On Wednesday last week, a small distinctly marked warbler was extracted from a mist net and brought into the banding lab.
The extractor knew it was unusual, and upon being asked what his guess would be, he said,"Townsend's warbler"
Upon removing from the bird bag we all initially agreed with his guess!!
Upon further scrutiny, we noticed it was not quite right...the face pattern was Townsend's warbler, but the rest didn't match!!
We all decided it was a hybrid....with a Black-throated grey warbler!!
As neither of these birds occur in Eastern Canada, we took a lot of photographs, and banded and took all measurements and data we needed.
The photos were sent to the experts, and within a day we had e-mails back confirming out conclusions!!
This was a fantastic and probable first for Ontario.
We were informed that it isn't a common hybrid on the West coat where these birds occur!
We are now researching older documents to see what has been documented on this bird!

We will keep you posted...
All photos courtesy of Amanda Guercio


April 15 - 22

This week at the banding station was almost a carbon-copy for weather pattern as last week!
Sunday was a good day but turned on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday cleared up with south winds, and a good movement of birds.White-throated sparrows and Yellow-rumped warblers showed well this week, and a movement of SY male and female Red-winged blackbirds brought the totals up.
Warblers were represented by only two species so far, Yellow-rumped and Western palm.
The next southerly flow should bring the diversity and numbers we are waiting for!


Golden-crowned kinglet                1
Ruby-crowned kinglet                   4
Brown creeper                              3
Winter wren                                  2
House wren                                  1
Yellow-rumped warbler               22
Western palm warbler                   1
Northern rough-winged swallow   8
Hermit thrush                              14 
American robin                            3
Yellow-bellied sapsucker              1
Yellow-shafted flicker                   3
White-throated sparrow              28
Swamp sparrow                           6
Song sparrow                               8
Dark-eyed junco                           8
American goldfinch                        3
Red-winged blackbird                  33
Brown-headed cowbird                 1

Total : 150           Species : 19


April 8 - 14

This week was the start of a typical early spring movement. With Sunday having south winds, bird numbers increased with a total of 41 birds for the day.
As weather usually does it changed back to north winds and strengthened on Monday and Tuesday closing down the banding operation.
We managed to band the rest of the week, with average numbers seen.
We were re-trapping a lot of the "migrant" species, indicating they were not moving out at night. They were feeding up, and most re-trap weights were up from the initial capture weights.
After this strong front moves through we are expecting a good push of birds....

TOTALS week of April 8 - 14

Eastern phoebe                      15
Golden-crowned kinglet           26
Ruby-crowned kinglet               2 
Winter wren                             3
Brown creeper                         9
American robin                        4
Hermit thrush                         10
Fox sparrow                           6
Song sparrow                        11
Field sparrow                          1
Swamp sparrow                      2
Savannah sparrow                   1
American tree sparrow           11
Slate-colored junco                11
American goldfinch                  1
Western palm warbler              1
Myrtle warbler                         1
 Red-winged blackbird             3
Brown-headed cowbird            5

TOTAL species   19   TOTAL  birds  124

Photo courtesy of Sara Stratton


first week....

The first week has been slow. As temperatures and weather patterns return to "Normal" early spring, the birds reacted accordingly!
With only one day of double digits, we were seeing only a few of the early bird's in with the birds that breed  in the park, and others that had wintered there.
As the temperatures  rose near the end of the week, the numbers of long-tailed ducks started to decrease...a sure sign of spring!

Banding totals for April 1st thru 7th

Eastern phoebe                        3
American robin                         2
Hermit thrush                           1
Golden-crowned kinglet             5 
American tree sparrow              7
Dark-eyed junco                      2
Song sparrow                        11
Fox sparrow                            3
Swamp sparrow                       1
Winter wren                             1
Northern cardinal                      1
Red-winged blackbird                1
Brown-headed cowbird              1

TOTAL 39 birds of 13 species
                                    female Northern cardinal