McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Week 3:  November 14-20, 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:



Winter banding finally got off to a good start on Sunday.  Among the birds captured was
this male Northern Cardinal, banded at MBO in late August this year as a juvenile.
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)
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  THIS WEEK THIS WINTER 2006 TOTAL SITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded 20 (6) 20 (6)

4223 (84)

9276 (96)

# birds (and species) repeat 8 (3) 8 (3)

658 (39)

1536 (52)

# birds (and species) return -- --

128 (22)

197 (26)

# species observed 23 39

159

180

# net hours 12.0 12.0

7546.7

13968.8

# birds banded / 100 net hours 166.7 166.7

56.0

66.4

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Assistant
s:  Natalia Castellanos, Victoria Chang, Shawn Craik, Jean Demers, Valerie Francella, Sabrina Gosselin, Gay Gruner, Chris Murphy, Troy Pretzlaw, Greg Rand, Sabrina Richard-Lalonde, Clemence Soulard

Notes:  It was yet another wet week at MBO, also unseasonably warm for several days, though cooling down to seasonal temperatures by the end of the week.  The flooding now appears to be as extensive at this time last fall, which does not bode well for spring conditions at the site.

Despite the weather, we were finally were able to get in our first winter banding session on Sunday morning.  To our surprise, a large flock of House Finches has taken residence - there were close to 50 in the area, a number we haven't seen in nearly two years.  Not surprisingly, they were the most numerous bird banded that day, with 9 birds, eclipsing our total for the species over the past 18 months!  In contrast, American Goldfinches remain unusually scarce, as they have been throughout the fall; we hope they will turn up as the winter progresses. By this time last winter, we had already banded 64 goldfinches - though to be fair, we had drier weather and were able to band on several occasions earlier in the season.

The other banding highlight of the day was a male Northern Cardinal, banded during our Fall Migration Monitoring Program in late August.  It nicely illustrated an interesting quirk of songbird ageing that applies to this and a few other species in which individuals of all ages undergo a full moult in the late summer / early fall.  Whereas this bird was easily recognizable as a juvenile at the time of banding, it has now completed its moult, and is indistinguishable from older cardinals - i.e., were it not for the band, we would now be unable to tell its age, despite being able to do so three months ago!

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2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.