McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

December 1 - 31, 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:



Snow began to fall right at the beginning of December, and has continued to accumulate
on a number of occasions, transforming the landscape into truly wintry scenes like this.
(
Photo by Gay Gruner)


MBO gratefully acknowledges the in-kind support provided for winter 2009-2010 by CCFA (Centre de Conservation de la Faune Ailée) in Montreal, in the form of bird seed to keep the MBO feeders stocked throughout the season.

 

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THIS PERIOD

THIS WINTER

2009 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

9 (6)

194 (14)

4588 (86)

23509 (105)

# birds (and species) repeat

20 (4)

109 (10)

994 (51)

4341 (66)

# birds (and species) return

--

6 (4)

166 (32)

620 (37)

# species observed

27

48

166

199

# net hours

20.0

262.0

9457.9

39923.2

# birds banded / 100 net hours

45.0

74.0

48.4

58.9

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Simon Duval, Gay Gruner
Assistants:
 Marie-Anne Hudson, Kristen Keyes, Barbara and Don MacDuff, Chris Murphy

Notes:  This year November was unusually mild and sunny, but as soon as the calendar turned to December, the weather took a turn for the worse, becoming frequently cold and snowy.  Not surprisingly, this chased out many of the lingering late migrants, with only a handful of American Robin sightings this month, and most of the Canada Geese flocks not seen past the first week of December.  Even at the feeders, action was reduced, and accordingly we also eased off on our monitoring efforts.  American Tree Sparrows and Slate-colored Juncos were at the forefront of the short banding list this month, though they were outnumbered by recaptures of local Black-capped Chickadees.  Among the species observed in December, highlights included Merlin, Northern Goshawk, Rough-legged Hawk, and a White-crowned Sparrow that showed up later in the month.   

This week’s top 5   [last week's rank in brackets]

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  American Tree Sparrow (3) [6]

1.  Canada Goose (237) [1]

2.  Slate-coloured Junco (2) [2]

2.  American Crow (21) [2]

3.  Hairy Woodpecker (1) [-]

3.  Black-capped Chickadee (16) [4]

3.  White-throated Sparrow (1) [8]

4.  Mourning Dove (14) [7]

3.  House Finch (1) [3]

5.  Slate-coloured Junco (8) [6]

3.  American Goldfinch (1) [1]
 


Juncos remained one of the most dominant species at MBO this month, which provided a nice opportunity to not only compare the appearance of different ages and sexes, but also the amount of variation within some classes. This hatch-year male (both above and below) was among those with the most minimal extent of preformative molt completed, with only the innermost greater coverts replaced, and the rest of the retained brown juvenile greater coverts easily visible even on the closed wing..

(Photos by Marcel Gahbauer)

 

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2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.