Old Friend

This male Northern Cardinal was banded in September 2011 at MBO and recaptured many times since then, his last visit was Tuesday. He is now at least 5 years old!!


Brown Creeper

Rain day at MBO, no banding but there were many juncos and Fox Sparrows present on-site. To wait until tomorrow, here’s a photo of the first Brown Creeper of the season, banded yesterday morning!!!


More birds

A good increase in the number of White-throated Sparrows this morning, but we are still looking for the first warbler. In the meantime, Wood ducks breeding season is in full swing.


Tufted Titmouse

Gay was filling the feeders today and got sight of a Tufted Titmouse enjoying the seeds … very nice fr the time of year

Tufted Titmouse Feb 1 2014

Fall Migration Monitoring 2013 – week 10: Oct 3-9

Picture of the week

Picture of the week

Last week we featured the eighth Eastern Phoebe banded at MBO this fall; this week
we have the eighth Black-billed Cuckoo over MBO’s entire history!
(Photo by Simon Duval)



2013 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded

483 (30) 2766 (71) 4050 (87) 45562 (113)

# birds (and species) repeat

79 (16) 656 (42) 986 (54) 8967 (70)

# birds (and species) return

43 (17) 198 (35) 1407 (38)

# species observed

70 142 164 208

# net hours

505.0 5227.5 8584.3 77874.0

# birds banded / 100 net hours

95.6 52.9 47.2 58.5

Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge: Simon Duval, Gay Gruner 
  Christine Barrie, Nicolas Bernier, Yvan Bernier, Sue Bishop, Marc Boisvert, Cindy Bouchard, Gabrielle Cottam, David Davey, Jean Demers, Steve Dumont, Jo-Annie Gagnon, Nathalie Gendron, Julie Hamel, Lisa Keelty, Line Lamontagne, Lance Laviolette, Barbara MacDuff, Don MacDuff, Francine Marcoux, Betsy McFarlane, Marie Perkins, Benoit Piquette, Catherine Russell, Ahmad Shah, Clémence Soulard, Patricia Stotland, Elise Titman, Rodger Titman, Jay VanderGaast

Notes:  Week 10 has traditionally been very productive at MBO, and again this year it did not disappoint.  The 483 birds banded this week marked the busiest period of 2013, with nearly twice as many birds banded as last week.  Offsetting that though, we had below average species diversity for the first time this fall, with only 70 species observed over the course of the week, despite an impressive (for October) count of 50 on October 5. 

MBO's first Winter Wren banded this season.  (Photo by Simon Duval)

MBO’s first Winter Wren banded this season.
(Photo by Simon Duval)


By October, the list of species observed and banded for the season is already quite long, and relatively few additions occur in a given week.  For week 10, we added only Black-billed Cuckoo and Winter Wren to our banding list, and Common Merganser to the count of species seen from the site this fall. 

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

# individuals banded

mean # individuals observed daily

1. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (185) [2]

1. Canada Goose (350) [1]

2White-throated Sparrow (78) [1]

2. Common Grackle (188) [-]

3Yellow-rumped Warbler (36) [3]

3. American Robin (109) [4]

4. American Robin (34) [-]

4. American Crow (65) [2]

5. Golden-crowned Kinglet (25) [6]

5. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (54) [5]

6. Song Sparrow (22) [4]

6. White-throated Sparrow (44) [3]

7. Slate-colored Junco (19) [5]

7. Blue Jay (35) [7]

8. Hermit Thrush (16) [-]

8. European Starling (30) [-]

9. Blue Jay (12) [-]

9. Red-winged Blackbird (22) [-]

10. Nashville Warbler (10) [7]

10. Black-capped Chickadee (16) [8]

This week’s influx of birds banded was primarily thanks to a big movement of Ruby-crowned Kinglets – a species that has dominated week 10 in three previous years (2006, 2007, 2009), and has been either second or third in all five other previous years. This is actually a particularly predictable time of year, as White-throated Sparrow has been in the top three in 8 of 9 years (including number one in 2005 and 2011), and Yellow-rumped Warbler has managed the same in 6 of 9 years (including top spot in 2008, 2010, and 2012).  Following closely behind the top trio this year was American Robin, a sharp jump from the zero banded last week, but not surprising given the large flocks last week that foretold what was to come. Also increasing in numbers this week were Golden-crowned Kinglets, although as usual remaining much less abundant than their Ruby-crowned relatives.  The steady migration of Song Sparrows continues, with this week’s 22 individuals bringing the season total to nearly 250.  Juncos are increasing, presumably leading up to a big end-of-season finish as they typically do.  Hermit Thrushes are another October specialty at MBO, and there is a good chance numbers will increase further next week.  Blue Jays snuck into the top ten this week, and although Nashville Warbler numbers have consistently remained below average this fall, they were again common enough this week to be included in the top ten.

Canada Goose was the most abundant species in week 10, as has been the case every year except 2012.  Last year it was Common Grackle that topped the list, and again this year the flocks built substantially in week 10, but only enough to reach second place.  American Robin numbers nearly doubled from last week, and helped push American Crow down to fourth place.  The Ruby-crowned Kinglets were not just abundant in the nets, we also saw them everywhere, with a mean daily count of 54 individuals.  Not far behind were White-throated Sparrows, as usual attempting (with limited success) to offer a bit of a dawn chorus for our volunteers.  Blue Jay flocks continued to move through in increasing numbers, and European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds re-entered the top ten, largely in association with mixed flocks dominated by grackles. Our resident Black-capped Chickadees are hanging in there, this week just barely still among the ten most abundant species on site.

We almost always have an American Redstart or two still passing through MBO in October; this year it was a striking after-hatch-year male.  (Photo by Simon Duval)

We almost always have an American Redstart or two still passing through MBO in October; this year it was a striking after-hatch-year male.
(Photo by Simon Duval)

On the owling front, it was a productive week with respect to foreign recaptures. Early in the week we learned that an owl we recaptured on October 2 had been banded on 10 October 2010 near Ellensville, New York.  Then on October 8 we had a record three foreign recoveries in the same night – two banded by Scott Weidensaul’s crews in Pennsylvania on 17 October and 20 October 2010, and another by Glenn Proudfoot New Paltz, New York, exactly one year ago.  The next night we had yet another foreign recovery, but we have yet to track down its origins.

We have another three weeks left in the Fall Migration Monitoring Program, and another four weeks of standardized owling.  Watch for updates on the remainder of the season for both programs to be posted around mid-November. 

Brown Creeper, another one of our reliable October birds at MBO. (Photo by Simon Duval)

Brown Creeper, another one of our reliable October birds at MBO.
(Photo by Simon Duval)

Continuing with brown October birds, one of this week's several Hermit Thrushes. (Photo by Simon Duval)

Continuing with brown October birds, one of this week’s several Hermit Thrushes.
(Photo by Simon Duval)



Designing a new website for the MRF/MBO

It is Tuesday 15 October 2013 and the work has begun.

Big job ahead ...

Big job ahead …

The Sparroworks Wildlife Co. have today started the lengthy task of converting the MFR/MBO website to run on the WordPress platform and in the process adding many new functions and features.

The template that is installed today is Preferences Pro published by Styled Themes … simply because I have it to hand and it is already paid for.  For reference it is the same theme used for the BPQ site. Once decisions have been made about the overall look and feel of the site this theme may be replaced with whatever people wish, but for now it allows some development work to be started. As you will have gathered, this is a test development site and not available to anyone who does not have the passwords until it is ready to live. In case I walk under a bus tomorrow, there are a second set of passwords giving access to the engine room … Marcel has copies of these.

I will be sending round a set of design-based questions in the next few days – the outline design and choice of theme will be determined by your answers.

I hope you like it – this will be interesting and will proceed in stages, starting with the public face. You can contact me with your thoughts and suggestions at any of the emails addresses you already have in your records or at greenbirding@gmail.com