February 22nd – It’s an Amazing Journey!

Ontario-banded Snow Bunting in Nuuk Greenland - M. Kviesgaard

You will remember back to the Summer of 2011 and the excitement that was generated when a picture was sent of a banded male Snow Bunting taken in Nuuk Greenland on April 22nd. Due to the resolution of the photographs, taken by Martin Kviesgaard of the bird at his feeder, it was possible to determine that it was a bird banded by Bill Read on February 9, 2011 just outside of Glen Morris – a small town on the Grand River south of Kitchener (in southern Ontario). We thought that was the only really long-distance recovery of one of the “Netork’s” birds (there were a couple of others in Labrador of “Network” birds). But….we were wrong. Following is an exchange between Jo Anna Lutmerding of the Bird Banding Laboratory in Patuxent, Maryland and Oliver Love (U. of Windsor).

- M. Kviesgaard

- M. Kviesgaard

- M. Kviesgaard

- M Kviesgaard

Aside from the report for 2161-20671, we have a total of 4 other SNBU sightings from Greenland, 2 of which have Martin’s [Kviesgaard] name on them:

2361-03351 (permit 10511) – the bird was banded as an ASY male on 2/23/2009 10 km E of Arthur, ON, and was seen in Nuuk on 5/30/2009

2361-07180 – (permit 10511) – the bird was banded as an ASY male on 1/5/2010 in same location and was seen in Nuuk on 4/23/2011

The other two reports have Kaj Kamp’s name on them, our contact with the Denmark banding group and one of them may have actually been observed by Martin:

2361-07912 – (permit 10511) – the bird was banded as an ASY male on 1/12/2010 in same location as above and was seen on 4/20/2010 in Oqaatsut, Vestgronland

8041-89516 (permit 10763) – the bird was banded as an after hatch year female on 1/19/2009 at Long Point Provincial Park, Ontario and was seen in Nuuk on 5/1/2009

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions! I don’t know if you’re interested, but we do have 4 other encounter records of SNBU in Greenland from 1931-1947 that were all banded in Michigan.


Jo Anna Lutmerding
Biologist / Encounter Data Manager
Bird Banding Laboratory Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

It's a long, long way from southern Ontario to Nuuk!

Permit #10511 belongs to David Lamble, who bands just outside of Fergus and #10763 belongs to Martin Wernhaart who bands along the north shore of Lake Erie close to Long Point. When you look at the accompanying map and consider the route – along the St. Lawrence to Labrador, up the Labrador coast, and then….do the birds traverse Baffin Island or do they fly non-stop from Labrador to Greenland – you have to be, simply, amazed. (And they do it in March and April!)


1 thought on “February 22nd – It’s an Amazing Journey!

  1. incredible can’t wait for our first return or retrap makes me so excited to be a part of this wonderful network. Congrtaulations!!!

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