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4/30/2008

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Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS: April 22-28, 2008

Rusty Blackbird (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

The third week of our spring season was rather low key on the migration front once again. Last autumn at TTPBRS was our slowest fall ever in terms of migrant abundance. The high proportion of adults to young indicated low breeding productivity for most species, which would likely result in a reduced flow of birds in the following spring. This season could be shaping up much like spring 2004 when a very quiet April was followed by an extremely busy month of May. May 10, 2004 was certainly one of the most memorable days in the short history of the station as 409 birds were captured with just 6 of 15 nets in operation. Overnight rain and dense morning fog combined on that day to cause an astounding migration event, which featured 75 Bobolinks singing from the cottonwoods (a Bobolink has not been observed at ground level since)!

April 22 was warm with light east winds. The day featured moderate numbers of Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and White-throated Sparrow. Our second Red-bellied Woodpecker of the spring was observed on April 23, a day when just 19 birds were banded. April 24 was a mirror of the previous day with moderate numbers of April migrants. The arrival of Palm Warbler on April 25 was a welcome sighting, although no significant changes in the migrant array were noted. A full cast of 6 volunteers were pleased by some new arrivals and increased activity on April 26. Yellow Warbler, Rough-legged Hawk and Northern Waterthrush were all new for the season. A total of 49 birds were banded, which included 33 White-throated Sparrows. Field Sparrow and Northern Flickers were also more numerous than previous days. TTPBRS was host to a Bird Handling and Identification Workshop for FLAP on April 27. Just 6 birds were banded (8 recaptures) on the day but the participants were more than happy with the selection. Things got cold, wet and windy on the 28th. No banding occurred this day but a large contingent of various swallow species were observed feeding along the southern shoreline.

Baillie Birdathon

The 2008 Baillie Birdathon for TTPBRS will be a month long activity in May and we hope that you will consider sponsoring Bob McDonald or perhaps even doing your own birdathon to help birds in Toronto! This annual fundraiser is key to the sustainable operation of TTPBRS going forward. You can learn more about all of the fantastic prizes, benefits, events and activities at the website of The Conservation Foundation of Greater Toronto. Also, don't forget about the Tommy Thompson Park Spring Bird Festival on May 10! Click here for more information on this exciting event.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEK (banding totals in bold)

Apr 22
1-Sharp-shinned Hawk
2-Cooper's Hawk
1-House Wren
24-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
18-Hermit Thrush
8-Myrtle Warbler
4-Red-winged Blackbird

Apr 23
4-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
2-Golden-crowned Kinglet
3-Brown Thrasher
35-Myrtle Warbler
55-White-throated Sparrow
1-Red-bellied Woodpecker (2nd record of 2008)

Apr 24
5-American Wigeon
1-Downy Woodpecker
1-Purple Finch

Apr 25
4-Greater Yellowlegs
1-Palm Warbler
45-White-throated Sparrow

Apr 26
1-Rough-legged Hawk (2nd spring record for TTPBRS)
1-Yellow Warbler
1-Northern Waterthrush
2-Field Sparrow
33-White-throated Sparrow (80 Standard Total)

Apr 27
1-Northern Harrier
2-Spotted Sandpiper
1-Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2-American Pipit

Apr 28
25-Northern Rough-winged Swallow
20-Bank Swallow
18-Barn Swallow

Season Banding Total
2008-434
2007-739
2006-638
2005-739
2004-421

Season Species Total
2008-118
2007-106
2006-101
2005-103
2004-111