5/27/2006

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Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-May 20-26


Cape May Warbler (derbyshire)

The week began with high winds and rain on the 20th and 21st which limited our coverage to a few meager net hours and the daily census. Despite the inclement conditions a very high diversity of species was detected during census on the 21st as 54 species were observed which included the second record of Northern Mockingbird for TTPBRS. May 22nd featured a sharp rise in abundance of birds as 98 were banded and 5 spring firsts were recorded including our first spring record of Olive-sided Flycatcher. Warblers were seemingly everywhere especially Myrtle, Magnolia and Cape May Warbler. A remarkable 13 Cape May's were banded and 22 were detected. The previous high cumulative total for an entire spring season was 10 in 2005 (5 in 2004)! An estimated 83% of the world population of this species nests in Canada's boreal forest and the species has been declining since the 1970's due to waning densities of the spruce budworm. May 23rd was also quite active as 70 birds were banded and 76 species were detected. A total of 9 Cape May Warblers were banded on this day and a whopping 28 were recorded in total. Shorebirds were numerous during this period with significant tallies of Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and Semipalmated Plover. May 25th featured another influx of migrants as 116 birds were banded and 81 species were recorded (narrowly missing our record high one-day species count of 82). Dominant species on the day were Least Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Magnolia Warbler and American Redstart. Birds were less numerous on the 25th however we did capture and band the first Gray-cheeked Thrush of the spring. Banding was cancelled on May 26th due to showers and census revealed mostly resident/breeding species however migration is far from over yet......
News and Notes
  • TTPBRS staff have been collecting sperm samples from a variety of warbler species this spring which will assist Phd candidate Simone Immler of the University of Sheffield in the U.K. The procedure is far less invasive than it might sound! More information on this fascinating project is found at the following link: http://www.shef.ac.uk/aps/apsrtp/immler-simone/index.html
  • We have also been checking birds for ticks as in spring 2005 and have removed, catalogued and shipped over 50 ticks which will assist Dr. Nicolas Ogden of the University of Montreal for his research on the dispersal of disease bearing ticks by migratory birds.
  • Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) is about to launch for the first time in the Greater Toronto Area! This exciting project will assess vital rates of breeding birds in the humber watershed through mist-netting, habitat assessments and surveys. More details and updates will follow and a feature will be included in the next TTPBRS newsletter (late summer).
HIGHLIGHTS
Banding
May 22
1-Eastern Wood Pewee
13-Cape May Warbler
25-Myrtle Warbler
2-Northern Waterthrush
May 23
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
9-Cape May Warbler
1-Mourning Warbler
2-Wilson's Warbler
1-Savannah Sparrow
May 24
9-Least Flycatcher
21-Swainson's Thrush
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
1-Blackpoll Warbler
1-Scarlet Tanager
9-Lincoln's Sparrow
May 25
1-Gray-cheeked Thrush
Observations
May 21
1-Northern Mockingbird (2nd record for TTPBRS)
May 22
1-Merlin
55-Dunlin
1-Cedar Waxwing
6-Northern Parula
8-Blackburnian Warbler
1-Olive-sided Flycatcher (1st spring record for TTPBRS)
May 23
12-Veery
6-Tennessee Warbler
28-Cape May Warbler
60-Myrtle Warbler
May 24
18-Least Flycatcher
2-Blue-headed Vireo
1-Philadelphia Vireo
30-Red-eyed Vireo
65-Magnolia Warbler
20-American Redstart
11-Wilson's Warbler
May 25
6-Whimbrel
7-Short-billed Dowitcher
Season Banding Total
2006-2039
2005-1986
2004-2175
Season Species Total
2006-170
2005-166
2004-170
Dan Derbyshire
Coordinator, Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS)
Toronto and Region Conservation

News and Sightings:
http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com