January 19th – On The Move

Scads of Snow Buntings.....don't we all wish we were seeing these kinds of numbers.   -B. Maciejko

Scads of Snow Buntings…..don’t we all wish we were seeing these kinds of numbers. -B. Maciejko

I’m off to Kenya this evening to pick up on the birding/banding project I started there last year. I will try to blog about my experiences while I’m there….if not, when I get back. (Please remember to send your Snow Bunting news and pictures to Jeff MacLeod so we can keep in touch across the country. Jeff’s email: jwmacleo@dal.ca

In the meantime we had some VERY interesting news: two of Bruce Murphy’s birds banded in Timiskaming in northern Ontario were retrapped by Yvan Rochepault along the north shore of the St. Lawrence. Bruce had banded them a couple of months before and then Yvan got them. It would be interesting to know what route these birds are taking! Do they do a big circle coming down from the Arctic through northern Quebec/Ontario and then returning via the St. Lawrence and Labrador coast?
Here’s the scoop from Yvan and you can see that they were quite a long way east along the river:
These two birds were captured along the St Laurent Gulf (Québec – Minganie)
2571-18430 captured the 22 – 04 – 2013 in Rivière-au-Tonnerre
2571-18183 captured the 19 – 04 – 2013 in Magpie
Yann Rochepault

i’m waiting in some anticpation to see how Bill Maciejko is making out in Gimli Manitoba. He gets a LOT of Snow Buntings to his farm/area – probably because he feeds them so well but so far has not been able to trap them. Here’s his letter. YOu can sense his excitement:

Habituating the birds to the traps.        -B. Maciejko

Habituating the birds to the traps. -B. Maciejko

Hi Rick,
Yes indeed, the Camp Morton flock is holding firm. The wind is up and its just beginning to snow (0930h, Jan.15) as another storm arrives. This morning`s feed saw at least 500 SNBU at a time stocking up on calories before the storm really builds up. Although, I have seen these folks flying and feeding in all but the strongest winds and fiercest of snows.
Our first banding day (Jan.11) turned out to be another dry run. BUT WE HAVE PLANS!! Today is a building day. I`m going to copy the round design used by the young folks at Kern School–theft being easier than invention. Josh is also building traps and we`ll try again this weekend.
If on Facebook, I posted a 2 minute video of the Camp Morton Snow Buntings taken January 10th on the Feederwatch Canada page. They are attracting quite a bit of attention, so I included a link to your blog. One participant uploaded pictures taken in Mirabel, some clearly showing bands.
Last week I set out a mesh tunnel, hoping to get some of the birds conditioned to entering an enclosed space to secure food.
I`m including a couple of stills, also taken on the 10th. By this morning, they were marching into the tunnel with no hesitation.
All the best,
Bill Maciejko

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