McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

FALL MIGRATION MONITORING PROGRAM

Week 5:  August 29 - September 4, 2014

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:


Wilson's Warbler
Week 5 is usually the peak of Wilson's Warbler migration, but only this one
male was banded at MBO this week.
(Photo by Simon Duval)
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THIS WEEK

THIS FALL

2014 TOTAL

SITE TOTAL

# birds (and species) banded

237 (37)

1046 (56)

2545 (79)

48855 (114)

# birds (and species) repeat

50 (15)

246 (36)

585 (50)

9719 (70)

# birds (and species) return

3 (3)

33 (15)

173 (30)

1607 (38)

# species observed

93

115

151

209

# net hours

560.0

2561.0

5974.4

85157.7

# birds banded / 100 net hours

42.3

40.8

42.6

57.4

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge: Simon Duval and Gay Gruner
Assistants:
  Veronica Aponte, Sue Bishop, Cindy Bouchard, Marie-France Boudreault, Manon Bourdon, Luke Currin, Jean Demers, Nathalie Gendron, Alison Hackney, Frédéric Hareau, Lisa Keelty, Helen Kohler, Agathe Lebeau, Marcel Lebeau, Betsy McFarlane, Ana Morales, Catherine Russell, Ahmad Shah, Clémence Soulard, Patricia Stotland, Sophie Tessier, Elise Titman, Rodger Titman, Christiane Tremblay

Notes:   It was a great week of weather at MBO, with the nets fully open for all standard hours.  However, numbers were down a bit from last week, with 237 birds banded during the week, bringing the season total past 1000.  On the other hand, the 93 species observed this week was an exceptional count, a big jump over the previous week 5 record of 86 set back in 2011.

Pine Warbler
Although Pine Warblers nest immediately adjacent to MBO in the Morgan Arboretum, they remain among the species least frequently banded during our programs - the one above was only the third individual in ten years!  In contrast, below is one of the 8 Blackpoll Warblers also banded this week.
(Photos by Simon Duval)

Blackpoll Warbler

Over a two-day span in the middle of this week (Aug 30-31) we added three species to the list of birds observed at MBO this year – Wilson’s Snipe, Northern Goshawk, and Red-bellied Woodpecker.  One day earlier, we banded our first Pine Warbler of 2014. 

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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1. Tennessee Warbler (47) [1]

1. American Robin (46) [1]

2. Magnolia Warbler (40) [2]

2. American Crow (43) [3]

3. Red-eyed Vireo (23) [9]

3. American Goldfinch (30) [2]

4. Common Yellowthroat (12) [4]

4. Cedar Waxwing (23) [4]

5. Ovenbird (10) [-]

5. Blue Jay (20) [8]

5. American Redstart (10) [5]

6. Black-capped Chickadee (19) [5]

7. Blackpoll Warbler (8) [-]

7. Canada Goose (11) [-]

7. American Goldfinch (8) [-]

8. Magnolia Warbler (11) [10]

9. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (7) [5]

9. Tennessee Warbler (10) [7]

9. Veery (7) [-]
9. Gray Catbird (7) [-]

10. Red-eyed Vireo (10) [9]

The top two species banded this week remained unchanged from week 4, and even the numbers were quite similar.  This marks the second year in a row that Tennessee Warbler edged out Magnolia Warbler for top spot, compared to all eight previous years when Magnolia Warbler dominated without fail.  Red-eyed Vireo jumped up to third place this week, during what has over the years been the peak of migration for the species.  The season total for Red-eyed Vireo is now at 62, well above average, and on pace for close to 100 individuals if numbers are average for the remainder of September.  Common Yellowthroats continued in fairly good numbers this week, and Ovenbird returned to the top ten after a one-week absence, tied for fifth place with American Redstart, which has reached a season total of 105 to date, and appears on the way to another fall total in the 140 to 150 range, as has been the case for the past four years.  Blackpoll Warblers made their first appearance in the top ten this fall, tied with American Goldfinch for seventh place.  The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher migration was strong for a second week in a row, and we now have a new season record for this species.  Rounding out the list, we had the return of Gray Catbirds, which were quiet last week, and a late surge of Veery, usually an August migrant at MBO.

Yet again, American Robin topped the list of species observed this week, and the numbers are now building too.  American Crow, American Goldfinch, and Cedar Waxwing all also increased this week, but remained in the second through fourth positions.  Blue Jay flocks are growing too, enough to rise into the top five.  Black-capped Chickadees remained fairly steady, as did Magnolia Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and Red-eyed Vireo.  Canada Goose made its first appearance in the top ten this fall, and no doubt will continue to increase as the season progresses.

Magnolia Warbler
We are in the peak of Magnolia Warbler migration - and also have received the results of our analysis of blood-testing of individuals from the past couple of years.  In brief, our data suggest that in many cases it is possible to reliably separate male and female hatch-year individuals by plumage ... details to follow once we crunch the numbers further.
(Photo by Simon Duval)


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