McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 2:  April 4 - 10, 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:



Fox Sparrows made their first appearance of the year this week, right on time!
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

 

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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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3348 (65)

# birds (and species) return

--

--

6 (4)

460 (32)

# species observed

33

45

56

197

# net hours

--

--

24

30489.3

# birds banded / 100 net hours

--

--

133.3

62.1

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Bander-in-charge:  Marie-Anne Hudson
Censusers:  Jean Bacon, Mike Beaupré, Samuel Denault, David Fishman, Barbara Frei, Gay Gruner, Barbara MacDuff, Chris Murphy, Rodger Titman

Notes: This week, with its dip in temperature and overall cloudiness, wasn’t the most fun to census in, so it’s a good thing the birds made it feel so worthwhile!  Though we observed 33 species this week, down from 36 at this time last year, we’re up by seven species for this spring so far, and an impressive 18 species for 2009.  We’re hoping the promise of good weather next week will keep bringing those migrants in!

This week’s top ten is pretty similar to last week’s, with just a little shuffling around.  The more interesting news is the list of new species added to our totals for spring: White-breasted Nuthatch on Saturday, Eastern Bluebird on Wednesday, Rock Pigeon and Cedar Waxwing on Thursday, and American Woodcock, Horned Lark and Fox Sparrow on Friday.  Every day has been so different, making each census that much more exciting.

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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

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1.  Canada Goose (91.4) [1]

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2.  Red-winged Blackbird (34.6) [5]

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3.  Ring-billed Gull (18.9) [4]

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4.  American Robin (15.4) [7]

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5.  American Crow (14.9) [6]

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6.  Bohemian Waxwing (11.6) [3]

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7.  Song Sparrow (10.9) [9]

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8.  Black-capped Chickadee (7.4) [8]

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9.  Greater Snow Goose (6.1) [2]

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10.  European Starling (5.7) [-]



While new spring arrivals are being reported almost daily, there are also some birds lingering at MBO as a reminder of winter. The Pine Siskin (above) is primarily a winter visitor to MBO, though like many finches they move somewhat erratically, and the potential exists for them to breed locally although we have yet to observe any in later spring or summer since records began to be kept at MBO in 2004.  On the other hand, the American Goldfinch (below) is a common year-round resident at MBO, but this particular male is remarkably brown for this time of year, having not yet started its prealternate moult, which will return it to "gold" form.
(Photos by Greg Rand)

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