McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

WINTER POPULATION MONITORING

Week 16:  February 13-19, 2006

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

PICTURE OF THE WEEK:



Pine Siskins were banded at MBO for the first time this week.

(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.

-

 

THIS WEEK

THIS WINTER

2006 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

20 (7)

279 (16)

106 (13)

5159 (93)

# birds (and species) repeat

2 (2)

162 (6)

64 (5)

957 (41)

# birds (and species) return

2 (1)

20 (5)

14 (5)

92 (15)

# species observed

18

48

30

170

# net hours

12

131.5

65.0

6487.1

# birds banded / 100 net hours

166.7

212.2

163.1

79.4

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer
Assistants:  Shawn Craik, Jean Demers, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy Mcfarlane, Greg Rand, Clemence Soulard

Notes:   We managed to get in one day of banding this week on a beautifully mild Wednesday, and recorded observations on four other days, making this a much more productive period than week 15.

Among the 170 species on the MBO checklist, one of the most surprising omissions from the shorter list of species banded has been Pine Siskin.  Though they are reasonably common (albeit erratic) in the region in winter, and have been seen at MBO on a number of occasions, it wasn't until this week that we finally banded them for the first time.  Interestingly, we had not seen any since the beginning of the winter season, but a few were present when we set up the nets on Wednesday morning, and by the end of the session we had banded 7 individuals out of the flock of 13.  Fortunately, among this sample there was a good mixture of males and females, and of young and older birds, giving us a great crash course in siskin plumage variation.

Also noteworthy from the day of banding were 3 female Northern Cardinals (unusually many for us to catch in a single day), and 7 unbanded Black-capped Chickadees.  This is quite remarkable, given how many chickadees we have already banded this winter, in addition to the dozens of long-term residents that recaptures have proven are still in the area.  Perhaps the recent mild weather has already got some chickadees on the move.


Though the range of variation remains poorly understood, the extent of yellow on the wing
and tail of Pine Siskins is believed to serve as an indication of sex and age.  The wing
shown above had the greatest extent of yellow among the 7 Pine Siskins banded this week,
and is believed to be that of an after-second-year male.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

-

-

 

2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.