Week 7:  May 9 - May 15, 2005

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The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks returned early this week, and within a couple of days
we had banded our first three males.  This after-second-year male was unusually
gentle, only once briefly nipping the bander; the second-year male banded later the
same day applied a much firmer grip with its beak!  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)


# birds (and species) banded 55 (18) 318 (40) 377 (44) 1298 (60)
# birds (and species) repeat 12 (7) 60 (11) 94 (11) 272 (23)
# birds (and species) return 2 (2) 15 (5) 25 (6) 27 (7)
# species observed 68 100 103 147
# net hours 109.4 869.4 927.4 1901.9
# birds banded / net hour 50.3 36.6 41.9 68.2

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Assistants:  Mélisa Brunet, Jean Demers, Barbara Frei, Marie-Anne Hudson, Barbara and Don MacDuff, Crissy Ranellucci, Clemence Soulard

Notes:  Finally this week it felt like spring has really arrived!  With temperatures up to 26 Celsius on Tuesday we expected the push of warm southern air to bring in a fresh load of migrants, and Wednesday morning we were not disappointed.  All of a sudden there were Yellow Warblers everywhere, along with smaller numbers of Baltimore Orioles, and various other warblers and flycatchers.  We recorded a single-day high of 56 species, despite being present for only 4 hours!  A sudden reversal of weather brought sub-zero wind chills the next morning, which put an abrupt halt to the migration once again.

Rain again cost us a couple of days, and so that banding total for the week isn't great, though the hourly rate is much higher than we've had all season.  From the days that we were able to open, banding highlights this week were many.  We added 10 species to the list of species banded this spring, of which 6 were altogether new for MBO:  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Baltimore Oriole.  In total, we also added 16 species to the list of species observed this spring, bringing us to 100 with a good number yet to arrive.

Saturday we took a day of from regular operations to hold our all-day Birdathon.  Despite a cloudy, cool, and largely rainy day, we were able to find 108 species at MBO and beyond, and in the process raised over $1500 for McGill Bird Observatory and Bird Studies Canada.  Click here for details on our Birdathon experience.

Another splash of red this week came courtesy of this male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
Although the sapsuckers have been back in the area for a few weeks, they have 
generally remained on the far slope, and this is the first one ever banded at MBO.
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)




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