Fall Migration at TTPBRS- October 7-13

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

Autumn seemed to finally arrive at the very end of our second week of October coverage at TTPBRS. Right on schedule, massive numbers of songbirds were sampled when the weather was suitable for fieldwork.
October 7 was cancelled due to wind and rain. Conditions on the 8th were very warm (high of 27.4 Celsius) with light southerlies, which likely held birds that arrived on the previous day with the warm front. A total of 112 birds were banded during a morning of thick fog at Tommy Thompson Park. Raptors were observed in decent numbers with 55 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 2 Bald Eagles amongst 5 species. Black-capped Chickadees have been increasing steadily in numbers in recent weeks, which may be a sign of an impending irruption into southern Ontario. Kinglets, Nashville Warblers and Myrtle Warblers were the most abundant species banded on the day. Our coverage on October 9 was reduced due to high winds and rain. The plaintive calls of Golden-crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers reached a fevered pitch by late morning as hundreds descended from the poplars and birches. A total of 75 birds were captured in just 2 hours of effort. Strong south winds on October 10 forced us to close nets early. Diversity of waterfowl species was impressive as Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon and Common Goldeneye were spotted. A return to more "normal" weather on October 11 was welcomed as light northerlies and cooler temperatures brought increased numbers of American Robin and Red-breasted Nuthatch along with singles of Orange-crowned Warbler, Dunlin and a late Magnolia Warbler. More bird activity was evident on the following morning as 193 birds were banded and season firsts of Fox Sparrow, Pine Siskin and American Tree Sparrow were detected. Notable on the day was the banding of 21 Chickadees (45 total detected) and 36 Slate-colored Juncos. Temperatures dipped to a low of 5 Celcius with strong winds on October 13th, once again reducing our coverage to just the daily census.

News and Notes

Northern Saw-whet Owls are migrating through Ontario in incredible numbers and so far we have banded 151 owls for the season, which is less than half completed. This bodes well for our first Owls Up Close event for members of TTPBRS, scheduled for October 30th! If you are a member and have not yet registered for the event, please sign-up soon to reserve your space.

A banded owl we captured in early October was originally banded as a juvenile by Whitefish Point Bird Observatory in Michigan on July 5, 2007, during their summer studies of nesting Northern Saw-whet Owls!


Oct 8
2-Bald Eagle
9-Northern Harrier
1-Eastern Wood-Pewee
110-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3-Gray-cheeked Thrush
1-Red-eyed Vireo
5-Nashville Warbler
14-Black-throated Blue Warbler
1-Blackpoll Warbler
1-Eastern Towhee

Oct 9
1-American Golden-Plover
1-Northern Parula

Oct 10
1-Common Goldeneye
12-American Crow
1-Field Sparrow

Oct 11
15-Red-breasted Nuthatch
90-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
2-Magnolia Warbler
120-Myrtle Warbler

Oct 12
39-Turkey Vulture
4-Red-tailed Hawk
12-Eastern Phoebe
45-Black-capped Chickadee
4-White-breasted Nuthatch
42-Hermit Thrush
2-Blue-headed Vireo
1-Blackburnian Warbler
1-American Redstart
1-American Tree Sparrow
1-Fox Sparrow
6-Swamp Sparrow
120-Slate-colored Junco
1-Pine Siskin

Birds Banded: Aug 5-Oct 13

Species Recorded: Aug 5-Oct 13