McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY
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Banders-in-charge: Simon Duval, Marcel Gahbauer, Gay Gruner
Notes: Although last week's cold weather spilled over into the beginning of week 7, after that temperatures were more seasonal, and migrants responded in decent numbers. While we saw no big fallouts of birds, volume increased slightly throughout the week, and our total number of birds banded ended up relatively average for this time of year (ranked third out of six spring seasons). Similarly, the number of species observed this week and the total number of the species observed for the season to date are close to our five-year averages.
Another dozen species were observed this week for the first time in 2010: Sora, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Least Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Northern Parula, Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Bobolink. The list of species banded this year grew even more impressively, with 16 more species bringing the season total to 40: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, House Wren, Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Tennessee Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Ovenbird, Chipping Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Baltimore Oriole.
Among this week's banding highlights were Wood Thrush (the first ever banded at MBO in spring, and only the fourth overall), Ovenbird (only 2 banded at MBO in spring previously), Blue-headed Vireo (only 9 banded at MBO in spring previously), and Northern Parula (only 10 banded at MBO in spring previously). Overall it was a good week for diversity, with the 31 species banded this week eclipsing the season total of 25 species coming into this week.
Yellow-rumped Warbler is on top of the list of species banded this week, a first for spring, in contrast to fall when this species often dominates. On the other hand, Red-winged Blackbird has traditionally dominated the banding list in week 7, but only ranked fourth this year. White-crowned Sparrow has never ranked higher than fifth place in weekly banding totals at MBO in spring, but was a surprise runner-up this week. American Goldfinch has ranked third during week 7 in four of the five previous years, and managed to finish there again. The others on the list this week are also mostly regulars for this time of spring.
Canada Goose and Red-winged Blackbird maintained the top two positions among species observed for a third week in a row, but Canada Goose showed its traditional sharp drop in numbers from week 6 to week 7, corresponding to the large flocks of migrants largely having moved on. Positions three through eight have been reshuffled from last week, and all of them are regulars at this time of year. New this week at the bottom of the list are Yellow-rumped and Yellow Warblers; both have shown up in the top ten for week 7 in some previous years, but this is the first time both have been this abundant in the same year.
Toward the end of the week, our regular program was overlapped with a banding workshop by Peter Pyle, jointly coordinated by MBO and Vanier College. Click here for a taste of the topics that were covered.
© 2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.