Spring 2009 Wrap-up

Nashville Warbler by volunteer Priscilla Lai

Spring migration monitoring wrapped up on June 9, with a total of 1,462 individuals banded and 158 species observed. Although these totals are less than last year, it could be due to the fact that the station was only operated 5 days a week, and does not necessarily reflect population trends. Once we get the data entered and analyzed, we can make comparisons based on net hours (number of hours nets are open).

With such a chilly spring, we enjoyed the last couple of weeks when we could actually turn the heater off and wear t-shirts! The season came to a close just as the last of the migrants passed through, although our last day of banding saw 6 new Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. The slower days meant that we could take more time to do some birding and nest searching.

Although spring migration is over, volunteers continue to keep track of the nesting birds at Tommy Thomson. As usual, Yellow Warblers, Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows are prolific. Other birds that call TTP home include: Black-capped Chickadees, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Savannah Sparrows, Eastern Kingbirds, Warbling Vireos, Baltimore Orioles and Brown Thrashers. This year has seen an unusually high number of Gray Catbirds and Cedar Waxwings. There have been pairs of American Redstarts observed, raising hopes that they too have found their niche at TTP.

As the new Coordinator of TTPBRS, I am continually thankful to TRCA for this amazing opportunity! Thank you to our members and donors who make this work possible. Finally, a special thanks goes to our many dedicated volunteers, who are the backbone of this operation. Their passion and commitment constantly inspires me!


Weekly Update: May 31 - June 7

Female Blue-winged Warbler by volunteern Don Johnston

We have hit the tail end of migration, with just a few stragglers left. Most of the migrants caught this week were females or second-year males, almost fat enough to continue their journey. Most of the birds have been the usual suspects, but there have been a couple of surprises. We had a Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and saw first-hand why it is so-named: the barbs on the outer primaries are stiff and hooked. Even rarer, we caught a female Blue-winged Warbler, a lifer for some of us!

Tommy Thompson is now bustling with baby American Robins, some of whom have wound up in our nets. More and more Yellow Warbler nests have been discovered, as well as Warbling Vireo and Northern Oriole nests. Also, after much sleuthing, a Song Sparrow nest was found – exciting because they are such difficult nests to find. The Tree Swallows are still brooding, and the Northern Rough-winged Swallows continue to investigate tail pipes! Two pairs of Spotted Sandpipers are nesting, and one of the nests was found with 4 eggs. Even as we wrap up banding, our dedicated volunteers will continue to find and monitor nests, documenting the birds that call Tommy Thompson Park home.


Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 6

Traill's Flycatcher 13

Eastern Kingbird 2

House Wren 1

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1

Veery 2

Gray-cheeked Thrush 7

Swainson's Thrush 11

American Robin 4

Gray Catbird 6

Brown Thrasher 3

Cedar Waxwing 4

Warbling Vireo 1

Red-eyed Vireo 1

Blue-winged Warbler 1

Nashville Warbler 2

Chestnut-sided Warbler 1

Yellow Warbler 5

Magnolia Warbler 9

Black-throated Green Warbler 6

Ovenbird 1

Blackburnian Warbler 1

Blackpoll Warbler 7

Northern Waterthrush 1

Mourning Warbler 3

Black-and-White Warbler 2

American Redstart 3

Common Yellowthroat 1

Wilson's Warbler 7

Canada Warbler 2

Lincoln's Sparrow 2

Song Sparrow 4

Red-winged Blackbird 2

Baltimore Oriole 1

American Goldfinch 7