McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Week 5:  November 28 - December 4, 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:



Some of the participants in the first MBO ageing workshop poring over specimens
and notes during the quiz.  (Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)
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  THIS WEEK THIS WINTER 2006 TOTAL SITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded -- 41 (8)

4244 (84)

9297 (96)

# birds (and species) repeat -- 13 (5)

663 (39)

1541 (52)

# birds (and species) return -- 1 (1)

129 (22)

198 (26)

# species observed 22 44

159

180

# net hours -- 35.0

7569.7

13991.8

# birds banded / 100 net hours -- 117.1

56.1

66.4

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Observers:  Marcel Gahbauer, Gay Gruner, Chris Murphy

Notes:  We skipped banding this week, partly because suitable weather was limited, but also because much of our time was devoted to preparing a workshop on ageing that we held on December 2.  For 5 hours on Saturday afternoon, MBO banders Marcel Gahbauer and Marie-Anne Hudson led 23 workshop participants through the process of learning to age birds by moult limits and other feather characteristics.  We were fortunate to have on hand the specimen collection from the Canadian Bird Banding Office, which we used to illustrate comparisons among species, and to quiz everyone at the end of the day.  We were very impressed not only with the large turnout, but also with everyone's enthusiasm, and especially with how well the lessons were absorbed.  It's exciting for us to have such an eager and capable group of banders in training, and we look forward to holding further workshops on more advanced topics, as well as supplementing these with more hands-on training during banding sessions.

Notable sightings for the week included the winter season's first Red-shouldered Hawk, as well as another Northern Harrier and a sighting of the (presumably) local Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Shrike.  Canada Geese remain remarkably abundant, with 379 recorded on the Thursday morning census.  House Finches are still the most abundant species at the feeders, with 39 observed the same morning.

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