McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Week 16:  February 13-19, 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:



While the northern finches are scarce this winter, the American Tree Sparrows seem
to be relatively common compared to past years.  They spend most of their time on
the ground, foraging on the seed spilled by the chickadees and others above.
(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 7 48 25

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)

Observers:  Sophie Cauchon, Shawn Craik, Marie-Anne Hudson, Andre Pelletier

Notes:  It was an extremely quiet week with no banding and a low number of species observed, likely a result of several factors, including just two site visits, one of which occurred near dusk.

We received results regarding the bird feeder lab that was completed at MBO by McGill University's ethology class in late January.  Over the course of two days the class observed a total of 376 foraging attempts by Black-capped Chickadees at three identical-style feeders.  Each feeder contained one of three seed types: black oil sunflower, grey-striped sunflower, and safflower.  Of the 376 feeding attempts, 370 were directed at black oil sunflower whereas only five were made at grey-striped sunflower, and one at safflower.  These results are consistent with findings of the feeding experiment that was carried out by the ethology class over the previous four years.  This year's lab group also collected a small amount of feeding data on American Tree Sparrow, Slate-coloured Junco, and Northern Cardinal.  Similar to the chickadees, these three species showed an overall preference for black oil sunflower seeds.

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