November 1st – Winding Down….Winding Up

Today’s “census team” – census by concensus as it were.

It was another wet, cold, overcast day. Felt almost like November…..We opened the nets right after the rain stopped and ran them until 1:00. But we weren’t catching much. Even the Pine Siskins were in short supply. (Of course, this wasn’t much of a surprise as the birds we were catching over the past couple of days were carrying bigfat loads, suggesting further migration.) The Winter residents continue to move in – Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows. But the warblers have all but gone – we saw only one (a Myrtle Warbler) through the morning.

Eastern Bluebird – we have been seeing lots of these over the past week.

I would like to know what the Eastern Bluebirds are doing. We have been seeing large numbers of them for the past couple of days. Some will overwinter here (we had 5 spend last Winter in the valley behind net 2) but most will be shifting south. Just how far south will be hard to say. But they would appear to be on the move now.

Dorothy Smith and a female Eastern Bluebird.

But as things wind down…we can begin to anticipate the arrival of Snow Buntings!!

Male Snow Bunting. -G. Hentsch

There are reports of them from the Peace River area of NW Alberta.

There are reports, going back to October 20, of small flocks in the Ottawa area.

Darroch Whitaker in Newfoundland writes:
There were a number of reports on the nf.birds website this week (link below) including Windmill Bight (lots), Cape Race (plenty), Cape Freels (everywhere), and Cape Spear. These sites are headlands spread all along the northeast coast of Newfoundland. No news from St. Anthony or the west coast yet… I’ll try and get out this weekend!

Alex Anctil in Rimouski, Quebec writes:
I have heard of a few SNBU being seen in the Rimouski area, but no big
numbers yet. For my part, I still haven’t seen any yet.

So, slowly, they are beginning to show up. It will be interesting to see what this Winter brings. Two years ago, in a “typical” Winter, we banded 2,800+. Last Winter (if you can call it that) we banded 40. They need cold temperatures and snow. Hopefully we’ll band a lot….and I’ll get to go skiing!

Trapping Snow Buntings on a cold Winter morning – there’s nothing like it!

Banded 20:
1 Brown Creeper
2 Eastern Bluebirds
4 American Tree Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
4 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 House Finch
2 Pine Siskins
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 41 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 4,709
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 7,294

Photo Gallery:
(if the gallery is not visible, you can view the photos by clicking here to visit our Flickr page)

[slickr-flickr tag=”november12012″]


1 thought on “November 1st – Winding Down….Winding Up

  1. It’s been great reading your blog this season. I am looking forward to the Snow bunting season in the hope of playing host (and assistant) to some banders here in the Eastern townships.

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