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6/11/2006

Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-June 3-9


Cedar Waxwing- detail of "wax" appendages (derbyshire)

Note on photo-These red tips on the ends of waxwing secondaries are flat extensions of the feather shafts and are composed of keratin (same material as hair and fingernails). The tips derive their colour from astaxanthin, a caretenoid pigment that is ingested from certain foods.
This is the final update on spring migration monitoring at TTPBRS in 2006. Thursday, June 8 was our last day of coverage providing closure to a week that was typically quiet for the time of year. Banding totals reached a low of 8 on June 4 and a high of 28 on June 7. Migrant species were captured on a daily basis, the most notable of which were Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson's Thrush and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. June 3rd featured a small trickle of passing warblers including Blackburnian, Blackpoll, Northern Waterthrush and Wilson's Warbler. On June 5 a good selection of flycatcher species were evident along with another Blue-winged Warbler. Most of the birds banded on June 6 and 7 were captured on the first two net rounds and were almost entirely late migrant thrushes. Of note on the 7th was the banding of 4 Ovenbird, 1 Canada Warbler and the discovery of a Great-horned Owl near nets 10 -11. Great-horned Owl is often heard and sometimes seen during our Northern Saw-whet Owl Monitoring Program in late fall but the bird on June 7 was the first ever encountered during the day at TTPBRS!

Spring 2006 was yet another successful season of fieldwork and on behalf of Toronto and Region Conservation I would like to thank all of the volunteers who made it possible! The Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station will reopen on August 5th for the start of fall migration. In the meantime staff and volunteers will be busy collecting data on breeding birds all over the GTA as well as entering and proofing spring migration data. News, photos and summaries from our summer work will be added to our website on a regular basis: http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com

WEEK HIGHLIGHTS

Banding

June 3
1-Blackburnian Warbler
1-Northern Waterthrush
June 4
2-Blackpoll Warbler
June 5
3-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1-Blue-winged Warbler
2-Black-throated Green Warbler
June 6
7-Gray-cheeked Thrush
7-Swainson's Thrush
June 7
4-Ovenbird

Observations

June 3
1-Yellow-billed Cuckoo
June 4
20-Semipalmated Sandpiper
June 7
1-Great-horned Owl

Season Banding Total
2006-2549
2005-2547
2004-2525

Season Species Total
2006-177
2005-172
2004-172

6/04/2006

Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-May 27-June 2


Ruby-throated Hummingbird (derbyshire)

Late May and early June typically features a gradual slowdown of bird migration in terms of abundance and species richness. This is the period of spring migration when flycatchers, vireos and thrushes replace warblers and sparrows as the most prominent species. During the past week there was no such slowing of migration however warblers were few and the aforementioned late spring species were abundant. On May 27 the first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher of the season was recorded along with an unusual TTPBRS sighting of an American Bittern. A shift to south winds on the 28th brought in more birds to Tommy Thompson Park as 92 birds were banded which included high numbers of Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrush, Gray Catbird and Red-eyed Vireo. A total of 40 Red-eyed Vireos were tallied on the day along with 18 American Redstart and a record high 14 Mourning Warblers. The second record of Green Heron for TTPBRS was also detected on this day. Overnight migration was heavy on the night of May 28/29 which led to the banding of 85 birds on the 29th. Eastern Wood Pewee (2 banded), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (8 banded) and Traill's Flycatcher (50 observed) were well represented along with another high count of Red-eyed Vireo. A total of 92 birds were banded and 6 recaptured on the 30th of May which included 12 Gray-cheeked Thrush along with 27 Swainson's Thrush and the first Yellow-billed Cuckoo since 2004. The weather pattern of high temperatures and heavy fog continued on the 31st when TTPBRS staff encountered another decent passage of late spring migrants. Highlights of the first day of June included the arrival of Alder Flycatcher and the capture and banding of 7 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. On the final day of the update period, migrant species were fewer and most of the birds observed were active breeders. The TTPBRS study area has "greened out" very nicely, the honeysuckle and dogwood shrubs are in full flower and the amount of nesting activity is quite spectacular! The migration monitoring program will run through June 9 for the spring and then re-open for the fall on August 5.

TTPBRS News

Foreign Recovery- Marcel Gahbauer of McGill Bird Observatory informed me that a Ruby-crowned Kinglet banded on October 9-2005 at TTPBRS was recovered at his station in Montreal on May 2-2006. This represents the second RCKI banded at TTPBRS that has been recovered elsewhere. This is interesting given that fewer than 20 Ruby-crowns banded in Canada have ever been recovered.

HIGHLIGHTS

Banding

May 27
1-Bay-breasted Warbler
3-Blackpoll Warbler
May 28
1-Eastern Kingbird
5-Gray-cheeked Thrush
22-Swainson's Thrush
2-Cedar Waxwing
6-Mourning Warbler
May 29
8-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
19-Traill's Flycatcher
26-Swainson's Thrush
2-Philadelphia Vireo
1-Indigo Bunting
May 30
1-Yellow-billed Cuckoo
12-Gray-cheeked Thrush
27-Swainson's Thrush
June 1
7-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
June 2
1-Indigo Bunting

Observations

May 27
8-Cedar Waxwing
1-American Bittern
May 28
38-Swainson's Thrush
15-Gray Catbird
40-Red-eyed Vireo
18-American Redstart
14-Mourning Warbler
18-Wilson's Warbler
1-Eastern Towhee
1-Green Heron (2nd record for TTPBRS)
May 29
50-Traill's Flycatcher
45-Red-eyed Vireo
May 30
3-Purple Martin
25-American Redstart
8-Blackpoll Warbler
12-Black-bellied Plover
June 1
1-Alder Flycatcher

Season Banding Total
2006-2359
2005-2432
2004-2443

Season Species Total
2006-175
2005-172
2004-172