July 1 - 31, 2005

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What strange bird is this?  It's nowhere to be found in the majority of field guides,
yet it is one of the most common species at MBO in summer!  The answer is that
this is the rarely seen juvenile plumage of the Yellow Warbler.  It is only retained for
a brief period after they leave the nest, with the first prebasic moult prior to migration
already giving them the 'normal' yellow plumage.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)  


# birds (and species) banded 23 (10) 24 (11) 733 (66) 1654 (78)
# birds (and species) repeat 2 (2) 2 (2) 245 (18) 423 (28)
# birds (and species) return -- -- 29 (6) 31 (7)
# species observed 68 77 139 156
# net hours 34.0 0 1654.9 2629.4
# birds banded / net hour 67.6 70.6 44.5 62.9

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Assistants:  Jean Demers, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, Jen Pearson, Mike Ross, Clémence Soulard, Jen Tyler

Notes:  For the second month in a row, a new heat record was set for Montreal.  With daily high temperatures often remaining above 30 Celsius for a week or more at a time, there were very few mornings cool enough to safely operate the nets for any length of time.  As a result, we made only a few short attempts at banding the local juveniles.  While we weren't surprised to see Song Sparrow at the top of the short list that resulted, it was quite unexpected that Veery was right behind in second place!

The Tree Swallow boxes continued to be checked in July.  The visits weren't quite frequent enough to verify the success of all, but our best estimate is that around 25 Tree Swallows and at least half a dozen House Sparrows were raised in the boxes this year.  House Wrens occupied both boxes near the front gate, and filled both to the brim with sticks, but it didn't appear that they actually nested in either one.

Overall, we observed young of 23 species on the site over the past two months:  Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mourning Dove, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-eyed Vireo, Veery, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Baltimore Oriole, and House Sparrow.  While the Great Blue Herons clearly did not nest locally, it is known or expected that all of the others did.  Several other species were observed making unsuccessful nesting attempts, including Eastern Phoebe, Brown Thrasher, and Cedar Waxwing.  No doubt many of the other summer residents also nested out of our sight.

The total for the summer season (June and July) is 76 species observed, including 67 in July.  Among them was a species never before observed at MBO, the Red-breasted Merganser.  A female observed on the back ponds during census in mid-July became the 156th species for the site checklist.

A juvenile Veery, speckled both below and above, and with just a thin layer of feathers
beginning to cover the crown.  One of four banded at MBO this summer; it appears
there were at least two, if not three, successful nests.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)




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