McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 5:  April 25 - May 1, 2013

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:


Purple Finch
Purple Finches are not banded at MBO each spring, so this male was a nice surprise.
(Photo by Simon Duval)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2013 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

66 (13)

179 (18)

547 (24)

42059 (111)

# birds (and species) repeat

21 (9)

57 (13)

128 (15)

8109 (70)

# birds (and species) return

9 (7)

33 (12)

65 (17)

1274 (38)

# species observed

67

87

93

207

# net hours

399.0

910.0

965.0

70254.7

# birds banded / 100 net hours

16.5

19.7

56.7

59.9

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Simon Duval, Gay Gruner
Assistants: 
Sue Bishop, Marc Boisvert, Salomé Bonnefoi, Marie-France Boudreault, Luke Currin, David Davey, Rui de Jesus, Jean Demers, Barbara Frei, Jo-Anne Gagnon, nathalie Gendron, Monique Groulx, Alison Hackney, Lisa Keelty, Barbara MacDuff, Francine Marcoux, Ana Morales, David Oldacre, Benoit Piquette, Lisa Rosenberger, Catherine Russell, Ahmad Shah, Clémence Soulard, Elise Titman, Rodger Titman

Notes:  Spring migration comes in spurts, and overall this week was a bit of a lull.  Over the first three days of the week, the only new arrivals for the year were Greater Yellowlegs, Osprey, and Savannah Sparrow.  April 29 brought in a bigger wave of birds, with our first Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Least Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat sightings of 2013.  Rounding out the week, we also added American Bittern, Solitary Sandpiper, Cliff Swallow, and Black-and-white Warbler.  Banding numbers were unusually low this week, with just 66 individuals banded despite full effort on five days and partial hours (limited by weather) on two others.  However, that is actually normal - over the previous three years, the total for week 5 has ranged from 45 to 72 individuals.  The only species banded for the first time this spring were House Wren, Common Yellowthroat, and Purple Finch.

Salamander
This salamander was a reminder of the other wildlife present at MBO
(Photo by Gay Gruner)


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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  White-throated Sparrow (12)  [7]

1.  Canada Goose (183)  [1]

1.  Red-winged Blackbird (12)  [6]

2.  Red-winged Blackbird (49)  [2]

3.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (10)  [3]

3.  Song Sparrow (16)  [3]

3.  Swamp Sparrow (10)  [7]

4.  White-throated Sparrow (15)  [-]

3.  Fox Sparrow (10)  [1]

5.  Black-capped Chickadee (13)  [5]

6.  Eastern Phoebe (2)  [7]

6.  American Crow (11)  [7]

6.  Song Sparrow (2)  [4]

7.  Wood Duck (10)  [9]

6.  Slate-colored Junco (2)  [4]

7.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (10)  [10]

6.  Purple Finch (2)  [-]

9.  Ring-billed Gull (10)  [6]

10.  House Wren (1)  [-]
10. 
Golden-crowned Kinglet (1)   [-]
10. 
Common Yellowthroat (1)   [-]
10. 
American Tree Sparrow (1)   [-]

10.  Fox Sparrow (10)  [4]

The top ten list for species banded this week is an odd one for a couple of reasons.  Given the small number of birds banded, all of them made it into the table - but even stranger is the big gap between the top five species (10 or more individuals each) and the remainder (only one or two individuals each). Except for 2009, Red-winged Blackbird has always been among the top three species banded in week 5, and this year was no exception.  Tied for the lead was White-throated Sparrow, also commonly in the top three, and once previously (in 2008) the number one species for this time of year. Ruby-crowned Kinglet was also a fairly typical top three species. Last week's influx of Fox Sparrows spilled over into this week, while the 10 Swamp Sparrows this week was a record for this time of year, and an impressive number for a species with a spring season record total of just 19.  Among the remainder of the top ten, the most noteworthy result was another two Eastern Phoebes, pushing the species to a new spring season record after just the second week of banding.

The top three species observed were the same for the third week in a row: Canada Goose, Red-winged Blackbird, and Song Sparrow.  The goose and blackbird have been 1-2 every spring (except reversed last year), but this is the first time in our 9 spring seasons that Song Sparrow has made the top three for week 5.  Last week Fox Sparrow came from out of nowhere to land fourth place; this week it dropped to tenth, but was replaced by White-throated Sparrow.  Positions 5 through 9 were again mostly similar to last week, but shuffled a bit.  Only American Robin dropped off from last week's top ten.

Eastern Phoebe
After missing them two of the past three spring seasons, it was nice to band this Eastern Phoebe this week.
(Photo by Gay Gruner)

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