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Week 11, 2019: An Exciting Ending

October 18, 2019

Our 2019 fall migration season has come to a conclusion this week. While being the slowest week of the season, it was a relatively productive one for this time of year with 93 birds banded of 16 species. It was the second busiest week 11 in the station’s history with an average of 15.5 birds banded per day compared to the 19-year average of 10.5. Our slowest day came on Monday with only 4 birds banded but the final day was surprisingly busy and diverse. Temperatures were more mild than the previous week but we still found frost on the nets on several mornings. We also recaptured 55 birds of 9 species this week.

Week 11 was full of surprises with three new species banded, especially after not catching any new species last week. The first, Swamp Sparrow, was expected as we typically catch a few of these uncommon migrants late in the season. We also banded a Purple Finch which – a big surprise as this species rarely ventures into the South Okanagan, and as such it was the first ever record for VLBO! The final new species was a Northern Shrike, only the 2nd record for VLBO! We even recaptured this same individual on the final day. Other highlights were a 3rd Brown Creeper, VLBO’s 10th record, and our 5th Sharp-shinned Hawk of the season.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet continued their streak with the top spot this week (30 banded), followed by Song Sparrow (22), and then distantly following was Lincoln’s Sparrow (8), and Marsh Wren (8). Other winter residents like ‘Oregon’ Dark-eyed Junco and Black-capped Chickadee (as recaps) were also prominent. Interestingly we banded 5 Common Yellowthroats which is quite high for mid-October as the average for week 11 is only 0.6. We also banded 2 more ‘Red-shafted’ Flickers, finishing the season with 9 which is a new station high.

Thanks to the influx of birds at the beginning of the month, this October was the busiest ever with 425 birds banded, which is well over twice the average of 188. We concluded the 2019 season with 3672 birds of 70 species banded and 965 recaptures of 36 species. All of these stats are new records for VLBO, making this by far the most productive season we’ve ever had!

Data entry and number crunching is now underway so keep an eye out for our final report in the coming weeks! Thanks again to everyone who volunteered their time and experience and to all the visitors who donated funds to support our station!

Below are the banding totals:

Week 11 Date
Species Totals 10 11 12 13 14 15
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 30 5 7 7 8 1 2
Song Sparrow 22 3 8 6 2   3
Lincoln’s Sparrow 8 3 3   1 1  
Marsh Wren 8   3 1 2 1 1
‘Oregon’ Junco 7   1   2 1 3
Common Yellowthroat 5   2 1 1   1
‘Red-shafted’ Flicker 2 1   1      
Swamp Sparrow 2 1         1
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 1     1      
Black-capped Chickadee 1   1        
Brown Creeper 1   1        
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 1     1      
Northern Shrike 1     1      
Purple Finch 1 1          
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1           1
Spotted Towhee 1           1
Wilson’s Warbler 1 1          
Total 93 15 26 19 16 4 13
Species 16 7 8 7 6 4 8

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 11 Date
Species Totals 10 11 12 13 14 15
Song Sparrow 23 4 2 5 6 4 2
Black-capped Chickadee 13 2 4 2 4   1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9 2   3 2 1 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow 4   2 1 1    
Downy Woodpecker 2       1 1  
Oregon Junco 1           1
Orange-crowned Warbler 1       1    
Northern Shrike 1           1
Bewick’s Wren 1           1
Total 55 8 8 11 15 6 6
Species 9 4 4 5 7 4 7
IMG_20191015_142047

Our final banding totals for the fall of 2019.

IMG_20191015_125720

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