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Week 10, 2019: Kinglets on the Move

October 10, 2019

Week 10 of our migration monitoring season was another record week as far as banding goes with 180 birds banded of 17 species and 62 recaptures of 8 species. The banding total far surpasses the previous record for week 10 (set in 2017) and is twice the station average. The week started in similar vein to the previous week with very high migrant activity around the station. Unfortunately the high numbers were so unexpected for this time of year that we ran out of bands for the smaller birds, which comprise the vast majority of what we are catching right now. New bands did not arrive in time which meant that we did not open the nets during the first two days (Thursday and Friday) of the week. Saturday continued right where Wednesday left off and presumably the two days in between would have produced similar numbers. The activity observed during census on those days certainly supports this speculation. As such, the week total should be much higher still. The season’s first frost on Saturday night brought a sudden halt to the deluge that had been present for the past week. But even though activity slowed down after Saturday, the numbers for the remainder of the week (up until Wednesday) are still well above average for October. The mean number of birds banded per day was 36 while the station average for week 10 is only 13.

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Clear and sunny but cool weather predominated this week.

No new species were banded this week but several interesting birds still produced highlights including our first Flicker Intergrade (a mixture of the ‘Red-shafted’ and ‘Yellow shafted’ subspecies) of the season, a very late MacGillivray’s Warbler, and our 4th Sharp-shinned Hawk!

Ruby-crowned Kinglets continued their surge from last week and finished far beyond any competitors for the top spot this week with 78 banded. Song Sparrow was a distant second (24), followed by Orange-crowned Warbler (20), which are finally trailing off after a very extended migration period and peak last week, and ‘Audubon’s’ Yellow-rumped Warbler (17).  Song Sparrow became the latest species to set a new season record (surpassing 240 set in 2016), ending the week with 242.

 

As usual, the top species were far above normal numbers this week, especially Ruby-crowned Kinglet which average about 9 for this week. Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, and Myrtle Warbler were also above average for this late in the season, while Marsh Wren and Lincoln’s Sparrow were slightly below average, although these numbers would very likely have been higher had we not missed the first two days of the week.

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Song Sparrow #241 for the season broke the previous record for this species.

While our school programs ended last week, we did host a Vertebrate Zoology class from Capilano University in North Vancouver on Saturday. The students were lucky to be present for such an atypically busy day for early October, making their visit a big success!

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Students from Capilano University at the station.

We also conducted three nights of Saw-whet Owl banding this week, but were only successful on one of them, with 2 hatch-year owls banded the night of October 9th.

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Northern Saw-whet Owl

Below are the banding totals:

Week 10 Date
SPECIES Totals 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 78     34 9 24 9 2
Song Sparrow 24     9 5 2 4 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 20     12 3 2 2 1
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 17     8 3 3 3  
‘Oregon’ Junco 7     2 1   2 2
White-crowned Sparrow 5     4 1      
Lincoln’s Sparrow 5     3 2      
Common Yellowthroat 4     4        
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 4     3   1    
Black-capped Chickadee 3           3  
Marsh Wren 2     2        
‘Unidentified’ Yellow-rumped Warbler 2       1 1    
Wilson’s Warbler 2     2        
American Goldfinch 1         1    
American Robin 1         1    
Downy Woodpecker 1           1  
Flicker ‘Intergrade’ 1           1  
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1           1  
‘Red-shafted’ Flicker 1     1        
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1         1    
Total 180 0 0 84 25 36 26 9
Species 17 0 0 11 7 7 8 4

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 10 Date
SPECIES Totals 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Song Sparrow 16     4 3 2 2 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 15     2 2 3 3 5
Black-capped Chickadee 10       1 1 4 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 7     2 3 1 1  
Common Yellowthroat 6     6        
Lincoln’s Sparrow 5     3 1     1
Oregon Junco 2     1       1
Downy Woodpecker 1     1        
Total 62 0 0 19 10 7 10 16
Species 8 0 0 7 5 4 4 5
IMG_20191009_134019

Our season banding totals after Week 10.

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