The weather experienced during the first two weeks of spring 2007 has been remarkably windy, wet and cold, which has adverse consequences for birds trying to migrate north. Many species will be arriving late to southern Ontario this year as the cold northern air flows have stalled migration. The data collected during this period will be no less valuable to science as the impacts of climate on migratory birds is becoming an increasingly important issue. However, warm weather is on the way and we expect a steady flow of birds to follow!
Banding was cancelled from April 8-9 due to negative temperatures. Surveys during the two-day period revealed high numbers of waterbirds, particularly Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead and White-winged Scoter. A half-day of banding on April 10 yielded only 8 birds banded, including the season's first White-throated Sparrow. Another abbreviated session on April 11 produced 14 birds banded and a suite of spring arrivals including Iceland Gull, Northern Shoveller, and Cooper's Hawk. Kinglets, robins, blackbirds and flickers were the primary landbirds evident on the day. A Brown Thrasher was also banded. Full coverage resumed on the 14th when 23 birds were banded and season firsts of Greater Yellowlegs, Caspian Tern and Great Egret were observed. A single Black Scoter was also detected amongst the lingering rafts of White-winged Scoter.
As one would expect, we are a little behind last year in terms of species recorded thus far (see below). Yellow-rumped Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet are just two of several species that normally would have appeared by now. These species are due to arrive in the next few days with the forecasted increase in temperatures.
1-Sharp-shinned Hawk (1st spring banding record)
1-American Tree Sparrow
8-Horned Grebe (record high count)
Season Banding Total
Season Species Total