McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 1:  March 28 - April 3, 2009

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

PICTURE OF THE WEEK:



No longer all by himself, this Red-winged Blackbird was quickly joined by many others,
each claiming its own little piece of territory. The first female of the season was seen on
Thursday, and our old friend, the male who ends every song with a nuthatch-like
"pent pent", is back for the third spring in a row!

(Photo by Greg Rand)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2009 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

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32 (6)

18953 (105)

# birds (and species) repeat

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--

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3348 (65)

# birds (and species) return

--

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6 (4)

460 (32)

# species observed

38

38

52

197

# net hours

--

--

24

30489.3

# birds banded / 100 net hours

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133.3

62.1

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marie-Anne Hudson
Censusers:  Jean Beaudreault,
Mike Beaupré, Jeff Harrison, Barbara MacDuff, Chris Murphy, Rodger Titman

Notes:  With the end of the winter season, comes the beginning of the Spring Migration Monitoring Program (SMMP) at MBO! Our spring season is defined as the 10-week span from March 28 through June 5, with banding occurring daily from April 18 to June 2. As a stark contrast with last year’s snowy spring start, this year began with wonderfully warm temperatures and only a few icy patches left in the darkest spots along the census trail. We observed a whopping 14 more species this week than at this time last year, likely a reflection of warmer conditions.

This week there were seven new species for 2009, and all 38 were new for spring.  The abundance of the top ten species reflects the warmer conditions as well – there are so many more birds around now than last year. The spot claimed by the Snow Geese is a little misleading as they were only seen on one day, but numbering around 1300! We believe that the Bohemian Waxwings that have been seen in flocks of roughly 300 will be leaving us soon, as they tend to. But who knows?  Maybe they’ll stick around long enough for us to band one of them…

This week's top 10

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

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1.  Canada Goose (292.6)

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2.  Greater Snow Goose (185.7)

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3.  Bohemian Waxwing (54.6)

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4.  Ring-billed Gull (26.1)

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5.  Red-winged Blackbird (25.1)

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6.  American Crow (19.9)

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7.  American Robin (14.7)

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8.  Black-capped Chickadee (10.4)

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9.  Song Sparrow (10.0)

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10.  Wood Duck (8.9)



What’s the difference?  The easiest way to tell a Bohemian Waxwing (below) from a Cedar Waxwing (above) is the presence of a “rusty bum” on the Bohemian, whereas Cedars have white undertail feathers  (Photos by Greg Rand)

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2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.