6/09/2010

Spring Migration Monitoring: Week 9

Yellow Warbler male

June update

As May came to a close, migration slowed to a trickle. The breeding birds have provided lots of entertainment though. On Wednesday we were inside banding when suddenly we heard the distinctive vit-vit calls of Barn Swallows right outside the lab. We turned around to see a pair hovering in the doorway, no doubt scouting for nest locations!

The Tree Swallows have been kicked out of their nest box, either invaded by a House Wren or predated by a raccoon. They have been busy gathering material around the station to re-build a nest in the nest box next door. Hopefully they will have better luck this time! Native to North America, Cowbirds are considered nest parasites because the females lay their eggs in the nests of other species. Most birds have not evolved to be able to tell the difference between their own eggs and a cowbird egg or nestling, so they will care for them all the same. The Cowbird chicks hatch first and quickly out-compete the real offspring of the host species. As cruel as this seems, the cowbird strategy is incredibly smart. Some Yellow Warblers have evolved a counter-strategy – when they see a cowbird egg in their nest, they build a new nest on top of the old one. Last year a volunteer found a triple-decker!

On June 2 we caught our first youngster of the year: a very scruffy American Robin!

WEEK 9

Species

May-27

May-29

May-30

Jun-01

Jun-02

Jun-03

Eastern Wood Pewee

1

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

1

3

2

Traill's Flycatcher

8

3

2

3

1

Least Flycatcher

1

1

1

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

4

Gray-cheeked Thrush

4

6

7

1

Swainson's Thrush

9

2

2

1

1

American Robin

1

1

Gray Catbird

1

2

2

1

2

Brown Thrasher

1

1

Yellow Warbler

2

Magnolia Warbler

4

2

1

Blackpoll Warbler

1

1

1

2

American Redstart

1

2

1

Northern Waterthrush

2

1

Mourning Warbler

1

1

Common Yellowthroat

1

1

1

1

Wilson's Warbler

1

2

Song Sparrow

1

1

Lincoln's Sparrow

1

Red-winged Blackbird

1

1

1

3

1

Common Grackle

1

Baltimore Oriole

1

American Goldfinch

3

TOTAL

40

30

19

7

13

12





6/03/2010

Spring Fever

Canada Warbler by Brett Tryon

May was a flurry of activity, arguably the most exciting time of year for birders. With new species arriving every day, there was always the promise of something exciting or unusual. On May 3 a White-eyed Vireo showed up, parading around in the open for all to see. There hasn’t been one seen in the study area since 2007. On May 29 we had the most exciting bird yet – a Prothonotary Warbler! Paul Prior was doing one last walk around the peninsula before he left that day when he was alerted to the song, which he remembers well from his days at Long Point. Sure enough, it was a Prothonotary Warbler hopping around a couple of feet off the ground under a big willow tree. The first TTPBRS record was in 2007, but it was not seen inside the official count area. Now it can officially be added to the station list!


This spring has been very dry, which has resulted in a lack of standing water – an attractive feature for migratory birds. It is no wonder that people have been seeing many more birds at the “wet woods,” the small woodlot located at the base of the spit, west of the parking lot.


During May we conducted Winged Migration, a curriculum-based program that teaches elementary school children about birds. After learning about bird biology in the classroom, the children come to Tommy Thompson Park for bird-themed activities, a bird walk, and a visit to the banding station. Bird banding is certainly the highlight of their day. Their eyes light up with awe when they see a wild songbird up close. It really helps them connect with what is “out there” in nature, and we hope it is an experience that they will always remember.


Volunteers have been busy nest searching for our Tommy Thompson Park Breeding Bird Survey. So far they have found 66 nests on Peninsula D alone! Nesting species include Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow Warbler, American Robin, Brown Thrasher, Baltimore Oriole, Northern Cardinal, Warbling Vireo, Eastern Kingbird, Downy Woodpecker and Spotted Sandpiper. All of this information will be shared with the Ontario Nest Record Scheme.


There is only one weekend left of banding this season, so be sure to visit us!


WEEK 3

Species

Apr-14

Apr-15

Apr-18

Apr-20

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


1



Brown Creeper


1



Golden-crowned Kinglet


1

2

1

Ruby-crowned Kinglet




1

Hermit Thrush

2

3

2

1

Brown Thrasher



1


Myrtle Warbler



1


American Tree Sparrow



1


Field Sparrow



1


Song Sparrow


3

1


Swamp Sparrow

1




White-throated Sparrow



2


Slate-coloured Junco


1

1


Red-winged Blackbird


2


5

Brown-headed Cowbird

2




American Goldfinch




2

TOTAL

5

12

12

10

WEEK 4

Species

Apr-21

Apr-22

Apr-23

Apr-24

Apr-25

Apr-27

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


1


1



Hairy Woodpecker


1





Brown Creeper

1






Ruby-crowned Kinglet

3

3


1



Hermit Thrush

7

3


15



American Robin

1






Brown Thrasher




1



Myrtle Warbler


1


1



Field Sparrow




1



Song Sparrow

1


2




Swamp Sparrow



1

2



White-throated Sparrow

2

1

1

5

1


Slate-coloured Junco

4

3


1



Red-winged Blackbird

3

2

2

4


2

Brown-headed Cowbird


1





Purple Finch


1





TOTAL

22

17

6

32

1

2

WEEK 5

Species

Apr-28

Apr-29

Apr-30

May-01

May-03

May-04

Northern Flicker



2




Tree Swallow



2




Blue Jay






1

House Wren






2

Winter Wren



1




Ruby-crowned Kinglet

1

1

1

4


2

Hermit Thrush


6

7

8



American Robin


1

1




Gray Catbird




1



Blue-headed Vireo


1





Yellow Warbler



1



2

Myrtle Warbler

1

5

1

10


3

Western Palm Warbler





2

1

Northern Waterthrush






1

Field Sparrow



1

1



Song Sparrow


1

2


1


Lincoln's Sparrow






2

Swamp Sparrow


1

1


2


White-throated Sparrow

1

8

16

15

3

2

White-crowned Sparrow



1



1

Slate-coloured Junco

3

1




1

Red-winged Blackbird

1

10

4

2

4

4

Brown-headed Cowbird


1




1

TOTAL

7

36

41

41

12

23

WEEK 6

Species

May-05

May-06

May-08

May-10

May-11

Downy Woodpecker




1


Tree Swallow




1


Ruby-crowned Kinglet

1


1

6

1

Veery


1


1


Swainson's Thrush

1





Hermit Thrush


1


2


Wood Thrush

1


1



Gray Catbird





2

Brown Thrasher





2

Blue-headed Vireo




1


Warbling Vireo





2

Nashville Warbler


3

1

6

5

Chestnut-sided Warbler




2

2

Yellow Warbler

4

8

2

2

8

Magnolia Warbler



2


1

Cape May Warbler




2


Black-throated Blue Warbler



1


4

Myrtle Warbler

2

2

18

54

3

Black-throated Green Warbler




1


Western Palm Warbler


3

1



Black-and-white Warbler


1

3

2

1

Ovenbird

2

1


4

1

Common Yellowthoat




2

1

Rose-breasted Grosbeak



3


1

Song Sparrow

1

1




Lincoln's Sparrow


1




Swamp Sparrow

1



4


White-throated Sparrow

4

1

1

12

2

White-crowned Sparrow


1

1

1

2

Slate-coloured Junco



1



Red-winged Blackbird

1

2

3

6

3

Common Grackle



2

1


Brown-headed Cowbird


2


2


American Goldfinch

1

1

1



TOTAL

19

29

42

113

41

WEEK 7

Species

May-13

May-15

May-16

May-17

May-18

May-19

Downy Woodpecker





1


Easter Wood Pewee

1






Yellow-bellied Flycatcher







Traill's Flycatcher

1

2

1


2


Least Flycatcher





1

2

Eastern Kingbird





1


Northern Rough-winged Swallow





1


House Wren



1


1


Ruby-crowned Kinglet

1




3


Veery



1

2



Gray-cheeked Thrush





2


Swainson's Thrush

2

1


2

1


Hermit Thrush


1

1

1



Wood Thrush

1






American Robin



2


1


Gray Catbird

1

1



7

2

Brown Thrasher






1

Warbling Vireo





2


Red-eyed Vireo


1





Nashville Warbler


9



2


Northern Parula



1


2

1

Chestnut-sided Warbler


1

3


2

1

Yellow Warbler


4

3


8

2

Magnolia Warbler


4

10


4

3

Cape May Warbler



5




Black-throated Blue Warbler


3

1


2


Myrtle Warbler

2

12

15


14


Black-throated Green Warbler



1




Blackburnian Warbler


2

2


1


Western Palm Warbler

1

2

5


1


Black-and-white Warbler

1

1

1



1

American Redstart


2

4


3


Ovenbird

3

2



2

1

Northern Waterthrush





1


Mourning Warbler






1

Common Yellowthoat

1

1

2


2


Canada Warbler





2


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

1


1




Song Sparrow



1




Lincoln's Sparrow





1


Swamp Sparrow





1


White-throated Sparrow


1

1


3


White-crowned Sparrow

1

1





Red-winged Blackbird





1


Common Grackle

1



1


1

Baltimore Oriole


3





Total

18

54

62

6

75

16

WEEK 8

Species

May-20

May-21

May-24

May-25

May-26

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher



1

1

1

Traill's Flycatcher

1

1

4

2

2

Least Flycatcher

1


3


2

Great-crested Flycatcher



1



Eastern Kingbird



1



Veery

4


1



Gray-cheeked Thrush

2

2

11

8

6

Swainson's Thrush

16

10

28

20

6

American Robin



1


1

Gray Catbird

4

2

6

4

2

Brown Thrasher



1

1


Warbling Vireo



2



Philadelphia Vireo



1



Red-eyed Vireo

1


2


1

Tennessee Warbler

1

1




Nashville Warbler

2





Chestnut-sided Warbler

8

2




Yellow Warbler

1


5



Magnolia Warbler

16

4

6

3

2

Black-throated Blue Warbler




1


Myrtle Warbler

3

1




Black-throated Green Warbler

2





Blackburnian Warbler

1




1

Blackpoll Warbler


1




American Redstart

5


1

2

2

Ovenbird

6

1

1


1

Northern Waterthrush

2





Mourning Warbler

3


1

4

1

Common Yellowthoat

1


2


1

Wilson's Warbler

5

3

5


4

Canada Warbler

2


3


1

Scarlet Tanager


1




Savannah Sparrow

1





Lincoln's Sparrow

2

4

3

3

1

White-throated Sparrow

1





White-crowned Sparrow


1

1



Red-winged Blackbird

1



1

1

Brown-headed Cowbird



1


1

Baltimore Oriole




2

1

American Goldfinch

1


4



Total

93

34

96

52

38

There is only one weekend left of banding this season, so be sure to visit us!