McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

SPRING MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 6:  May 2 - 8, 2013

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:


Pileated Woodpecker
This Pileated Woodpecker was just the 8th of its kind banded at MBO in 9 years.
(Photo by Gay Gruner)

 

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THIS WEEK

THIS SPRING

2013 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

82 (22)

261 (31)

629 (36)

42141 (111)

# birds (and species) repeat

17 (9)

74 (15)

145 (17)

8126 (70)

# birds (and species) return

8 (5)

41 (15)

73 (19)

1282 (38)

# species observed

78

102

108

207

# net hours

560.0

1470.0

1525.0

70814.7

# birds banded / 100 net hours

14.6

17.8

41.2

59.5

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Simon Duval, Gay Gruner
Assistants: 
Christine Barrie, Nicolas Bernier, Salomé Bonnefoi, Cindy Bouchard, Carl Bromwich, Luke Currin, David Davey, Rui de Jesus, Jean Demers, Alison Hackney, Lisa Keelty, Lance Laviolette, Barbara MacDuff, Christine Marcoux, Francine Marcoux, Betsy McFarlane, David Oldacre, Benoit Piquette, Lisa Rosenberger, Catherine Russell, Marilou Skelling, Jillian Slater, Clémence Soulard, Elise Titman, Rodger Titman

Notes:  Week 6 has been variable historically, with three years (2006, 2011, 2012) that had a banding total between 141 and 148, and five other years in which it ranged between 37 and 86.  This spring fell toward the upper end of the lower range, with 82 individuals banded.  Diversity was good though, including 13 species banded for the first time this year: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Chipping Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Common Grackle, and American Goldfinch.  Among species observed, the biggest highlights were Carolina Wren (only a couple of previous records) and Evening Grosbeak (another rare and unpredictable surprise at MBO).  Rounding out the 15 new arrivals this week were Green Heron, Virginia Rail, Eastern kingbird, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, American Pipit, Nashville Warbleer, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, and White-crowned Sparrow.

Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow, a species that began returning to MBO last week, but was only banded for the first time this week.
(Photo by Gay Gruner)


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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1.  Red-winged Blackbird (25)  [1]

1.  Canada Goose (262)  [1]

2.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (12)  [3]

2.  Red-winged Blackbird (60)  [2]

3.  White-throated Sparrow (10)  [1]

3.  Ring-billed Gull (26)  [9]

4.  Swamp Sparrow (7)  [3]

4.  American Crow (22)  [6]

5.  Song Sparrow (5)  [6]

5.  Blue Jay (19)  [-]

6.  House Wren (3)  [10]

6.  Song Sparrow (15)  [3]

7.  Nashville Warbler (2)  [-]

6.  Black-capped Chickadee (15)  [5]

7.  Northern Cardinal (2)  [-]

8.  White-throated Sparrow (12)  [4]

7.  Chipping Sparrow (2)  [-]

9.  American Goldfinch (11)  [-]

7.  Common Grackle (2)  [-]

10.  Common Grackle (10)  [-]

Last week's top three species banded were the same again for week 6, albeit shuffled a bit.  These have most commonly been the dominant species at this point in spring, so in that sense the season appears to be unfolding normally.  The continuing strong presence of Swamp Sparrows in fourth place is a bit of a surprise, already closing in on a new spring record with most of May yet to go.  Considering the number of Northern Cardinals banded over the past year, it was surprising to add another two to the list this week, suggesting that perhaps there is some movement going on in spring as breeding territories are established.

For the fifth year in a row, the most abundant species in week 6 were Canada Goose followed by Red-winged Blackbird.  Both species increased somewhat in number compoared to last week.  Ring-billed Gull jumped up to take third place for the week, as it did back in 2006.  American Crows also increased in number this week, while the spring migration of Blue Jays was in strong evidence, landing the species in fifth place for the week.  Song Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, and White-throated Sparrow occurred in similar numbers to last week, but dropped down the ranking due to the increases by others.  New entries at the bottom of the top ten this week were American Goldfinch and Common Grackle.

Nashville Warbler
Above, a Nashville Warbler, one of the earlier warbler migrants in spring; below, a Yellow-shafted Flicker with one surprisingly red-shafted primary.
(Photos by Gay Gruner)

Northern Flicker

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