Spring – 2009

** Photographs will be added to each weeks report as soon as possible – please be patient


 

 Week 1:  March 28 – April 3, 2009

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded32 (6)18953 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat3348 (65)
# birds (and species) return6 (4)460 (32)
# species observed383852197
# net hours2430489.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours133.362.1

 

Bander-in-charge: Marie-Anne Hudson

Censusers: Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, Jeff Harrison, Barbara MacDuff, Chris Murphy, Rodger Titman

Notes: With the end of the winter season, comes the beginning of the Spring Migration Monitoring Program (SMMP) at MBO! Our spring season is defined as the 10-week span from March 28 through June 5, with banding occurring daily from April 18 to June 2. As a stark contrast with last year’s snowy spring start, this year began with wonderfully warm temperatures and only a few icy patches left in the darkest spots along the census trail. We observed a whopping 14 more species this week than at this time last year, likely a reflection of warmer conditions.

This week there were seven new species for 2009, and all 38 were new for spring. The abundance of the top ten species reflects the warmer conditions as well – there are so many more birds around now than last year. The spot claimed by the Snow Geese is a little misleading as they were only seen on one day, but numbering around 1300! We believe that the Bohemian Waxwings that have been seen in flocks of roughly 300 will be leaving us soon, as they tend to. But who knows? Maybe they’ll stick around long enough for us to band one of them…

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Canada Goose (292.6)
2.  Greater Snow Goose (185.7)
3.  Bohemian Waxwing (54.6)
4.  Ring-billed Gull (26.1)
5.  Red-winged Blackbird (25.1)
6.  American Crow (19.9)
7.  American Robin (14.7)
8.  Black-capped Chickadee (10.4)
9.  Song Sparrow (10.0)
10.  Wood Duck (8.9)

 

 


 

 

Week 2:  April 4 – 10, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded32 (6)18953 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat3348 (65)
# birds (and species) return6 (4)460 (32)
# species observed334556197
# net hours2430489.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours133.362.1

 

Bander-in-charge: Marie-Anne Hudson

Censusers: Jean Bacon, Mike Beaupré, Samuel Denault, David Fishman, Barbara Frei, Gay Gruner, Barbara MacDuff, Chris Murphy, Rodger Titman

Notes: This week, with its dip in temperature and overall cloudiness, wasn’t the most fun to census in, so it’s a good thing the birds made it feel so worthwhile! Though we observed 33 species this week, down from 36 at this time last year, we’re up by seven species for this spring so far, and an impressive 18 species for 2009. We’re hoping the promise of good weather next week will keep bringing those migrants in!

This week’s top ten is pretty similar to last week’s, with just a little shuffling around. The more interesting news is the list of new species added to our totals for spring: White-breasted Nuthatch on Saturday, Eastern Bluebird on Wednesday, Rock Pigeon and Cedar Waxwing on Thursday, and American Woodcock, Horned Lark and Fox Sparrow on Friday. Every day has been so different, making each census that much more exciting.

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Canada Goose (91.4) [1]
2.  Red-winged Blackbird (34.6) [5]
3.  Ring-billed Gull (18.9) [4]
4.  American Robin (15.4) [7]
5.  American Crow (14.9) [6]
6.  Bohemian Waxwing (11.6) [3]
7.  Song Sparrow (10.9) [9]
8.  Black-capped Chickadee (7.4) [8]
9.  Greater Snow Goose (6.1) [2]
10.  European Starling (5.7) [-]

 

 


 

 

Week 3:  April 11 – 17, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded32 (6)18953 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat3348 (65)
# birds (and species) return6 (4)460 (32)
# species observed405261197
# net hours2430489.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours133.362.1

 

Bander-in-charge: Marie-Anne Hudson

Censusers: Jean Bacon, Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, David Bird, Jean De Marre, Samuel Denault, Gay Gruner, Jeff Harrison, Barbara MacDuff, Chris Murphy, Rodger Titman

Notes: What an interesting spring so far! A prominent Quebec birder said it pretty well in an email over a list-serve the other day: spring is coming but winter hasn’t quite left yet. He doesn’t mean weather-wise, but bird-wise. We’re still recording winter species like Slate-colored Junco, Pine Siskin and Common Redpoll despite the fact that we’re also getting more spring-like species such as Great Blue Heron, Killdeer, Eastern Phoebe and Tree Swallow. A neat phenomenon for sure! This interesting mix has led to some great observations: 40 species this week (slightly down from 44 last year at this time), 52 so far this season (up from 48) and 62 for the year (up from 49)! New species for the season include Turkey Vulture, Cooper’s Hawk, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe and Common Redpoll (seen throughout the winter but only seen for the first time since the season started on Friday).

This week’s top ten is again pretty similar to last week’s, though we’re sure this will change pretty quickly once the migrants really start pouring in. The top species, Snow Goose, was again vaulted to the top by just one census entry of 670 birds. Though no longer migrants, the two Canada Geese that settled in our back pond are the proud parents of two eggs (so far), laid atop the extremely rickety duck blind. We’re hoping the flooded structure will be able to support the weight of the parents and eggs as long as they need it to.

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Greater Snow Goose (95.7) [9]
2.  Canada Goose (88.3) [1]
3.  Red-winged Blackbird (30.3) [2]
4.  American Robin (17.1) [4]
5.  American Crow (15.6) [5]
6.  Song Sparrow (11.4) [7]
7.  Ring-billed Gull (10.0) [3]
8.  Black-capped Chickadee (8.9) [8]
9.  Cedar Waxwing (8.1) [-]
10.  Wood Duck (6.1) [-]

 

 


 

Week 4:  April 18 – 24, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded39 (20)39 (20)71 (22)18992 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat8 (3)8 (3)8 (3)3356 (65)
# birds (and species) return13 (4)13 (4)19 (7)473 (32)
# species observed647178197
# net hours39839842230887.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours9.89.816.861.5

 

Banders-in-charge: Marie-Anne Hudson, Gay Gruner

Censusers/assistants: Veronica Aponte, Jean Bacon, Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, David Davey, Benoît Duthu, Simon Duval, Samuel Denault, David Fishman, Emily Gray, Jeff Harrison, Marjolaine Lagacé, Lance Laviolette, Barbara MacDuff, Eve Marshall, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, Chloé Nadeau-Perrier

Notes: This spring continues to make us raise our collective eyebrows, especially now that we’re banding! The fourth week of spring always shifts our focus from census-only to full operation, which means catching and observing birds we might not ordinarily see otherwise. If only the weather would cooperate: this week’s banding efforts were curtailed by strong northeast winds and periods of rain, so we’re surprised we caught anything really. Not having many birds to band certainly makes it easier to observe, so we’re had a very productive week for observation: 64 species this week (slightly down from 69 last year at this time), 71 so far this season (slightly up from 69) and 78 for the year (up from 70)! New species observed (chronologically) for the include (S = season, Y = Year, nothing = both): on Saturday; Common Loon, American Green-winged Teal, Sharp-shinned Hawk (S), Solitary Sandpiper, Belted Kingfisher, Common Raven (S), Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Purple Finch; on Sunday; Swamp Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow; on Monday; American Bittern, Cliff Swallow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet; on Tuesday; Black-crowned Night-heron; and on Thursday; Gadwall, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, and Virginia Rail. New species banded are, well, all of them! We think it’s a pretty interesting list, so we’re reproducing (chronologically) it here for all to see, despite the fact that it’s 20 names long: American Robin, Brown Creeper, White-throated Sparrow, Slate-colored Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Eastern Phoebe, European Starling, Pine Siskin, Yellow-shafted Flicker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, and Common Grackle.

We know we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but this week’s top ten is almost identical to last week’s, making it rather difficult to come up with anything new to say. The only new species for the week comes in at number eight, reflecting the relatively large number of Slate-colored Juncos moving through and hanging around the back of the banding cabin. We were able to catch a few of them, launching them to the top of the top ten banded species list. After getting used to the ridiculously high numbers of last fall’s top ten, this week must look rather sad in comparison… but never fear! The migrants are coming.

We’ve really had a wonderful week with tons of keen and dedicated observers and helpers. This has made net maintenance easy and quick, and we’ve had a chance to get a lot done around the site. We’d like to thank everyone for starting this spring off with a bang – this will be our best spring yet!

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Slate-colored Junco (8) [-]1.  Greater Snow Goose (155.7) [1]
2.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (5) [-]2.  Canada Goose (150.9) [2]
3.  Northern Cardinal (3) [-]3.  Red-winged Blackbird (44.3) [3]
4.  American Goldfinch (2) [-]4.  American Crow (26.1) [5]
4.  Brown Creeper (2) [-]5.  Ring-billed Gull (19.4) [7]
4.  Cedar Waxwing (2) [-]6.  American Robin (18.4) [5]
4.  Golden-crowned Kinglet (2) [-]7.  Song Sparrow (16.6) [6]
4.  Red-winged Blackbird (2) [-]8.  Slate-colored Junco (15.1) [-]
4.  White-throated Sparrow (2) [-]9.  Black-capped Chickadee (10.7) [8]
10.  11 species tied at one individual each10.  Wood Duck (10.1) [10]

 


 

 

Week 5:  April 25 – May 1, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded92 (18)131 (27)163 (29)19084 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat14 (5)22 (6)22 (6)3370 (65)
# birds (and species) return9 (7)22 (8)28 (11)482 (32)
# species observed728996197
# net hours46486288631351.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours19.815.218.460.9

 

Banders-in-charge: Barbara Frei, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson,

Censusers: Anna Aguayo, Veronica Aponte, Evelyne Aponte, Jean Bacon, Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, Sophie Cauchon, Gary Clemence, David Davey, Jean De Marre, Benoît Duthu, Simon Duval, Marie-Line Gentes, Jeff Harrison, Isabel Julian, Gillian Kinsman, Barbara MacDuff, Mélanie Marier, Eve Marshall, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, Chloé Nadeau-Perrier, André Pelletier, Fred Racine, Cat Spina

Notes: Our winter birds appear to finally have left us, with the exception of some nomadic little Pine Siskins. We’re hoping this means that they might breed at MBO, a first in recent memory. It certainly felt like we had a slow week banding-wise, but we actually banded 24 more birds than during this week last spring. Last year we observed roughly the same number as this week, but we’re well up from 80 species for the season, and 81 for the year. New species observed this week include (chronologically): Golden Eagle, Osprey, Broad-winged Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern White-crowned Sparrow, Herring Gull, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Eastern Kingbird, House Wren, Yellow Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Double-crested Cormorant. New species banded for the season include: Hermit Thrush, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Waterthrush, Blue Jay, Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and Brown-headed Cowbird. Though not a newly banded species for the season, the two Rusty Blackbirds banded on Monday deserve special mention, as we don’t tend to band many here at MBO. We think they read the last week’s report and decided to try for another picture of the week … but instead they’ll have to settle for showing up in our weekly top ten list for the first time.

This week’s top ten list of species observed has finally been shuffled around a little and has two new species, reflecting the turnover in species abundance at MBO. The juncos have moved off, and Wood Ducks dropped just off the bottom of the list, while Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Tree Swallow have taken their places. The kinglets made an even more dramatic appearance atop the list of species banded this week, ahead of all others by a landslide. In fact, the 53 individuals banded this week nearly match our full spring season average of 55 over the past four years! White-throated Sparrows also leapt up the list this week from 9th place to 2nd, though still in small numbers. Further reflecting the advance of spring, we had the first appearances this year of warblers on the list – surprisingly Northern Waterthrush and Yellow Warbler, rather than the expected Yellow-rumped Warbler. We’re counting on diversity to continue to improve so that we won’t have to share the tenth spot in the table among multiple species anymore.

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (53) [2]1.  Canada Goose (200.7) [2]
2.  White-throated Sparrow (7) [4]2.  Red-winged Blackbird (43.1) [3]
3.  Song Sparrow (6) [10]3.  Greater Snow Goose (28.6) [1]
3.  Swamp Sparrow (6) [10]4.  American Robin (20.4) [6]
5.  Red-winged Blackbird (3) [4]5.  American Crow (19.1) [4]
6.  American Robin (2) [10]6.  Ring-billed Gull (18.9) [5]
6.  Northern Waterthrush (2) [-]7.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (17.4) [-]
6.  Rusty Blackbird (2) [-]8.  Tree Swallow (13.9) [-]
6.  Yellow Warbler (2) [-]9.  Song Sparrow (13.4) [7]
10.  9 species tied at one individual each10.  Black-capped Chickadee (8.9) [9]

 

 


 

 

Week 6:  May 2 – 8, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded52 (16)183 (30)215 (32)19136 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat12 (5)34 (7)34 (7)3382 (65)
# birds (and species) return9 (5)31 (10)37 (12)491 (33)
# species observed89112119197
# net hours352.51214.51238.531703.8
# birds banded / 100 net hours14.815.117.460.3

 

Banders-in-charge: Barbara Frei, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson

Censusers / assistants: Jean Bacon, Christine Barrie, Jean Beaudreault, Mike Beaupré, David Davey, Samuel Denault, Jean De Marre, Benoît Duthu, Simon Duval, Marie-Pierre Gauthier, Marie-Line Gentes, Emily Gray, Jeff Harrison, Gillian Kinsman, Joëlle Lapalme, Mike Mayerhofer, Marjorie Mercure, Richard Milligan, Chris Murphy, Nashat Mustafa, Carine Touma

Notes: This week was would have been well below average if it hadn’t been for the first and last days of the week – well, in terms of observation. The birds are still being coy and avoiding the nets, leading us to trail last year at this time by roughly 100 birds and four species banded. Our observations are still up compared to last year, with seven more species spotted this week compared to last year, ten more for the season, and sixteen more for the year. New species observed this week include (chronologically): Barred Owl (yes you read that correctly!), Philadelphia Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Canada Warbler, Baltimore Oriole (of course these were all on Saturday), Green Heron, Great-crested Flycatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Lincoln’s Sparrow (Sunday), Northern Rough-winged Swallow, American Redstart (Monday), Yellow Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Bobolink (Tuesday), Black Tern, Veery, Gray Catbird, American Pipit, Warbling Vireo, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Black-throated Green Warbler (Friday). New species banded for the season include: Tree Swallow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Purple Finch.

With three new entries this week to the top ten species observed, Greater Snow Goose, Ring-billed Gull and Ruby-crowned Kinglet have been ousted from the list, with the resulting group better showcasing our returning breeders than migrants passing through. This week has seemed incredibly slow at the nets, and it felt as if migrants would never arrive (despite the addition of many species for the season). It was only on the last day of the week when we finally sat up and said “Yes! Spring is here!” (despite being mostly rained out at the nets). Spring weather definitely curtailed our banding efforts this week, and this is reflected by the very low values in the top ten species banded table. Last week’s top species slid to second place, though assigning rank past third or fourth place is barely justified at this point. We’re STILL looking forward to the week when we won’t have to give the tenth spot in the table to more than one species…

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  White-throated Sparrow (16) [2]1.  Canada Goose (292.4) [1]
2.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7) [1]2.  Red-winged Blackbird (36.4) [2]
3.  Red-winged Blackbird (5) [5]3.  American Crow (18.3) [5]
4.  American Goldfinch (4) [-]4.  Tree Swallow (14.7) [8]
4.  Tree Swallow (4) [-]5.  American Goldfinch (9.6) [-]
6.  Purple Finch (3) [-]6.  Common Grackle (8.6) [-]
7.  American Robin (2) [6]7.  Black-capped Chickadee (8.6) [10]
7.  Brown-headed Cowbird (2) [10]8.  Song Sparrow (8.1) [9]
7.  Song Sparrow (2) [3]9.  American Robin (7.4) [4]
10.  7 species tied at one individual each10.  Northern Cardinal (5.9) [-]

 

 


 

 

Week 7:  May 9 – 15, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded116 (27)299 (44)331 (46)19252 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat45 (13)79 (15)79 (15)3427 (65)
# birds (and species) return25 (10)56 (16)62 (18)516 (32)
# species observed95128131197
# net hours5251739.51763.532228.8
# birds banded / 100 net hours22.117.218.859.7

 

Banders-in-charge: Simon Duval, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson

Assistants: Anna de Aguayo, Christine Barrie, Pierre Beaule, Mike Beaupré, David Davey, Samuel Denault, Benoît Duthu, Nicki Fleming, Mike Fleming, Emily Gray, Jeff Harrison, Gillian Kinsman, Lance Laviolette, Eve Marshall, Chris Murphy, Cat Spina, Carine Touma, Ryan Young

Notes: A quick non-birdy note as we begin this week’s banding log: we’re so proud and happy to announce that we’ve now got another BIC in the ranks! Simon Duval, our first official intern from last spring, has returned to us a fully permitted bander. Gay Gruner was also awarded a sub-permit earlier this year and has taken to MBO BIC-ing like a duck takes to water. We’re so thrilled to have two such dynamic and conscientious folks join us

Back to the birds: it’s startiiiiiiiing … daily species totals finally ranged from 45-61 this week, reflecting increasing diversity as the migrants began flooding in. We again beat last year’s total of 91 species observed in a week, and have a 10- and 12-species advantage over last season and year, respectively. We still trail last year in terms of the number of individuals banded by a considerable margin, but we’re bang on in terms of the number of species. This isn’t necessarily due to anything nefarious – it might simply be that 1) the bulk of migration is delayed, or 2) weather patterns are causing the birds to zip right over us without stopping for a rest, something we like to call the slingshot effect. This tends to be much more noticeable in spring than fall, since most species are in much more of a hurry to reach their breeding grounds.

New species observed this week include (chronologically): Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Least Flycatcher, Ovenbird (Saturday), Cape May Warbler, Pine Warbler (Monday), American Kestrel, Magnolia Warbler (Tuesday), Bank Swallow, Scarlet Tanager, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Indigo Bunting (Wednesday), Purple Martin, Blue-winged Warbler (Thursday), and Tennessee Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler (Friday). New species banded for the season include: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern White-crowned Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Magnolia Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler.

Despite the average number of Canada Geese seen per day dropping by roughly 200 birds, they remained at the top of this week’s top ten, followed closely by Cliff Swallow and Red-winged Blackbird. This may seem a little odd for anyone familiar with the site, but is actually a predictable occurrence at this time of year – both last year and in 2006, Cliff Swallow was the third most abundant species during week 7 of spring, and in 2007 they still cracked the list in 8th place. The explanation for this is that there is a Cliff Swallow colony under the nearby McGill weather station, and every year when they first return they swarm around the wider area for a bit before settling in – this time we saw around 100 from MBO on Friday alone. Ring-billed Gulls found their way back on the list, and an all-male group (that’s all we’ve caught so far) of Common Grackles have taken over the back pond (and our now successful J-trap), giving them sixth place. American Crow numbers dropped this week likely due to them settling into nesting territories, but the rest of the top ten table remained fairly stable, with the exception of Yellow Warbler, which snuck into tenth spot.

We finally didn’t have to split the last spot in the banding table between several species this week, thanks to a small pick-up in the number of birds in the nets and to increasing diversity. The big birds have displaced the little ones, with Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles taking the top spots. We have many new entries for the week: Common Grackle, Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Eastern White-crowned Sparrow. We’re predicting that more than four spots (this week’s total) will be filled by warblers in next week’s top ten!

 

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Red-winged Blackbird (21) [3]1.  Canada Goose (37.4) [1]
2.  Common Grackle (12) [-]2.  Cliff Swallow (35.3) [-]
3.  American Goldfinch (8) [4]3.  Red-winged Blackbird (33.0) [2]
3.  Yellow Warbler (8) [-]4.  Ring-billed Gull (18.1) [-]
5.  Baltimore Oriole (7) [-]5.  Tree Swallow (17.3) [4]
5.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7) [2]6.  Common Grackle (13.9) [6]
5.  White-throated Sparrow (7) [1]7.  American Crow (10.6) [3]
8.  Nashville Warbler (6) [-]8.  Song Sparrow (9.6) [8]
9.  Common Yellowthroat (5) [-]9.  American Robin (9.4) [9]
9.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (5) [-]
9.  Eastern White-crowned Sparrow (5) [-]
10.  Yellow Warbler (9.1) [-]

 

 


 

 

Week 8:  May 16 – 22, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded299 (44)598 (60)630 (62)19551 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat83 (18)162 (24)162 (24)3510 (65)
# birds (and species) return30 (15)86 (22)92 (24)546 (34)
# species observed97138140197
# net hours554.52294231832783.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours54.926.127.259.6

 

Banders-in-charge: Simon Duval, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson, Lance Laviolette

Assistants: Christine Barrie, Sarah Briand, Dave Davey, Andrée Dubois-Laviolette, Benoît Duthu, Nicky Fleming, Marie-Melissa Kalamaras, Gillina Kinsman, Meghan Laviolette, Barbara MacDuff, Eve Marshall, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy McFarlane, Chris Murphy, James Murray, Rodger Titman, Carine Touma

Notes: What an incredible week! The migration floodgates finally opened this week and inundated us with our little feathered jewels: the warblers. We’ve banded almost triple the number of birds this week compared to last week, and in fact this week accounted for exactly half of the birds we’ve banded this entire spring season. It was also double the number from last year at this time, and our busiest spring week ever by nearly 100 birds (202 banded in week 7 of 2007). The number of species was also up this week, both in terms of birds observed and birds banded (95 species observed last week, 90 this week last year; 34 species banded last week, 27 species banded this week last year). The day that carried this week was Monday, with 75 species observed in one day alone!

Nine species were added to the list of species observed (chronologically): Wilson’s Warbler, House Sparrow (Sunday), Grey-cheeked Thrush and Blackpoll Warbler (Monday), Willow Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo (Tuesday), Chimney Swift (Thursday), and Eastern Wood-Pewee (Friday). This brings us to 138 for the season, our highest count ever at this point of spring. Not to be outdone, 16 species were banded for the first time this season: Hairy Woodpecker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Veery, Tennessee Warbler, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Northern Parula (all on Saturday), Wilson’s Warbler (Sunday), Traill’s Flycatcher, Black-and-white Warbler (Monday), House Wren, Cape May Warbler (Wednesday), Warbling Vireo (Thursday), and Red-eyed Vireo, Blackpoll Warbler, Canada Warbler (Friday) … and all this with only two weeks left in the season

This week’s top observed species only hints at what we’ve had at the nets, with Yellow Warbler creeping up to fifth spot from tenth last week, and with the addition of Tennessee Warbler in seventh position. The rest of the table has been shuffled around a little, the most notable change being the drop in abundance of Canada Goose. They’ve certainly settled down now, the migrants being long gone and the residents having gotten down to the business of breeding.

We’ve decided that we should make predictions more often! Last week we predicted that more than three spots in the top ten banded would be taken up by warblers. That prediction came true with seven out of 10 spots taken! We never would have guessed in a million years that the top spot would be taken by Tennessee Warblers though – in one day this week we banded more of them than in any previous full spring season! The number of Magnolia Warblers banded this week also exceeds all previous spring totals, perhaps a carry-over from the record numbers we recorded last fall. This spring has been really interesting in its comings and goings: we’ve had so many species appear all of a sudden in large number for a day or two, then suddenly disappear only to be replaced with another species doing the same thing. We saw it with Eastern White-crowned Sparrows and Blackpoll Warblers, with Common Yellowthroat and Wilson’s Warblers and with Northern Waterthrush and Tennessee Warblers. It certainly makes for some interesting days at MBO!

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Tennessee Warbler (36) [-]1.  Ring-billed Gull (78.7) [4]
2.  Yellow Warbler (29) [3]2.  Red-winged Blackbird (35.9) [3]
3.  Magnolia Warbler (26) [4]3.  Cliff Swallow (22.1) [2]
3.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (26) [9]4.  American Crow (15.3) [7]
5.  Eastern White-crowned Sparrow (20) [9]5.  Yellow Warbler (14.1) [10]
6.  Common Yellowthroat (17) [9]6.  Tree Swallow (14.0) [6]
7.  Red-winged Blackbird (16) [1]7.  Tennessee Warbler (12.9) [-]
8.  Northern Waterthrush (15) [-]8.  Common Grackle (10.1) [6]
8.  Wilson’s Warbler (15) [-]9.  American Goldfinch (10.0) [-]
10.  American Goldfinch (13) [-]10.  Canada Goose (9.7) [1]

 

 


 

 

Week 9:  May 23 – 29, 2009

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded225 (34)773 (64)805 (66)19726 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat72 (22)234 (30)234 (30)3582 (65)
# birds (and species) return13 (10)99 (23)105 (25)559 (34)
# species observed97143145197
# net hours4642758278233247.3
# birds banded / 100 net hours48.52828.959.3

 

Banders-in-charge: Simon Duval, Gay Gruner, Marie-Anne Hudson, Lance Laviolette

Assistants: Jean Bacon, Christine Barrie, Jean Beaudreault, Sophie Cauchon, David Davey, Samuel Denault, Meghan Laviolette, Benoît Duthu, Nicky Fleming, Gérald Fréchette, Jeff Harrison, Jennifer Gruner, Marie-Melissa Kalamaras, Gillian Kinsman, Meghan Laviolette, Barbara MacDuff, Eve Marshall, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy McFarlane, Christina Miller, Chris Murphy, André Pelletier, France Salvaille, Carine Touma

Notes: Another crazy week with only one left in the season to go! Migration is still very much underway here at MBO – though we didn’t match last week’s break-neck pace, the 225 birds banded this week still rank as the second busiest spring week in MBO’s 5-year history. Compared to last year at the same time, we banded 50 more birds and four additional species. In terms of species observed, we’re on par with last week but four species lower than last year. It appears the peak of migration was a little earlier this year compared to 2008.

Six species were added to the list of species observed (chronologically): Northern Shoveler, Swainson’s Thrush (Sunday), Spotted Sandpiper, Alder Flycatcher (Monday), Field Sparrow (Tuesday) and Merlin (Thursday). Four species were banded for the first time this season: Grey-cheeked Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush (Sunday), and Brown Thrasher, and Blackburnian Warbler (Thursday). We’re still surprised at how many new species we’ve added this week despite being so close to the end of the season. More interesting is the number of repeats (caught within three months) we’ve had this season compared to last season – it appears the birds just can’t get enough of us!

This week’s list of most frequently observed species is remarkably stable in relation to last week, with the same species in similar number from the first to the fourth spots. Our only two newbies to the list highlight what it’s been like at MBO this week – the week of the “squeeze-toy”. The “usual” suspects were all singing away throughout the week, but they were accompanied by a wave of high pitched steets-steets-steetsing Blackpoll Warblers and a fairly large flock of Cedar Waxwings (more squeeze-toy sounding birds), allowing them both to enter the top ten.

This week’s list of most frequently banded species is again comprised of many warblers – still 7 out of 10! The top spot again – incredibly – goes to Tennessee Warbler. We’ve never had any kind of spring Tennesse movement like this before – the number banded this week alone (44) is more than double our previous record for a full spring season! Compared to last year at the same time, we banded almost twice as many Blackpoll and Magnolia Warblers and similar numbers of Yellow-rumped and Wilson’s Warblers, Northern Waterthrush, American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwing. In fact, aside from the surging Tennessee Warblers, the only other notable differences this year were the addition of Traill’s Flycatcher in seventh spot, and the disappearance from the list of Red-winged Blackbirds, which were in top spot for week 9 last year.

Before we end this week’s report, we’d like to pass along a neat event that occurred during banding this past week. As Simon tells it, two Pileated Woodpeckers were hanging around B/N (the series of nets near the cabin), going back and forth and weaving around. He was sure he’d get one in the nets if he just waited out of sight. Sure enough, one hit the top of the nets, causing Simon to start running towards them to get it out ASAP. Within those few seconds, a couple of Common Grackles also flew into the net, followed by a chasing Cooper’s Hawk, and a crow chasing the hawk! Understandably, Simon was floored! With all these big birds in the nets, there was so much movement that they all escaped, and the only thing Simon could do was write up the incident in our log. Much less satisfying and interesting than banding all four species… But it made for a great story! Which one would you have tried to nab out of the net first, at the risk of losing the others? We BICs discussed it and all came up with different answers.

This week’s Top Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # individuals observed daily
1.  Tennessee Warbler (44) [1]1.  Ring-billed Gull (40.9) [1]
2.  Blackpoll Warbler (25) [-]2.  Red-winged Blackbird (28.3) [2]
3.  American Goldfinch (18) [8]3.  Cliff Swallow (20.6) [3]
4.  Magnolia Warbler (12) [3]4.  American Crow (19.0) [4]
5.  Cedar Waxwing (10) [-]5.  American Goldfinch (12.9) [9]
6.  Wilson’s Warbler (9) [7]6.  Tree Swallow (12.6) [6]
7.  Traill’s Flycatcher (8) [-]7.  Yellow Warbler (11.6) [5]
8.  Northern Waterthrush (7) [7]8.  Blackpoll Warbler (10.7) [-]
9.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (6) [3]8.  Cedar Waxwing (10.7) [-]
10.  Common Yellowthroat (4) [6]10.  Common Grackle (9.3) [8]

 

 


 

 

Week 10:  May 30 – June 5, 2009

 

 

THIS WEEKTHIS SPRING2006 TOTALSITE TOTAL
# birds (and species) banded42 (24)816 (66)848 (68)19769 (105)
# birds (and species) repeat16 (9)250 (30)250 (30)3598 (65)
# birds (and species) return0 (0)99 (23)105 (25)559 (34)
# species observed76146147198
# net hours198.52956.52980.533445.8
# birds banded / 100 net hours21.227.628.559.1

 

 

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 Ten [last week’s rank in brackets]
# individuals bandedmean # 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) [-]