McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 5:  April 25 - May 1, 2009

Welcome to the McGill Bird Observatory weekly report.  Click here for a complete listing of our archives.
Comments or questions are welcome at "mbo AT migrationresearch.org".

PICTURE OF THE WEEK:



We reached another milestone this week in the form of a Song Sparrow - our 19000th
bird banded at MBO since 2004.
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2009 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

92 (18)

131 (27)

163 (29)

19084 (105)

# birds (and species) repeat

14 (5)

22 (6)

22 (6)

3370 (65)

# birds (and species) return

9 (7)

22 (8)

28 (11)

482 (32)

# species observed

72

89

96

197

# net hours

464

862

886

31351.3

# birds banded / 100 net hours

19.8

15.2

18.4

60.9

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Barbara Frei, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson,
Censusers:  Anna Aguayo, Veronica Aponte, Evelyne Aponte, Jean Bacon, Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, Sophie Cauchon, Gary Clemence, David Davey, Jean De Marre, Benoît Duthu, Simon Duval, Marie-Line Gentes, Jeff Harrison, Isabel Julian, Gillian Kinsman, Barbara MacDuff, Mélanie Marier, Eve Marshall, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, Chloé Nadeau-Perrier, André Pelletier, Fred Racine, Cat Spina

Notes:  Our winter birds appear to finally have left us, with the exception of some nomadic little Pine Siskins. We’re hoping this means that they might breed at MBO, a first in recent memory. It certainly felt like we had a slow week banding-wise, but we actually banded 24 more birds than during this week last spring. Last year we observed roughly the same number as this week, but we’re well up from 80 species for the season, and 81 for the year. New species observed this week include (chronologically): Golden Eagle, Osprey, Broad-winged Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern White-crowned Sparrow, Herring Gull, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Eastern Kingbird, House Wren, Yellow Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Double-crested Cormorant. New species banded for the season include: Hermit Thrush, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Waterthrush, Blue Jay, Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and Brown-headed Cowbird. Though not a newly banded species for the season, the two Rusty Blackbirds banded on Monday deserve special mention, as we don’t tend to band many here at MBO.  We think they read the last week’s report and decided to try for another picture of the week ... but instead they'll have to settle for showing up in our weekly top ten list for the first time. 

This week’s top ten list of species observed has finally been shuffled around a little and has two new species, reflecting the turnover in species abundance at MBO. The juncos have moved off, and Wood Ducks dropped just off the bottom of the list, while Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Tree Swallow have taken their places.  The kinglets made an even more dramatic appearance atop the list of species banded this week, ahead of all others by a landslide. In fact, the 53 individuals banded this week nearly match our full spring season average of 55 over the past four years!  White-throated Sparrows also leapt up the list this week from 9th place to 2nd, though still in small numbers.  Further reflecting the advance of spring, we had the first appearances this year of warblers on the list - surprisingly Northern Waterthrush and Yellow Warbler, rather than the expected Yellow-rumped Warbler. We're counting on diversity to continue to improve so that we won't have to share the tenth spot in the table among multiple species anymore.

This week's top 10 [last week's rank in brackets]

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (53) [2]

1.  Canada Goose (200.7) [2]

2.  White-throated Sparrow (7) [4]

2.  Red-winged Blackbird (43.1) [3]

3.  Song Sparrow (6) [10]

3.  Greater Snow Goose (28.6) [1]

3.  Swamp Sparrow (6) [10]

4.  American Robin (20.4) [6]

5.  Red-winged Blackbird (3) [4]

5.  American Crow (19.1) [4]

6.  American Robin (2) [10]

6.  Ring-billed Gull (18.9) [5]

6.  Northern Waterthrush (2) [-]

7.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (17.4) [-]

6.  Rusty Blackbird (2) [-]

8.  Tree Swallow (13.9) [-]

6.  Yellow Warbler (2) [-]

9.  Song Sparrow (13.4) [7]

10.  9 species tied at one individual each

10.  Black-capped Chickadee (8.9) [9]



Ruby-crowned Kinglets were so dominant in the nets this week (nearly 60% of birds banded) that we couldn't very well complete this report without including a photo of one, so this after-second-year female posed obligingly for us one morning.
(Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)

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