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5/07/2008

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Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS: April 28-May 5, 2008

Whip-poor-will (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

The fourth update of the spring season has always featured lots of new arrivals and impressive movements of White-throated Sparrows. This week was no exception as weather brought both on May 3rd! April 29 was cool with north winds. Expectedly, the birding was a little slow as 29 birds were banded and 29 species recorded on the daily census. Least Flycatcher and Common Yellowthroat were new arrivals that morning. April 30 was even quieter, which was made up for by the capture and banding of an immature Red-tailed Hawk, the second capture of the species since 2003! The turn of the month brought a few familiar bird species to the station including Savannah and White-crowned Sparrow. A total of 12 birds were banded that morning indicating that migrants were few and far between. A change in the weather on May 2 brought substantial rain to the Toronto lakeshore, further raising the water levels in the study area. A rather quiet male Nashville Warbler was observed during a wet census. Overnight showers and early morning fog struck again in early May at TTPBRS, bringing 15 new arrivals and a remarkable volume of migrants on May 3. A total of 123 birds were banded and 14 warbler species recorded during a busy morning. Whip-poor-will, Brewster's Warbler and Grasshopper Sparrow were just a few of the many highlights. A remarkable 55 Palm Warblers were tallied, which is atypically high for the species at TTPBRS. Higher winds on May 4 limited the bird activity to some extent, however a respectable 58 birds were banded during the morning, which featured 5 more new arrivals. Right on schedule, Yellow-rumped Warbler and White-throated Sparrow were easily the most numerous species during the week. So, after a slow start the season has picked up, with the neotropical migrants appearing in moderate to high numbers.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEK (banding totals in bold)

Apr 29
3-Blue Jay
1-Red-breasted Nuthatch
32-White-throated Sparrow

Apr 30
1-Red-tailed Hawk
1-Dark-eyed Junco
1-Forster's Tern

May 1
1-Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1-Yellow Warbler
1-Savannah Sparrow
1-White-crowned Sparrow

May 2
5-Wood Duck
8-Bonaparte's Gull
1-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
1-Nashville Warbler
45-White-throated Sparrow
6-Rusty Blackbird

May 3
1-Merlin
1-Whip-poor-will
3-House Wren
28-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1-Gray Catbird
1-Blue-headed Vireo
3-Northern Parula
7-Yellow Warbler
1-Chestnut-sided Warbler
1-Brewster's Warbler
1-Magnolia Warbler
5-Black-throated Blue Warbler
95-Myrtle Warbler
7-Black-throated Green Warbler
5-Blackburnian Warbler
55-Palm Warbler
1-American Redstart
5-Ovenbird
28-Chipping Sparrow
1-Grasshopper Sparrow
140-White-throated Sparrow
6-Bobolink
12-Rusty Blackbird (2 banded)

May 4
1-Black-bellied Plover
1-Chimney Swift
2-Least Flycatcher
1-Veery
2-Warbling Vireo

May 5
6-American Pipit
1-Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2-Baltimore Oriole

Season Banding Total
2008-703
2007-1085
2006-1113
2005-873
2004-672

Season Species Total
2008-149
2007-125
2006-125
2005-110
2004-129

Dan Derbyshire
Coordinator
Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station
Toronto & Region Conservation
www.ttpbrs.ca