowing us to band three times within a week for the first time in winter, including two sessions on the weekend.  The 51 new birds banded is an impressive number for this time of the year, bringing our winter total to 255 since the beginning of November.  This equals the total for the winter of 2004-05, with 9 weeks left to go.  Two new species were added for the season as well: Red-breasted Nuthatch and Northern Shrike.

It was very interesting to see how different the results were each day.  Monday gave us the first indication that our luck with Common Redpolls was improving, as we banded more of them (6) than any other species.  The list of birds banded was quite diverse that day, including House Finch and American Tree Sparrow, neither of which we had banded yet this year.  Among the 12 recaptured Black-capped Chickadees were 6 from a sequence of 9 banded since early December - they seem to be sticking together!

Saturday morning the weather was gorgeous - sunny, and around +5 Celsius!  The only downside was the wind, which although not uncomfortable given the warmth, did buffet the nets quite a bit and allowed many birds to avoid getting caught.  Nonetheless, the redpoll numbers continued to climb, with another 7 added.  Among them was a "coppertop" - an individual with a coppery-orange crown instead of the usual red.  American Goldfinches were the most abundant bird of the day though, with 9 banded.

By Sunday morning the temperature was considerably lower, and a winter storm was on the way, but we still managed to squeeze in another short but productive session before the weather became too bad.  Surprisingly, given Saturday's results, we didn't catch a single American Goldfinch.  However, another 11 Common Redpolls were banded, bringing the week's total to 24.  Interestingly, we have yet to recapture any redpolls, suggesting that the "flock of 30" we have been seeing regularly is actually much larger, and that we're only seeing a fraction of it at any given time.  The only other species banded on Sunday was the first Northern Shrike of the winter season, an aggressive second-year bird.


The first Red-breasted Nuthatch banded this winter, a handsome male posing in front of
Saturday's beautiful blue sky.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

-

-

 

2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.