Week 8:  September 19-25, 2006

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A surprising species in this week’s top ten: Black-throated Green Warbler!  Although
they are not as showy in basic plumage as they are during the breeding season,
their olive-green backs and bright yellow cheeks add a splash of colour to fall.
Photo by Barbara Frei)-

MBO gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided for the 2006 Fall Migration Monitoring Program by Mountain Equipment Co-op's Environment Fund






2006 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded

332 (33)

1762 (67)

2697 (80)

7750 (96)

# birds (and species) repeat

29 (12)

249 (31)

486 (38)

1364 (52)

# birds (and species) return


21 (9)

118 (22)

187 (26)

# species observed





# net hours





# birds banded / 100 net hours





Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Marie-Anne Hudson, Barbara Frei
Assistants:  Martin Bowman, Sophie Cauchon, Alejandro del Peral, Jean Demers, Val Francella, Helen Garland, Gay Gruner, Bana Hamze, Barbara MacDuff, Don MacDuff, Sarah Marteinson, Poonam Maskeri, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, Daniel Oyama, Annie-Claude Paradis, André Pelletier, Katleen Robert, Clémence Soulard, Katie Sullivan, Sandra Warren, Marie-Claude, Josée

Notes:  For those of you who had any doubts as to what time of year it is, let us assure you, it’s migration time!  Despite the cooler mornings (don’t worry, it’s cozy inside the banding station thanks to our wood stove), bird activity is incredible!  The low number of net hours for the week hints at the week we’ve had: nets had to be closed early on most days since there were not enough extractors to deal with the number of birds caught!   The guilty parties were mostly the ubiquitous Yellow-rumped Warblers that seem to be absolutely everywhere.  A new net line, H2, was installed this week and broke records when it caught 49 birds within 25 minutes Monday morning. It was a sight to see, as warblers lay side by side calmly waiting to be extracted.  

Other birds of note were the season’s first banded and seen Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Eastern White-crowned Sparrow. As well, four Scarlet Tanagers – always a nice bird to see up close instead of flitting in the treetops – were caught side-by-side on Sunday morning… in H2 of course. 

We had two candidates for the new ‘oddities’ page that we are putting together, which displays the strange things that can be encountered while banding.  These ‘cross-billed’ individuals – a Common Yellowthroat and White-throated Sparrow – were both fat and seemingly healthy adults!  They seem to have survived well despite their challenges - or perhaps have even found a way to benefit from them.
(Photos by Barbara Frei)


                                                    This week's top 10   [last week's rank in brackets]
# individuals banded mean # individuals observed daily
Yellow-rumped Warbler (163) [1] American Crow (244) [1]
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (42) [3] Canada Goose (156)  [-]
Magnolia Warbler (15) [5] Common Grackle (84) [2]
Nashville Warbler (15) [2] Yellow-rumped Warbler (75) [7]
White-throated Sparrow (14) [6] American Robin (32) [8]
Black-throated Green Warbler (11) [-]  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (30) [10]
Song Sparrow  (10)  [7] Rusty Blackbird (24) [-]
 Common Yellowthroat (6) [8] Blue Jay (24) [4]
Lincoln’s Sparrow (5) [-] Red-winged Blackbird (20)  [-]
Golden-crowned Kinglet (4) [-] White-throated Sparrow (18) [9]

Out of the top ten species banded, there are 5 warbler species, both species of kinglets and 3 species of sparrows. No surprise to anyone who has been out this week!  We are fairly certain that most of our student volunteers can now confidently recognize, and it many cases sex our top 2 species – Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets – as they had plenty of opportunity to see them up close. As for the daily observations, American Crows still gathered and streamed by in impressive numbers, making them the top species observed. The coming fall has been echoed every morning with the sounds of the growing flocks of Canada Geese making their way towards warmer weather. As well, blackbird migration is taking place, the most exciting being Rusty Blackbird sightings on multiple days this week. And of course, the energetic Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers are dripping from every bush – delighting everyone with their presence.  The top 10 species alone accounted for an average of over 700 birds observed each day this week!

A bird in the hand may be worth two in the bush – but I don’t know – there were a LOT of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the bushes around MBO! With 49 caught Friday, 27 Sunday, and 48 Monday (with very few recaptures) you have to wonder – how many are out there? Well, since they are one of our target boreal birds, the more the merrier!  (Photo by Barbara Frei)




© 2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.