Fall Migration at TTPBRS- October 21-27, 2006

Banded Slate-colored Junco (©D.Derbyshire)

The week began with a major concentration of late fall migrants, as kinglets, creepers and a variety of sparrows were abundant. A total of 211 birds were banded and 52 species were documented. Overhead, blackbirds were on the move as 3,500 were tallied (mostly Red-winged Blackbirds with some Rusty Blackbirds and grackles mixed in). Also on the day were observations of Green Heron, Eastern Bluebirds and a Dickcissel! There was no coverage on the 22nd due to weather. The winds were strong from the south on the 23rd, which limited diurnal migration, although birds were still plentiful at ground level. Forty-one birds were banded on the 24th, the bulk of which were Hermit Thrushes and Golden-crowned Kinglets. Highlight of the day was a final tally of 46 American Crows, an unusual concentration of this species for the spit. October 25th featured an influx of Bufflehead and Long-tailed Duck, among other waterfowl species. Also recorded were the first American Tree Sparrows of the fall and a sharp increase in numbers of Slate-colored Juncos (140 observed). Cold and calm conditions occurred on the 26th which led to a moderate movement of birds. A total of 71 birds were banded and the first Long-eared Owl and Snow Buntings of the fall were observed. The conditions were good for migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls as 37 were captured that evening and overnight (36 banded, 1 foreign recovery). Slate-colored Juncos and American Tree Sparrows were the most conspicuous species on the following morning when 52 birds were banded. Two roosting Northern Saw-whets were found in the dense willow thicket, raising our cumulative species total to 172 for the season.

Overall, it was a fantastic week of monitoring and research at Tommy Thompson Park with plenty of birds in the skies, on land and water, and even in the dark of night!



Oct 21

113-Golden-crowned Kinglet
39-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
20-Hermit Thrush
1-Black-throated Blue Warbler (record late, prev. record Oct 16, 2003)
4-Fox Sparrow
5-Swamp Sparrow
Oct 24
14-Hermit Thrush
1-Eastern Towhee
Oct 25
2-American Tree Sparrow
Oct 26
10-American Tree Sparrow
6-Fox Sparrow
12-Slate-colored Junco


Oct 21

10-Great Blue Heron
1-Green Heron
260-Golden-crowned Kinglet
100-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2-Eastern Bluebird
50-Hermit Thrush
100-American Pipit
1-Magnolia Warbler (record late, prev. record Oct 14, 2005)
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
1-Dickcissel (2nd record for TTPBRS)
3500-Unidentified Blackbirds (mostly Red-winged)
Oct 23
1-Bald Eagle
Oct 24
1-Northern Goshawk
3-American Coot
46-American Crow
40-Hermit Thrush
Oct 25
25-Long-tailed Duck
4-Northern Harrier
13-Sharp-shinned Hawk
3-Red-tailed Hawk
1-House Wren
140-Slate-colored Junco
Oct 26
135-Long-tailed Duck
1-Long-eared Owl
3-Snow Bunting
Oct 27
35-American Tree Sparrow
11-Fox Sparrow
105-Slate-colored Junco

Birds Banded: Aug 5-Oct 27

Species Recorded: Aug 5-Oct 27

Dan Derbyshire
Coordinator, Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS)
Toronto and Region Conservation