April 22nd – News From All Over

The colours of Spring: Forsythia and Redbud.

Canadian Snow Bunting Network news from the East:
Perhaps the most important piece of recent news for the CSBN is that Yann Rochepault, Christophe Buidin, and Julie Lanthier continue to band significant numbers of Snow Buntings at their sites in the Riviere-St-Jean area. Over the weekend they passed the 1,700 mark making them the most succesful Snow Bunting “team” in Canada this year. Congratulations (and thanks for all your hard work)!

From Simon Duvall in the Montreal area:
I was just contacted by Yann Rochepault by email. He recapped one of my birds in Magpie, QC about 870km north-east of our banding site. The bird was banded by me on January 12 in Mirabel and was recapped April 12. Pretty good recovery!
Simon Duval
Observatoire d’Oiseaux de McGill / McGill Bird Observatory

Gord Parsons in Labrador City sends in his report on the Annual Snow Bunting Count which was held there today:
Way back in 1998 Cheryl Davis of Wabush, NL (ex NB and now NS) did an informal count of the Snow Buntings around Wabush and Labrador City. When she left other local birders including Lorne Slaney and Patti Moores took up the reins and the count continues. This year Steve Boone and Gordon Parsons totaled 1006 of the little buggers. Not quite the high of the early days but a lot better than 2006 and 2010. Brian Dalzell of NB, pictured, who past away last year joined us on a couple of various counts over the years including at least one Snow Bunting count.

Past numbers; 98…1710; 99…1690; 00…60; 01…1450; 02…670; 03…705; 04…36; 05…354; 06…0; 07…150; 08…100; 09…781; 10…1; 11…1070; 12…1006
Gordon Parsons, Retired Person
Labrador City

PS Gordon also sent along a commemorative picture of Brian Dalzell who was insturmental in advertising the CSBN on the East Coast.

Brian Dalzell - a great loss to the Snow Bunting Network. - G. Parsons

Approaching the bait. - D. Dufault

From Dominique Dufault who banded on the south side of the St. Lawrence near Sorel:

Dominique Dufault

I finally send you my CSBN banding data from last winter. My last outing was many weeks ago at the end of february (145.5 trap-hours; 159 banded birds) but I have been very busy lately and I kept delaying the sending of this message…. my apology.

I am very pleased with my first experience as a SNBU bander. I wish I had banded more birds, but I put on all the time I could on this project (considering I have a family and a full-time job). Four days out of a total of 9 days of banding resulted in no capture at all (probably because the bad weather conditions we all had this winter). Considering that, I think I did ok with 159 banded SNBU.
On the pictures, you can see myself, my mom Brigitte (who helped me a lot with the baiting; I banded in my parent’s backyard) and my son Franklin.

Dominique's son Franklin conferring on the age-sex of this male bunting. -D. Dufault

Dominique attributes his success to his mother, Brigitte, who kept the field baited. -D Dufault

The best moment of the season occurred on January 21st, around 16h00 when a Northern Shrike dived on the trap I was busy emptying of 3 SNBU. The Shrike attempted to grab a bunting through the mesh, bounced on the trap, got on its feet on the snow looking astonished for 2 sec, and flew away chasing another SNBU in flight. I was really amazed by what had just happened. I will certainly remember this moment for a long time!

European Starlings - bycatch. - D. Dufault

Please keep sending me info about the CSBN and consider me as a potentiel bander for next year.

Matt Timpf is in Reykjavik, Iceland. He sends this picture and directions for interested people to access his blog:

Downtown Reykjavik (where's the snow!?) - M. Timpf

Banding at Ruthven:

It was a cold, raw day – northeasterly winds with patches of light drizzle. We ran some of the nets for about four and a half hours. The highlight was the 8 Yellow-rumped Warblers that we banded, two of which were ASY males with stunning plumages. The next couple of days are forecast to be cold and wet with a possibility of snow – very tough conditions for migrants. Tough conditions for locally breeding birds too: there are Eastern Bluebirds, Killdeer, American Robins, Northern Cardinals, Black-capped Chickadees, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers sitting on eggs that we know of. These coming two days will be crucial to them.

Killdeer on nest - with 4 eggs. - B. Oldfield

Banded 24:
2 Mourning Doves
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 American Robin
8 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Red-winged Blackbird
4 Brown-headed Cowvbirds
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 47 spp.

Photo Gallery:

Ben with a retrapped Hairy Woodpecker.

Western Palm Warbler - B. Oldfield

A striking male Yellow-rumped Warbler - B. Oldfield

Gaby with a Yellow-rumped Warbler. We banded 8 today.

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