Week 3:  November 14-20, 2005

Welcome to the McGill Bird Observatory weekly report.  Click here for a complete listing of our archives.  Comments or questions are welcome at


Yes, another American Goldfinch photo this week.  Last week we suspected the
featured bird was from some distance away; this week we know for certain it is not
a local individual.  That's because for the first time, we have caught a passerine with
a foreign band.  There is nothing on the band to directly indicate the bird's origin, but
we have reported the number to the Bird Banding Office and hope to hear back soon
about when and where it was banded.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

Special thanks to Wildlifers in Baie D'Urfe for donating the seed to stock the feeders for MBO's Winter Monitoring Program - click here for information about the store.


# birds (and species) banded 37 (5) 116 (10) 4075 (84) 4996 (92)
# birds (and species) repeat 11 (2) 48 (5) 789 (36) 867 (41)
# birds (and species) return 1 (1) 2 (3) 75 (14) 75 (14)
# species observed 16 33 163 169
# net hours 5.0 43.0 5424.1 6398.6
# birds banded / 100 net hours 740.0 269.8 75.1 78.0

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Assistants:  Shawn Craik, Barbara Frei, Marie-Anne Hudson, Betsy McFarlane

Notes:  As has been the norm of late, weather limited us to one morning of banding this week.  Even then, an unexpected burst of flurries mid-morning caused us to cut it short, contributing to the astronomical rate of 740 birds per 100 net hours recorded for the day (having more than two dozen American Goldfinches hit the nets together makes a bigger impact than usual when the nets aren't open long at all).

With today's influx, the American Goldfinches have taken a commanding lead for the season - 64 out of a total of 116 birds banded!  Interestingly, only two of the ones caught this week were banded in previous weeks, suggesting there is still a considerable migration underway.  Most interesting was a third banded bird which didn't correspond to any of the band series we have used at MBO - after more than a year, we have finally caught our first foreign-banded bird!  We hope to learn about its origins next week.

Otherwise, the past week has been an unremarkable one.  The only new species added to the list for this winter was Common Raven, while others such as Wood Duck and Golden-crowned Kinglet were absent and have likely left for the south. 




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