McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 7:  May 9 - 15, 2010

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:



Symptomatic of a peculiar spring season so far, this Blue-headed Vireo on the last day
of week 7 was the first of its kind to arrive, though traditionally this has been the peak
week of migration for this species.
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2010 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

124 (31)

351 (40)

474 (43)

23983 (105)

# birds (and species) repeat

24 (10)

71 (18)

101 (16)

4442 (66)

# birds (and species) return

28 (10)

65 (18)

74 (16)

694 (37)

# species observed

85

117

120

200

# net hours

480.0

1855.4

1921.4

41828.6

# birds banded / 100 net hours

25.8

18.9

24.7

57.3

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Simon Duval, Marcel Gahbauer, Gay Gruner
Assistants:  Christine Barrie, Mike Beaupré, Christine Burt, Adriana Celada, Jean Demers, Connie Downes, David Davey, Rejean Duval, Isaac Finkelstein, Max Finkelstein, Nicki Fleming, Barbara Frei, Jeff Harrison, Marie-Anne Hudson, Marie-France Julien, Malcolm Johnson, Barbara MacDuff, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, Mark Romer, Bonnie Soutar, Rodger Titman, Clémence Soulard, Vince Spinelli

Notes:  Although last week's cold weather spilled over into the beginning of week 7, after that temperatures were more seasonal, and migrants responded in decent numbers.  While we saw no big fallouts of birds, volume increased slightly throughout the week, and our total number of birds banded ended up relatively average for this time of year (ranked third out of six spring seasons).  Similarly, the number of species observed this week and the total number of the species observed for the season to date are close to our five-year averages. 


Northern Parula, one of the several new arrivals at MBO this week.
(Photo by Simon Duval)

Another dozen species were observed this week for the first time in 2010:  Sora, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Least Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Northern Parula, Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Bobolink. The list of species banded this year grew even more impressively, with 16 more species bringing the season total to 40:  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, House Wren, Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Tennessee Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Ovenbird, Chipping Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole.


Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were also a bit late arriving this year, with this after-second-year male banded on the last day of the week being the first sign of their return.
(Photos by Marcel Gahbauer)

Among this week's banding highlights were Wood Thrush (the first ever banded at MBO in spring, and only the fourth overall), Ovenbird (only 2 banded at MBO in spring previously), Blue-headed Vireo (only 9 banded at MBO in spring previously), and Northern Parula (only 10 banded at MBO in spring previously).  Overall it was a good week for diversity, with the 31 species banded this week eclipsing the season total of 25 species coming into this week.

This week’s top 10 (last week's top 10 in brackets)  

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (19) [4]

1.  Canada Goose (46) [1]

2.  White-crowned Sparrow (11) [-]

2.  Red-winged Blackbird (43) [2]

3.  American Goldfinch (10) [-]

3.  Ring-billed Gull (31) [8]

4.  Red-winged Blackbird (9) [1]

4.  Cedar Waxwing (23) [4]

5.  Yellow Warbler (7) [-]

5.  Cliff Swallow (19) [3]

5.  White-throated Sparrow (7) [3]

6.  American Crow (18) [5]

7.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (6) [1]

7.  Tree Swallow (15) [7]

7.  American Robin (6) [4]

8.  American Goldfinch (14) [6]

9.  Common Grackle (5) [4]

9.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (13) [-]

10.  Gray Catbird (4) [-]
10.  Nashville Warbler(4) [4]
10.  Swamp Sparrow (4) [-]

10.  Yellow Warbler (12) [-]

Yellow-rumped Warbler is on top of the list of species banded this week, a first for spring, in contrast to fall when this species often dominates.  On the other hand, Red-winged Blackbird has traditionally dominated the banding list in week 7, but only ranked fourth this year.  White-crowned Sparrow has never ranked higher than fifth place in weekly banding totals at MBO in spring, but was a surprise runner-up this week. American Goldfinch has ranked third during week 7 in four of the five previous years, and managed to finish there again. The others on the list this week are also mostly regulars for this time of spring.

Canada Goose and Red-winged Blackbird maintained the top two positions among species observed for a third week in a row, but Canada Goose showed its traditional sharp drop in numbers from week 6 to week 7, corresponding to the large flocks of migrants largely having moved on.  Positions three through eight have been reshuffled from last week, and all of them are regulars at this time of year. New this week at the bottom of the list are Yellow-rumped and Yellow Warblers; both have shown up in the top ten for week 7 in some previous years, but this is the first time both have been this abundant in the same year.

Toward the end of the week, our regular program was overlapped with a banding workshop by Peter Pyle, jointly coordinated by MBO and Vanier College.  Click here for a taste of the topics that were covered.


Chipping Sparrow, the latest of the sparrows to arrive at MBO.
(Photo by Simon Duval)


Lincoln's Sparrow, an uncommon but regular May migrant at MBO.
(Photo by Simon Duval)

 

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