McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Weeks 13:  January 23-29, 2007

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:



These mammal (either coyote or fox) tracks leading into the snake hibernaculum near the
front gate are the only signs that these wild canines are present at MBO.  Although
widespread (foxes) and on the increase (coyotes) on the island of Montreal, both
species are remarkably adept at staying out of sight.  (Photo by Shawn Craik)
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  THIS WEEK THIS WINTER 2007 TOTAL SITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded -- 76 (9) 14 (4)

9332 (96)

# birds (and species) repeat -- 26 (6) 5 (2)

1554 (52)

# birds (and species) return -- 5 (1) 2 (1)

202 (26)

# species observed 9 48 24

180

# net hours -- 81.0 15.0

14037.8

# birds banded / 100 net hours -- 93.9 93.3

66.5

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Observer:  Shawn Craik

Notes:  Another week has passed where the mercury in the thermometer has held pretty steady at -15 degrees Celsius (or thereabouts) throughout the day, meaning it has remained far too cold for banding.  Otherwise the weather has been beautiful, with sunshine virtually every day, making for great hiking conditions.  A walk around the site produced the above photo, as well as evidence of other mammals, including white-tailed deer and squirrel.  Although the Northern Shrike was not observed this week, a Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cooper's Hawk were seen perched near the pond and front gate, respectively.

The feeders have been attracting the usual suspects including Black-capped Chickadees, Slate-coloured Juncos, and American Tree Sparrows.  A highlight included a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches feeding in the forest along the road leading to the cabin.  Finch activity was considerably slower this week.

McGill University's undergraduate ethology class participated in a bird feeder laboratory at MBO on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The goal of the lab was to determine whether Black-capped Chickadees prefer to feed on black oil sunflower, grey-striped sunflower, or safflower seeds.  Each food type was presented in a different feeder.  Stay tuned for results.

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