McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 6:  May 2 - 8, 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've had lots of returns at MBO because some species come back to breed year after
year, but we never expected a return from a species we consider to be only a migrant
at MBO. Although breeding habitat for Yellow-rumped Warblers isn't that far away, it
still is interesting that this one bird has made a point of stopping over at MBO on the
way north at least twice. He didn't pose nicely for the camera though, so we're featuring
this look-alike from a previous spring instead.

(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2009 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

52 (16)

183 (30)

215 (32)

19136 (105)

# birds (and species) repeat

12 (5)

34 (7)

34 (7)

3382 (65)

# birds (and species) return

9 (5)

31 (10)

37 (12)

491 (33)

# species observed

89

112

119

197

# net hours

352.5

1214.5

1238.5

31703.8

# birds banded / 100 net hours

14.8

15.1

17.4

60.3

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Barbara Frei, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson
Censusers / assistants: Jean Bacon, Christine Barrie, Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, David Davey, Samuel Denault, Jean De Marre, Benoît Duthu, Simon Duval, Marie-Pierre Gauthier, Marie-Line Gentes, Emily Gray, Jeff Harrison, Gillian Kinsman, Joëlle Lapalme, Mike Mayerhofer, Marjorie Mercure, Richard Milligan, Chris Murphy, Nashat Mustafa, Carine Touma

Notes:  This week was would have been well below average if it hadn’t been for the first and last days of the week – well, in terms of observation.  The birds are still being coy and avoiding the nets, leading us to trail last year at this time by roughly 100 birds and four species banded.  Our observations are still up compared to last year, with seven more species spotted this week compared to last year, ten more for the season, and sixteen more for the year. New species observed this week include (chronologically): Barred Owl (yes you read that correctly!), Philadelphia Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Canada Warbler, Baltimore Oriole (of course these were all on Saturday), Green Heron, Great-crested Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lincoln’s Sparrow (Sunday), Northern Rough-winged Swallow, American Redstart (Monday), Yellow Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Bobolink (Tuesday), Black Tern, Veery, Gray Catbird, American Pipit, Warbling Vireo, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Black-throated Green Warbler (Friday).  New species banded for the season include: Tree Swallow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Purple Finch. 

With three new entries this week to the top ten species observed, Greater Snow Goose, Ring-billed Gull and Ruby-crowned Kinglet have been ousted from the list, with the resulting group better showcasing our returning breeders than migrants passing through. This week has seemed incredibly slow at the nets, and it felt as if migrants would never arrive (despite the addition of many species for the season). It was only on the last day of the week when we finally sat up and said “Yes! Spring is here!” (despite being mostly rained out at the nets).  Spring weather definitely curtailed our banding efforts this week, and this is reflected by the very low values in the top ten species banded table. Last week’s top species slid to second place, though assigning rank past third or fourth place is barely justified at this point. We’re STILL looking forward to the week when we won’t have to give the tenth spot in the table to more than one species...

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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  White-throated Sparrow (16) [2]

1.  Canada Goose (292.4) [1]

2.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7) [1]

2.  Red-winged Blackbird (36.4) [2]

3.  Red-winged Blackbird (5) [5]

3.  American Crow (18.3) [5]

4.  American Goldfinch (4) [-]

4.  Tree Swallow (14.7) [8]

4.  Tree Swallow (4) [-]

5.  American Goldfinch (9.6) [-]

6.  Purple Finch (3) [-]

6.  Common Grackle (8.6) [-]

7.  American Robin (2) [6]

7.  Black-capped Chickadee (8.6) [10]

7.  Brown-headed Cowbird (2) [10]

8.  Song Sparrow (8.1) [9]

7.  Song Sparrow (2) [3]

9.  American Robin (7.4) [4]

10.  7 species tied at one individual each

10.  Northern Cardinal (5.9) [-]



Purple Finches are one of the more unpredictable species at MBO, sometimes arriving early, sometimes early, and sometimes not at all.  Last spring we didn't band a single Purple Finch, so we were quite happy to catch this female and two others this week.
(Photo by Gay Gruner)

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