McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 2:  April 4 - 10, 2014

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:


Gravel work
Early spring is always an important time to undertake site maintenance at MBO.
This week a dedicated team of volunteers started the process of spreading a new
load of gravels along our trails and net lanes to keep the site access safe for
volunteers (and ultimately for the birds that we will be handling again soon).
(Photo by Simon Duval)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2014 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

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46310 (113)

# birds (and species) repeat

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9134 (70)

# birds (and species) return

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1434 (38)

# species observed

37

41

45

209

# net hours

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79183.3

# birds banded / 100 net hours

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58.5

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Censusers:  Nicolas Bernier, Jean Demers, Lisa Keelty, Betsy McFarlane, Clémence Soulard, Elise Titman, Rodger Titman

Notes:  After an unusually quiet start to spring, diversity picked up a bit in week 2.  However, the 37 species observed this week was still somewhat below average.  New arrivals this week included some species that typically arrive in the first week, such as Wood Duck and Eastern Phoebe.  Others noted for the first time over the course of this week were Common Merganser, Double-crested Cormorant, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Killdeer, American Woodcock, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Purple Finch.  Big thanks to the volunteers who put in a great effort kicking off the 2014 site maintenance program! 

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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

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1.  Canada Goose (90)  [1]

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2.  Red-winged Blackbird (41)  [2]

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3.  Cedar Waxwing (35)  [8]

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4.  Black-capped Chickadee (10)  [4]

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5.  American Robin (9)  [8]

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6.  American Crow (8)  [3]

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7.  Slate-colored Junco (6)  [7]

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7.  Song Sparrow (9)  [-]

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9.  Ring-billed Gull (5)  [-]

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10.  Northern Cardinal (5)  [10]

The top two species observed this week were unchanged from week one, and that was no surprise, as Canada Goose and Red-winged Blackbird have been #1 and #2 at this time of year for five of the previous seven spring seasons – the only exceptions being 2011 and 2013 when large flocks of Greater Snow Geese bumped the blackbirds out of the runner-up position.  Although Canada Goose numbers remained unusually low compared to previous years, the Red-winged Blackbird counts were relatively typical for this point in the season.  On the other hand, the influx of Cedar Waxwings this week was a surprise, as this species has only been in the top ten for week 2 in three of nine previous years, with a maximum daily count of 18 individuals, barely more than half of this year’s tally.  From there, numbers dropped off substantially to Black-capped Chickadee in fourth place, with relatively typical early spring numbers.  The rest of this week’s top ten includes modest numbers of many of the local regulars.


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