Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS- May 20-26

Blackpoll Warbler (Seabrooke Leckie)

Calm nights occurred throughout the week, which resulted in a steady passage of migrants over Toronto. While most of the birds passed through overnight, we were pleased to find good doses of shorebirds, warblers and thrushes. May 20th was quiet at TTPBRS as just 6 birds were banded on the day. First of spring observations of Ruddy Turnstone and Philadelphia Vireo were highlights of the 21st. More migrant activity was evident on the 22nd as 61 birds were banded, which mostly consisted of Swainson's Thrush, Veery and Magnolia Warbler. Highlights of the day were first sightings of Whimbrel and Common Nighthawk for the spring and the first record of American Avocet for TTPBRS! The last group of students of the Winged Migration program came through on this day, closing a month of daily demonstrations at the station. On May 23rd it was apparent that the season was shifting as late spring species arrived including Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Blackpoll Warbler. Common Yellowthroat and American Redstart were the most abundant warbler species on the day. A record high count of 170 Whimbrel was also made as groups of 20-30 birds passed by Tommy Thompson Park between 7 and 9am. A total of 58 birds were banded on the following day, which included 8 Traill's Flycatcher and 6 Gray-cheeked Thrush. Calm conditions persisted into the 25th of May, which allowed most nocturnal migrants to pass over Toronto. However, some opted to drop down, as 58 birds were banded. The usually elusive Connecticut Warbler was observed for the first time in spring since 2004. Red-eyed Vireo and Swainson's Thrush continued to build in numbers on the 26th. The birch-poplar canopy was relatively quiet as most of the activity was at ground level with thrushes, Common Yellowthroats, Canada Warblers and a boisterous Connecticut Warbler, likely a different individual than the previous morning.

Foreign Recovery- On May 10, 2007, an adult male Common Yellowthroat was recaptured near Mebane, North Carolina, notable for the fact that it was banded at TTPBRS on September 17, 2004!

(banding totals in green)

May 20
1-American Pipit (late)
May 21
1-Turkey Vulture
11-Chimney Swift
5-Myrtle Warbler
1-Ruddy Turnstone
May 22
1-Mourning Warbler
1-Indigo Bunting
1-American Avocet (1st record for TTPBRS)
28-Swainson's Thrush
17-Warbling Vireo
18-American Redstart
5-Scarlet Tanager
1-Common Nighthawk
May 23
1-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
16-Swainson's Thrush
6-Gray-cheeked Thrush
1-Hermit Thrush (late)
9-Common Yellowthroat
1-Savannah Sparrow
12-Semipalmated Plover (record high count)
170-Whimbrel (record high count)
3-Purple Martin
1-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4-Blackpoll Warbler
16-American Redstart
May 24
1-Wood Thrush
10-Red-eyed Vireo
May 25
4-Traill's Flycatcher
2-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1-Blackburnian Warbler
56-Black-bellied Plover (record high count)
14-Gray-cheeked Thrush
26-Swainson's Thrush
1-Connecticut Warbler
May 26
5-Northern Waterthrush
3-Canada Warbler
1-Connecticut Warbler

Season Banding Total


Season Species Total



TTPBRS Birdathoners!

The Three Amigos- Celebrity birdathoner Mark Cullen (left) with Ian Sturdee (TTPBRS Committee) and David Love on the right (Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto). The birdathon crew had a great morning at Tommy Thompson Park, tallying over 50 species in just a few hours of searching on Tuesday, May 22. Great job guys!


Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS- May 13-19

Western Palm Warbler (Seabrooke Leckie)

Weather during the week was dominated by north winds and high pressure, which kept many migrants to the south. A total of 34 birds were banded on the 13th along with 16 recaptures. The indisputable highlight of the day was the second ever record of Red-bellied Woodpecker for the station! Myrtle Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet were the most common species captured, which, given the date, is a good indication that migration had stalled. On May 14 we banded 1st Mourning Dove n 5 years of operations at TTPBRS. Also noted on the day were a sprinkling of flycatchers, warblers and thrushes. On May 15, Mourning Warbler and Ruby-throated Hummingbird made first appearances for the spring, and overall migrant activity was a littlie higher as 54 birds were banded with just 5 recaptures. Dominant species on the day were Swainson's Thrush and Magnolia Warbler. Numbers of warblers increased on the 16th as 20 species were noted including 16 Cape May Warblers. On May 17 we were visited by a videographer from the Globe and Mail for a feature piece on the research station. Migration really slowed down on May 18 when just 12 birds were banded from 90 mistnet hours! A Short-billed Dowitcher was observed on census, which is an unusual sighting in our study area. Small groups of Blue Jays were observed daily during the week, which is unusual for the site in the spring. Migrants were more numerous on May 19 when 90 birds were banded including 24 Magnolia Warblers and 6 Veerys. A Green Heron flushed from the slough was just the 4th record of the species for TTPBRS. The Garden Show with Mark Cullen (CFRB 1010) went live from TTPBRS at 10am on the 19th! The show highlighted the work of the research station and promoted the Baillie Birdathon!


May 13
1-Winter Wren
2-Hermit Thrush
20-Nashville Warbler
1-Red-bellied Woodpecker (2nd TTPBRS record)
5-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
9-Myrtle Warbler
May 14
4-Wood Duck
22-Long-tailed Duck
1-Mourning Dove (1st TTPBRS banding record)
4-Swainson's Thrush
1-Scarlet Tanager
May 15
1-Ruby-throated Hummingbird
16-Swainson's Thrush
3-Red-eyed Vireo
2-Northern Parula
32-Magnolia Warbler
12-American Redstart
2-Mourning Warbler
1-Indigo Bunting
9-Magnolia Warbler
7-White-crowned Sparrow
May 16
16-Chimney Swift
3-Eastern Wood-Pewee
16-Cape May Warbler
8-Blackburnian Warbler
7-Bay-breasted Warbler
2-Red-eyed Vireo
13-Myrtle Warbler
1-Mourning Warbler
May 18
4-Black-bellied Plover
1-Short-billed Dowitcher
1-Black-billed Cuckoo
10-Blue Jay
1-American Pipit
May 19
1-Green Heron
1-Alder Flycatcher
55-Magnolia Warbler
9-Wilson's Warbler
2-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1-Gray-cheeked Thrush
2-Wood Thrush
24-Magnolia Warbler

Season Banding Total

Season Species Total



TTPBRS Coordinator with Mark Cullen on CFRB!

The Garden Show with Mark Cullen visited TTPBRS this morning! The one hour show aired on CFRB 1010 and featured Ralph Toninger (TRCA), Dan Derbyshire (TRCA) and Seabrooke Leckie. It was a great event and we were pleased to reach out to the community with regards to the importance of migratory bird conservation in Toronto.

Mark Cullen will be combing the woods, meadows and wetlands of Tommy Thompson Park for birds on Tuesday, May 22nd in support of TTPBRS through the Baillie Birdathon!


Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS- May 6-12

Yellow-throated Warbler (©Seabrooke Leckie)

The second May update on migration monitoring at TTPBRS in spring 2007 summarizes a week that began with just a few drops of warblers and other neotropical migrants and ended with a flood! North winds on the 6th reduced bird numbers at TTPBRS, although there were still plenty of birds for our second training day of the season with FLAP volunteers. Good numbers of Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush and a late Brown Creeper indicated that things were a little behind schedule. Conditions overnight were calm, which enabled a large volume of birds to pass over. The result was a very quiet morning on May 7th as just 15 birds were banded. A few 'new' warblers did choose to drop down on the lakeshore including Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Hooded and our first ever Prothonotary Warbler! Tommy Thompson Park was 'flown over' again on May 8th as relatively few birds were evident despite heavy traffic on NEXRAD doppler radar overnight. Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo and Common Yellowthroat were new for the spring. Migrant activity picked up a little on May 9 when 59 birds were banded including 4 Wood Thrush, 3 Gray Catbird and 5 Lincoln's Sparrow. Overnight rain on May 10 caused a significant grounding of migrants, resulting in 149 birds were banded and 18 warbler species recorded, including our 2nd Hooded Warbler of the spring. White-throated Sparrow, Least Flycatcher, Swamp Sparrow and Ovenbird were particularly abundant in the count area that morning. May 11 was a memorable day as a total of 95 species were recorded in 6 hours at TTPBRS, a new one-day record. A total of 184 birds were banded and 12 new arrivals were noted, including White-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo and a stunning male Yellow-throated Warbler! An impressive 25 warbler species were observed during the morning. May 12 was the Spring Bird Festival at Tommy Thompson Park and over 150 participants were in attendance. There was lots of activity remaining from the previous day providing great opportunites for the public to view birds in-the-hand at TTPBRS!

HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in green)

6 May
1-Winter Wren
1-Brown Creeper
22-Palm Warbler

7 May
1-Gray-cheeked Thrush
1-Hooded Warbler
1-Blackburnian Warbler
1-Prothonotary Warbler (1st record for TTPBRS)
1-Rose-breasted Grosbeak

8 May
1-Common Yellowthroat
3-Warbling Vireo
1-Slate-colored Junco

9 May
1-Black-bellied Plover
7-Least Flycatcher
4-Wood Thrush
24-Yellow Warbler
5-Lincoln's Sparrow

10 May
6-Least Flycatcher
2-Great Crested Flycatcher
11-Blue Jay
8-Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2-Swainson's Thrush
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
1-Tennessee Warbler
2-Northern Parula
22-Magnolia Warbler
12-Black-throated Blue Warbler
2-American Redstart
1-Hooded Warbler
10-Swamp Sparrow
60-White-throated Sparrow
30-White-crowned Sparrow

11 May
1-Black-billed Cuckoo
24-Least Flycatcher
1-Traill's Flycatcher
12-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8-Gray Catbird
1-Red-eyed Vireo
1-White-eyed Vireo (2nd record for TTPBRS)
40-Nashville Warbler
1-Golden-winged Warbler
1-Cape May Warbler
18-Chestnut-sided Warbler
1-Yellow-throated Warbler (1st record for TTPBRS)
10-Black-and-white Warbler
15-White-crowned Sparrow
3-Scarlet Tanager
1-Grasshopper Sparrow (2nd record for TTPBRS)

12 May
22-Nashville Warbler
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
2-Blackburnian Warbler
2-Bay-breasted Warbler
1-Canada Warbler

Season Banding Total

Season Species Total


Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS- April 29-May 5

Banded White-throated Sparrow (©Seabrooke Leckie)

The week began with light north winds and a moderate passage of migrants. The highlight of April 29 was the first appearance of Northern Waterthrush this spring and high numbers of Myrtle Warblers. Migrants were grounded overnight by passing showers, which led to several new arrivals on the 30th including American Pipit, Wood Thrush, Great Crested Flycatcher and our earliest spring record of Bobolink. While many birds were around that morning, the winds were rolling out of the north at 70+kph, which made it very difficult to find them! The first day of May was a quiet affair as just 16 birds were banded, although Cliff Swallow, Ruddy Duck and Spotted Sandpiper were observed. We were eagerly anticipating the arrival of some new warbler species on the 2nd, however the study area was distinctly more "April-like" with kinglets and Hermit Thrushes dominating. A total of 40 birds were banded on May 3, which included a Northern Waterthrush and the first Veery of the spring. Calm conditions overnight set the stage for a busier morning on May 4. It felt a little more like May on this morning with sightings of Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Least Flycatcher, Ovenbird and several Yellow Warblers. The day belonged to the White-throated Sparrows as 82 were banded and over 180 tallied. Baltimore Oriole, Gray Catbird and Swainson's Thrush added some diversity to the mobs of White-throats on May 5th. Overall it was a good week at TTPBRS with new species arriving on a daily basis and a reasonable amount of activity to keep us busy!


The Winged Migration program for schools has been running daily during the week at TTPBRS and the kids were especially fascinated by in--hand views of Common Grackle, Black-and-white Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglets!

Don't forget that Saturday, May 12 is our official Baillie Birdathon day coinciding with the Spring Bird Festival at Tommy Thompson Park. It's not too late to lend your support to keep TTPBRS going. You can sponsor Mark Cullen online by clicking here:

TTPBRS volunteers have begun a new monitoring program in Pickering at Duffin's Marsh. The program will establish a baseline index of avian communities in the marsh and will continue tracking the restoration of the wetland on an annual basis.

Although the spring migration season is only half completed, we are beginning preparations for our summer breeding bird work across the GTA. Year two of Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship at Claireville Conservation Area will begin in early June and nest records are already being logged at Tommy Thompson Park.



Apr 29
11-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Apr 30
2-Nashville Warbler
May 3
2-Brown Thrasher
1-Northern Waterthrush
May 4
1-Least Flycatcher
1-Eastern Phoebe
5-Brown Creeper
1-Blue-headed Vireo
82-White-throated Sparrow
May 5
1-Least Flycatcher
1-Wood Thrush
1-Savannah Sparrow
3-Lincoln's Sparrow
6-White-crowned Sparrow
1-Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow


Apr 29
55-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
90-Myrtle Warbler
1-Northern Waterthrush
1-Purple Finch
Apr 30
7-Common Loon
1-Great Crested Flycatcher
1-Wood Thrush
May 1
216-Tree Swallow
1-Ruddy Duck
1-Cliff Swallow
May 2
4-Lesser Yellowlegs
May 3
1-Turkey Vulture
2-Spotted Sandpiper
7-Slate-colored Junco
May 4
13-Golden-crowned Kinglet
65-Hermit Thrush
5-Yellow Warbler
1-Black-throated Blue Warbler
1-Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1-Lincoln's Sparrow
185-White-throated Sparrow
May 5
1-Semipalmated Plover
60-Bonaparte's Gull
1-Swainson's Thrush
3-Gray Catbird
7-American Pipit
1-Baltimore Oriole

Season Banding Total

Season Species Total


A couple of photos from today

Hermit Thrush in Mistnet (S.Leckie)

Gadwall (S.Leckie)

Seabrooke got a shiny new camera and is getting some great shots of birds from around the Research Station!