June 1st – Spring Results…and..Where Do We Go From Here?

Alcids and Svalbard Island - S. Descamps

The dust has just settled on our record Spring Migration Monitoring season and I’d like to share some of the highlights:

The total number banded – 2,034 – exceeds the old record (1,888, set in 2007) by 146 birds. This is due to increased net hours; i.e. we had the nets open more than in any other year (5,173 “net hours”).

The 1,375 birds banded in May exceeds the old May record of 1,183, set in 2007.

Our single day banding of 144 (on May 12th) greatly exceeds the old 112 bird mark.

We had new Spring high banding numbers for the following species (‘bold’ print indicates a new species for the lab):
American Woodcock – 1 (previous Spring high – 0)
Mourning Dove – 43 (33)
Northern Flicker – 4 (2)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – 11 (8)
Traill’s Flycatcher – 29 (16)
Purple Martin – 1 (-)
Black-capped Chickadee – 27 (26)
Swainson’s Thrush – 20 (19)
Eastern Bluebird – 28 (22)
Gray Catbird – 112 (87)
Cedar Waxwing – 45 (37)
American Redstart – 27 (18)
Northern Waterthrush – 12 (6)
Common Yellowthroat – 56 (41)
Canada Warbler – 21 (15)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 60 (49)
Indigo Bunting – 30 (26)
Clay-coloured Sparrow – 1 (-)
Swamp Sparrow – 25 (23)
Brown-headed Cowbird – 85 (68)

The “Top Ten” Banded Species this Spring:
1/ American Goldfinch – 324
2/ Gray Catbird – 112
3/ White-throated Sparrow – 111
4/ Yellow Warbler – 103
5/ Dark-eyed Junco – 92
6/ Brown-headed Cowbird – 85
7/ Chipping Sparrow – 75
8/ Song Sparrow – 67
9/ Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 60
10 Common Yellowthroat – 56

Moving Forward – Plans for the Summer:
Typically we don’t band much in June in order to let the birds nest and raise young relatively undisturbed. Further, I am going to be away for most of the Summer: I will be working on a project studying seabirds on Svalbard Island in Arctic Norway from June 11th to August 2nd and then will spend the last 3 weeks of August with my wife on Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy.

So what’s going to happen? Nancy Furber is going to band 1-2 times per week starting in July and going through into August. She is quite happy to have people come out and help/learn. However, her personal schedule is such that the day(s) might vary from week to week. So, if you’re interested in coming out, contact Nancy to see what her plans are: oriskanynn at look.ca

As for the blog: I plan to post on it whenever I get a chance. I will be staying in Longyearbyen, a town of about 2,000 people and will have opportunity to access the internet. I would like to keep folks informed about happenings at Ruthven (via Nancy), about the work I’m doing in Norway, and, later, about bird-related things on Grand Manan – sort of a pot pourri, if you will….

And then it’s September 1st and we’re back at it daily until November 7th. (And remember: the Bird Festival is on the weekend of September 16-18!)

Breaking News – This Just In:

Christie with bird bags made by Bronwen Tregunno - destined for Snow Buntings on Southampton Island.

Christie Macdonald reports from East Bay Island (off the coast of Southampton Island) that an ASY (After Second Year) male Snow Bunting, with a geolocator attached last Summer, was recaptured on the Island!! Unfortunately, the device does not seem to be working. It is being sent to the manufacturer to see if there is some way to retrieve any data that might be on it. The bird was reported to be in excellent condition and none the worse for the wear of carrying the tiny gizmo.


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