February 5th – News

Alexandre's trapping site with the St. Lawrence icing up in the background.

From the CSBN:

From Alexandre Anctil in the Rimouski area:

Hi Rick,
I hope that the SNBU have reached you by now and that you
manage to trap a few. [It’s been above freezing for the past week and there’s NO snow to be found!]

Here we are now at 149 SNBU and 9 HOLA banded. Of the SNBU, 5 of them
are females. All of the females have been aged as SY, but one I found
a bit trickier and would like to ask your opinion since you have seen
far more SNBU in the hand than I have.

Female Snow Bunting with somewhat unusual wing markings.

So on 4 of the 5 females, the pp covs were totaly dark, the lesser and
median coverts were also dark producing an almost completely gray
shoulder and finally, the greater covs were largely dark with more
extensive white on the outer web than on the iner one. These 4 birds
were “by the book” SY females. The other one however, had a dark
shoulder, with minimal withe, largely dark greater covs with more
extensive white on the outer web, but the primary coverts, although
mostly dark, all had a white patch on them. Have you seen SY females
with white on the pp covs before? I have attached 2 pictures of the
bird in question where you can see the pp covs (notice that we see
white on them only when they are fairly spread out), the greater covs
and the shoulder.

Note the small white "windows" in the primary coverts.

You will also find a picture showing what the trapping site outside my
house looks like when the St-Lawrence freezes!


And from Bruce Murphy (Hilliardton Marsh) in the Timiskaming area of northern Ontario:

Bruce Murphy's trapping site with Lake Timiskaming in the background.

I have moved locations to a spot that has no trees but unfortunately the wind spread the seed so it seems the birds can feed all around the traps. I wont be able to band for a week as i am away with my students so maybe some snow will change things a bit I have only caught 17 snbu so far and interestingly the flock size changes daily but seems to be around 70 birds today. I am tempted to try mist nets but found when i used them at another location about 15 years ago once you caught them they owuld not come back fro the rest of the day.

Lapland Longspur

From Ruthven Park Banding Lab:

Nancy Furber reported today that she found a dead (killed by a car) Northern Saw-whet Owl on the highway close to the entrance to Ruthven Park. The bird was not banded. This is the first confirmed “sighting” of this species at Ruthven during the Winter and suggests that it was quite likely wintering here. [It would be interesting to try catching and banding them in the early Spring. Not much is known about their migration back to the north and their breeding sites.]


1 thought on “February 5th – News

  1. It’s too bad about your Snow Bunting banding season, but I am enjoying reading the updates from other banders. How are the banders doing that band a little further north, like the Fergus area (is that the same person who is near Metz?) Thanks for your blog posts, they are quite entertaining!

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