January 1 - January 31, 2013

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Great Gray Owl
It was a cold and snowy month at MBO, but multiple sightings of this
Great Gray Owl (the first record for MBO since 2005) were a highlight.
Photo by Simon Duval)

MBO gratefully acknowledges the support provided for winter 2012-2013 by Bird Protection Quebec, in the form of bird seed to keep the MBO feeders stocked throughout the season.






2013 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded


432 (15)


41512 (111)

# birds (and species) repeat


141 (13)


7981 (70)

# birds (and species) return


22 (6)


1209 (38)

# species observed





# net hours





# birds banded / 100 net hours





Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Observers:  Christine Damant, Jean Demers, Simon Duval, Gay Gruner, Alison Hackney, Martina Hoft, Lisa Keelty, Clémence Soulard
 Nicolas Bernier, Alison Hackney, Lisa Keelty

Notes:  There were 14 visits to MBO in January, to refill the feeders and observe the various species on site.  However, the weather remained too cold and snowy for any banding this month. Despite the conditions, the number of species recorded for the month was above average, at 29. Among them were three new sightings for this winter:  Merlin, Great Gray Owl, and Hoary Redpoll. All of these are rarities at MBO, at least in winter.  It was only our fourth winter sighting of Merlin, and fifth of Hoary Redpoll - and the Great Gray Owl was the first one (in any season) since 2005!  

House Finch
Among the many House Finches hanging around MBO in January were several individuals from our colour-banding study - enabling us to collect a number of valuable resighting records through observation and photography, despite not being able to open the nets this month
(Photo by Simon Duval)

The Great Gray Owl was first spotted on January 5, appropriately enough near our owl nets.  It was observed another 7 times over the course of the month, and on January 26, a second individual was seen too.

This month’s top 10   [last month's rank in brackets]

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily


1.  Common Redpoll (42) [4]


2.  House Finch (18) [3]


3.  Mourning Dove (16) [7]


4.  European Starling (13) [1]


5.  Slate-colored Junco (10) [5]


6.  Black-capped Chickadee (7) [5]


7.  Northern Cardinal (4) [-]


8.  Blue Jay (3) [-]


9.  Downy Woodpecker (2) [-]


10.  American Crow (2) [-]

The abundance of Common Redpolls jumped significantly from December, with the mean daily count more than tripling to 42, the third-highest ever behind February and March 2011.  Surprisingly, the number of House Finches also increased slightly, in contrast to the drop-off that we have typically observed early in the new year.  Conversely, the typical pattern held true for American Goldfinch, with only 13 individuals observed over the course of the month's 14 visits.  Back on the positive side, we documented an influx of Mourning Doves, with the daily mean of 16 individuals the highest ever for winter.  That was thanks to an incredible 55 individuals on January 18, and another two dates with 30 or more Mourning Doves.  European Starlings were present in relatively typical numbers, but dropped to fourth place this month.  Rounding out the top five was Slate-colored Junco, with numbers pretty stable from December, and likely reflecting our overwintering flock.  

Downy Woodpecker
The woodpeckers remained active regardless of the weather this month
(Photo by Simon Duval)



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