McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

2008-2009 SEASON SUMMARY

Click here for a complete listing of our weekly log archives.  Comments or questions are welcome at "mbo AT migrationresearch.org"

 WINTER 2008/09

OCT/NOV

DEC

JAN

FEB

MAR

TOTAL

Number of days falling within winter season

31

31

31

29

27

149

Number of days of observation

7

2

4

9

14

36

Number of banding sessions

-

-

-

-

3

3

Number of birds (and species) banded

-

-

-

-

32 (6)

32 (6)

Number of birds (and species) repeat

-

-

-

-

0 (0)

0 (0)

Number of birds (and species) return

-

-

-

-

6 (4)

6 (4)

Number of species observed

27

22

20

28

39

51

Number of net hours

-

-

-

-

24.0

24.0

Number of birds banded per 100 net hours

-

-

-

-

133.3

133.3

The winter season at McGill Bird Observatory spans the gap between the fall and spring migration seasons, a total of just over 21 weeks from the last day of October through March 27. Unlike the daily monitoring during migration, activities at MBO in winter are more sporadic, limited largely by weather conditions, especially when it comes to banding. Few other bird observatories this far north are open in winter at all, so even part-time operations can be useful in terms of monitoring the winter occurrence of birds.

Unlike last winter, we were able to install and maintain bird feeders throughout the winter season. This attracted many species that would ordinarily be trickier to find in large numbers during the winter. While the first four-fifths of the season were too cold/snowy/windy for any banding to occur, we managed to get out three times in March.

On the whole, observations were conducted at MBO on 24% of days this winter, up from 16% last year, but slightly down from 30% the year before. Difficult weather conditions (i.e., extreme cold in January) reduced the number of observation days.

The winter season actually started off slowly with 27 species observed, down from last year’s 36. This number stayed more or less consistent throughout the season, despite variation in the number of observer days. This is likely due to the stabilizing effect of the feeders.  Overall we ended up with 51 species observed, up from last year’s 40, and similar to the 49 in 2006 - 2007. There were a few more observation days this year, compared to last year, but we attribute the higher number of species to the full feeders, and not the added observers.

Below, for comparison, is the summary table from 2007-2008; the entire seasonal report and weekly records can be found in the banding log.

 WINTER 2007/08

OCT/NOV

DEC

JAN

FEB

MAR

TOTAL

Number of days falling within winter season

31

31

31

29

27

149

Number of days of observation

8

4

5

7

1

25

Number of banding sessions

-

-

-

-

-

-

Number of birds (and species) banded

-

-

-

-

-

-

Number of birds (and species) repeat

-

-

-

-

-

-

Number of birds (and species) return

-

-

-

-

-

-

Number of species observed

36

16

13

17

2

40

Number of net hours

-

-

-

-

-

-

Number of birds banded per 100 net hours

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.