McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 10:  May 30 - June 5, 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:



This second-year female Magnolia Warbler was the last bird banded at MBO this
spring. We wish her safe and happy travels as she continues her journey north to
the boreal forest to breed.
(Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2009 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

42 (24)

816 (66)

848 (68)

19769 (105)

# birds (and species) repeat

16 (9)

250 (30)

250 (30)

3598 (65)

# birds (and species) return

0 (0)

99 (23)

105 (25)

559 (34)

# species observed

76

146

147

198

# net hours

198.5

2956.5

2980.5

33445.8

# birds banded / 100 net hours

21.2

27.6

28.5

59.1

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:   Simon Duval, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson
Assistants:  Jean Bacon, Christine Barrie, Jean Beaudrault, Mike Beaupré, Christine Burt, David Davey, Jean De Marre, Benoît Duthu, Nicky Fleming, Marie-Pierre Gauthier, Jeff Harrison, Eve Marshall, Mike Mayerhofer, Marjorie Mercure, Chris Murphy, and the mysterious Malcolm

Notes:  With only three days of banding this week due to the structure of our monitoring season (four days of census at the very end of the season due to a steep drop-off in species and individuals as birds get down to the business of breeding and/or finish their migration), it’s been a slow and lazy week at MBO.  We haven’t been completely idle, however, as we took the opportunity to iron out the protocol and set up nets for our upcoming foray into our MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship - an important population monitoring coordinated by the Institute for Bird Populations that has strong participation across much of the United States, but a limited presence to date in Canada).  We would like to thank Malcolm for his hard work – the net lanes are incredible!  The program will run once every 10 days from now until early August; we’ll post a mid-season and end of season update to share the results of our first season of MAPS..

But back to this week … two species were added to the list of species observed this spring: Vesper Sparrow and Carolina Wren. Not only did we save the best (a.k.a. rare at MBO) for last, but with the Carolina Wren we actually managed to add a new species for the SITE, something we haven’t done all season (though it should be noted that Carolina Wren was observed at MBO in the fall of 2003 before we officially started our observations, so we did anticipate one would eventually show up again).  Both birds were singing their very distinctive songs near the parking circle on different days.  One species was banded for the first time this season: a sweet little female Indigo Bunting.

This week’s list of most frequently observed species is again quite similar to last week’s, though with a bit of a shuffle in the ranks.  Summer is truly here, with our breeders (either at MBO or nearby) filling up the table, each with a fairly large drop in abundance compared to previous weeks. This week’s top 10 banded species is pretty pathetic – we’ve reverted to our “tied-for-last-spot-with-one-individual-banded”.  For the most part, the table indicates a mix of breeders and the last of the migrants moving through, booting it up to the Boreal. Consistent with past years, Blackpoll Warbler and Traill's Flycatcher were among the dominant late migrants.

We had an absolutely wonderful season, so please stay tuned for the full report, due out shortly!  A few teasers: the 66 species we banded marks a new spring season record, we banded record numbers of Tennessee and Wilson's Warblers this spring, but Red-winged Blackbirds fell to a fraction of their numbers of previous years.  As a final word for the season, we would like to extend a big thank you and a congratulations to our spring intern, Benoît Duthu.  His enthusiasm and glee for all things natural were always a pick-me-up on those particularly early mornings!  We wish him all the best in all his future endeavours.

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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  Blackpoll Warbler (7) [2]

1.  Red-winged Blackbird (28.0) [2]

2.  Traill's Flycatcher (4) [7]

2.  Ring-billed Gull (14.1) [1]

2.  Wilson's Warbler (4) [6]

3.  American Crow (13.1) [4]

4.  American Goldfinch (2) [3]

4.  Tree Swallow (9.4) [6]

4.  Cedar Waxwing (2) [5]

5.  Yellow Warbler (8.6) [7]

4.  Common Yellowthroat (2) [10]

6.  Cliff Swallow (7.9) [3]

4.  Magnolia Warbler (2) [4]

7.  Cedar Waxwing (7.4) [8]

4.  Red-eyed Vireo (2) [-]

8.  Song Sparrow (6.7) [-]

4.  Tennessee Warbler (2) [1]

9.  American Goldfinch (5.7) [5]

10.  15 species tied (1)

10.  Black-capped Chickadee (5.3) [-]



Black-throated Blue Warblers are a rather rare find at MBO in spring, with an average of only one individual banded in each of our first four spring seasons, so this second-year female was a pleasant surprise on the last day of this spring migration monitoring program.

(Photo by Gay Gruner)

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2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.