11/15/2010

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Final week of fall migration

We couldn't have asked for better weather during our last week of migration monitoring. We had mild temperatures, little wind and lots of sunshine.

Although banding slowed down considerably, we had some exciting moments. On November 7 one of the volunteers spotted an American Avocet flying over Embayment D. On November 8 and 9 we had a White-winged Crossbill hanging out near the lab, following around a flock of American Goldfinches. On November 9 we had our first and only Long-eared Owl of the season. It was roosting between two of our nets and stayed there all day despite our frequent net checks. On November 10 a Rough-legged Hawk flew over the station, our third sighting this fall. While these hawks are sometimes seen in other parts of the park, they are rarely seen at the station.

We continued to see flocks of Snow Buntings, Horned Larks and American Pipits migrating overhead. Normally they keep moving, but we have been lucky to see some land on the beach.

American Pipit by volunteer Paul Xamin


On the last day of banding we finally captured an Eastern Towhee. We see these birds occasionally but don't catch them often.

Eastern Towhee


We were in for a surprise when we recaptured an American Tree Sparrow with an unfamiliar band number. I checked the database and sure enough, it wasn't in there. That meant that this bird was banded somewhere else. It is rare and exciting to catch a bird that was banded by another station, and it will be interesting to find out where this bird was coming from. Because all of the banding data from stations in Canada is sent to the Canadian Wildlife Service, we will be able to find out exactly where and when this bird was banded.

American Tree Sparrow 2430-36825


This has been a great season, and thank you to the many volunteers who made it possible!