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5/27/2006

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

5/20/2006

Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-May 13-19


Black-and-white Warbler (derbyshire)

Weather during the past week was dominated by high winds from the east, north and west and a fair bit of rain which resulted in fewer birds than "normal" for this period of spring migration. May 12 featured a surge of Least Flycatcher and White-throated Sparrow and the arrival of American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler. Also on this day was the observation of the second Clay-colored Sparrow this spring. On May 13 Toronto and Region Conservation celebrated the International Migratory Bird Day in conjunction with the annual "Bring Back the Birds Festival." It was very quiet for birds on this day although staff and volunteers provided some excellent demonstrations and events for the public. Heavy winds on the 14th resulted in only 1.5 hours of banding although small pockets of birds were observed which included a Bay-breasted Warbler and an unforgettable sighting of recently hatched American Woodcocks performing an amusing synchronized display. High winds again on the 15th limited bird migration however a stunning male Scarlet Tanager was observed. Warblers were much in evidence on the 16th as high totals were tallied for Tennessee, Nashville, Magnolia, Black-throated Green and Blackburnian. The first record of Grasshopper Sparrow at TTPBRS was seen by all near the junipers on the north trail. A total of 63 birds were banded on the 17th which included a good selection of warbler species and an increase in numbers of Veery, Swainson's Thrush and Lincoln's Sparrow (13 Lincoln's banded). The day also featured another Clay-colored Sparrow. Rain moved in mid-morning on the 18th which abbreviated a productive morning of fieldwork that yielded a Lesser Black-backed Gull (1st for TTPBRS) and an influx of shorebirds, mainly Semipalmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone and Dunlin. The high winds and rain finally relented on the 19th which led to a full morning of banding and surveys and a total of 60 birds banded and 76 total species detected. Of note on this day were the first banding records of Dunlin and Least Sandpiper for TTPBRS.

HIGHLIGHTS

Banding

May 12
2-Wood Thrush
1-Cape May Warbler
May 13
1-Blue-winged Warbler
May 16
2-Wood Thrush
1-Mourning Warbler
May 17
1-Eastern Phoebe
5-Veery
1-Blue-headed Vireo
7-Magnolia Warbler
1-Savannah Sparrow
May 18
1-Canada Warbler
May 19
2-Least Sandpiper (1st banding record for TTPBRS)
1-Dunlin (1st banding record for TTPBRS)

Observations

May 12
1-Merlin
14-Least Flycatcher
7-Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
75-White-throated Sparrow
1-Clay-colored Sparrow
May 13
1-Canada Warbler
May 15
14-Blue Jay
1-Northern Parula
May 16
6-Red-eyed Vireo
14-Chestnut-sided Warbler
22-Magnolia Warbler
18-Black-throated Green Warbler
10-Blackburnian Warbler
8-Bay-breasted Warbler
3-Scarlet Tanager
1-Grasshopper Sparrow (1st record for TTPBRS)
May 17
20-Lincoln's Sparrow
1-Clay-colored Sparrow
May 18
4-Semipalmated Plover
1-Lesser Black-backed Gull (1st record for TTPBRS)
May 19
50-Magnolia Warbler
25-Chestnut-sided Warbler
3-Cape May Warbler
24-Black-throated Green Warbler

Season Banding Total
2006-1688
2005-1705
2004-1600

Season Species Total
2006-159
2005-160
2004-160

Dan Derbyshire
Coordinator, Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS)
Toronto and Region Conservation
News and Sightings:
http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com

5/14/2006

Plenty of waves today but not of birds.....


High winds today kept the few migrants that were around down low in thick cover. We did manage to complete a census and some banding but ultimately shut down around 8am. Pockets of warblers were observed after net closure including the first Bay-breasted Warbler of the spring, a Cape May and a Northern Waterthrush (a rare sighting this spring!)

5/13/2006

Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-May 6-12


Brewster's Warbler (d.derbyshire)

The 7-day period began on a high note on May 6 with the spring arrival of many warbler species including Blackburnian, Chestnut-sided, Cape May and Northern Parula among others. A total of 91 birds were banded that day with only about half of our nets running due to high winds. Myrtle Warbler and White-throated Sparrow were the primary species encountered on both the surveys and in the nets. Calm conditions that evening gave these birds an opportunity to leave as far fewer warblers were apparent on the 7th and indeed for the rest of the week. It was a little more active on the 8th of May as 66 birds were banded and season firsts of Swainson's Thrush, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Great Crested Flycatcher were recorded. Relatively few migrants were found on the 9th as birds had ample opportunity to pass over us at night with the warm and calm conditions, however on this day singles of Hooded Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler and Brewster's Warbler were banded. Warblers were notable in their absence on the 10th as 32 birds were banded which consisted of a small influx of Least Flycatcher and Wood Thrush amongst the sparrows. The first ever record of Virginia Rail for TTPBRS occurred on this day when a single individual was observed on more than one occasion running down one of our net lanes! The final day of the update period featured decent tallies of Least Flycatcher (6 banded), White-throated Sparrow and Magnolia Warbler but low species diversity overall as only 8 species of warbler were found. The second record of Clay-coloured Sparrow for TTPBRS occurred on this day when a singing bird was heard and observed in the dogwood patch near the parking lot (both records of CCSP from this season were of birds in the same location).

Friday May 12 was the final day of the Winged Migration program for schools in spring 2006. The program went very smoothly and both the birds and the weather were very cooperative. Thanks are due to Paul Barrie (educator) and Nick Tredille (educational assistant) for their excellent work with the students!

Reminder that the TTPBRS News and Sightings board is updated regularly with daily notes and totals from the station and the occasional photo so check in often! http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com

HIGHLIGHTS

Banding
May 6
9-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
7-Nashville Warbler
1-Northern Parula
1-Cape May Warbler
33-Myrtle Warbler
3-Blackburnian Warbler
May 8
2-Least Flycatcher
1-Brown Creeper
9-Hermit Thrush
2-Ovenbird
2-Rose-breasted Grosbeak
May 9
1-Blue-winged Warbler
1-Brewster's Warbler
1-Hooded Warbler (1st banding record for TTPBRS, 3rd overall record)
3-Lincoln's Sparrow
May 10
1-Swainson's Thrush
May 12
1-Northern Rough-winged Swallow
2-Wood Thrush
5-Magnolia Warbler
1-American Redstart

Observations
May 6
35-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3-Chestnut-sided Warbler
105-Myrtle Warbler
1-Solitary Sandpiper
May 7
3-Bonaparte's Gull
1-Forster's Tern
May 8
3-Great Crested Flycatcher
4-Veery
1-Northern Parula
60-White-throated Sparrow
6-Least Sandpiper
May 9
1-Bobolink
May 10
1-Virginia Rail (1st record for TTPBRS)
2-Eastern Kingbird
May 12
1-Canvasback
14-Least Flycatcher
12-Magnolia Warbler
1-Clay-coloured Sparrow (2nd record for TTPBRS)

Season Banding Total
2006-1444
2005-1288
2004-1376

Season Species Total
2006-145
2005-142
2004-153

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

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

5/09/2006


Hooded Warbler

5/06/2006

Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-April 29-May 5

Eastern White-crowned Sparrow (d.derbyshire)

The week of April 29-May 5 was very good as impressive numbers of sparrows passed through and some brightly coloured new arrivals appeared! April 29 was relatively quiet as 22 birds were banded of 7 species which included 8 Hermit Thrush. The wind switched to the east late on the 29th which improved the birding on the 30th as 59 birds were banded and we encountered the first Least Sandpiper and Rose-breasted Grosbeak of the spring. Birds likely took advantage of the favourable conditions after the prolonged April headwinds and a constant turnover of migrants occurred throughout the week. This is our fourth consecutive spring of migration monitoring and we are accustomed to seeing significant numbers of White-throated Sparrows during the first week of May. On May 1 a total of 110 birds were banded which included 57 White-throated Sparrows and also 14 Hermit Thrushes. Another pulse of migrants was detected on May 2nd when 94 birds were banded which included 51 White-throated Sparrow, 5 Myrtle Warbler and a smattering of other lingering early spring species. May 3rd was more of the same except for a major influx of White-crowned Sparrow and the first sightings of Veery and Northern Waterthrush this spring. Several new arrivals were noted on the 4th of May including Least Flycatcher, Ovenbird and the first Clay-coloured Sparrow for TTPBRS. Another highlight on this day was the capture of a Red Bat! There was a lesser movement on May 5 but a good variety as singles of Blackburnian and Orange-crowned Warbler were recorded.

HIGHLIGHTS

Banding

Apr 30
1-American Woodcock
1-Black-and-white Warbler
1-Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1-Chipping Sparrow
1-Lincoln's Sparrow
May 1
2-House Wren
2-Gray Catbird
9-Swamp Sparrow
May 3
6-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
7-Myrtle Warbler
5-Palm Warbler
May 4
1-Blue-headed Vireo
2-Nashville Warbler
2-Ovenbird
May 5
1-Orange-crowned Warbler

Observations

Apr 29
1-Osprey
1-Merlin
2-Black-bellied Plover (early record)
Apr 30
34-Hermit Thrush
125-White-throated Sparrow
2-Least Sandpiper (early record)
May 1
60-Hermit Thrush
160-White-throated Sparrow
105-Red-winged Blackbird
12-Rusty Blackbird
May 2
1-Purple Martin
6-Brown Thrasher
1-Yellow Warbler
1-Forster's Tern
May 3
1-Northern Waterthrush
3-Lincoln's Sparrow
4-Baltimore Oriole
May 4
4-Least Flycatcher
5-American Pipit
12-Yellow Warbler
44-White-crowned Sparrow
1-Clay-coloured Sparrow (1st record for TTPBRS)
May 5
1-Blackburnian Warbler

Season Banding Total
2006-1113
2005-873
2004-672

Season Species Total
2006-125
2005-110
2004-129

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

5/04/2006