June 6 - 30, 2007

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Tree Swallows again are leading the list of birds banded at MBO during the breeding
season, with several boxes full of nestlings.  We have already had foreign recoveries
of MBO-raised Tree Swallows, and hope that by continuing to band the locally
produced young, we will learn more about their dispersal patterns.
Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)-





2007 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded

30 (3)

30 (3)

775 (65)

10093 (98)

# birds (and species) repeat



115 (21)

1664 (53)

# birds (and species) return



85 (21)

285 (28)

# species observed





# net hours





# birds banded / 100 net hours





Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marie-Anne Hudson
Assistants:  Dave Bird, Shawn Craik, Gay Gruner, Chris Murphy, Rodger Titman

Notes:  June has come and gone at an incredible rate – leaving us wondering where the summer’s gone!  Our first census of the summer season was conducted on the 11th of June, and they've been going about once or twice a week since then thanks to our loyal censusers (please see above).  The average number of species seen during each visit ranged between 29 and 39, however the total number of species observed during the month of June was a respectable 60, an increase from the 52 observed during this period last year.

Much like last year at this time, most of the birds that have remained at MBO have settled down to breed, becoming quite quiet.  Most noticeably, the Common Yellowthroats have almost completely ceased singing, opting instead to skulk around the bushes and ‘cheack’ at you as you walk by.  The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Warbling Vireos, once so vocal it was hard to hear anything else, have fallen completely silent.  Our birds have not wasted any time: we’ve had young Wood Ducks, Canada Geese, House Sparrows, Eastern Kingbirds (a first as far as we know for MBO), American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds, Tree Swallows, House Wrens, and… Great-crested Flycatchers!  Though these young are still in the egg (in one of the nest boxes we’re keeping a close eye on), we still count them as young-to-be.

These young Eastern Kingbirds settled back into their nest quite nicely after being banded.
Not shown in the photo, momma Kingbird was hovering nearby the entire time, keeping
a watchful eye on her young.
  (Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)

The list of birds banded this month is comprised almost entirely of almost-fledged juveniles, with the exception of one second-year female Tree Swallow who was quickly banded after she wouldn’t budge off her nest of newly hatched young. 

                                                This month's top 10   [last week of spring's rank in brackets]

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

Tree Swallow (20)

Red-winged Blackbird (42.3) [1]

House Wren (6)

American Goldfinch (14.3) [4]

Eastern Kingbird (4)

Tree Swallow (14.3) [3]


American Crow (14) [2]


Yellow Warbler (9) [6]


Cedar Waxwing (7.7) [5]


Song Sparrow (7) [8]


Baltimore Oriole (6.5) [-]


Common Yellowthroat (5.3) [7]


American Robin (4.5) [-]

The ten species most frequently observed this month were roughly the same as the last week of the spring season, though their order of abundance changed somewhat, and a couple of additions were made.  Red-winged Blackbirds continue to dominate, while American Goldfinch and American Crow have traded spots, as have Yellow Warbler and Cedar Waxwing.  Overall, this list represents the most common breeding species at MBO.  Seven of last June's top 8 species are in this year's top 10, with the lone exception being Ring-billed Gull; Red-winged Blackbird and American Goldfinch also held the top two places in 2006.

The vegetation has really gone wild, with some of the grasses in the meadow now taller than most of us (but probably not Marcel).  This makes it all the more difficult to locate dropped items, such as the small mirrors we carry to quickly check the contents of the nest boxes!  We hope to continue censusing throughout July, and will begin to gear up for the upcoming fall season soon.  There will be much vegetation management to do, so we are on the lookout for hard-working volunteers to help us tame those thickets!  Along those lines, we would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Maria, Barbara and Peter Frei (no relation) for spending several hot summer days working on MBO’s newest installation: the composting toilet!  We hope to have it up and running in time for the fall season, and cannot thank them enough for their wonderful craftsmanship and all-around hard work.  Sincere thanks also to Sun-Mar, who provided the toilet at a considerable discount.

These little guys were the first juvenile House Wrens ever banded at MBO.
(Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)



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