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Archive for the ‘Daily Bird Reports’ Category

Let me go straight to the two main highlights of the day: an unexpected bird visitor, and an unexpected group of human visitors.

Early on during monitoring today, we received a very unexpected bird in the net. An adult male Red-naped Sapsucker. He “double-bagged” himself, did a loop around the border net line, and grabbed a ball of netting. Needless to say, it was one of the hardest extractions I have ever done. This bird is a first for the station this season, and it is a recaptured bird from spring 2015.

This species is very similar to Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (see photo caption below for comparison details).

Red-naped Sapsucker. They can be distinguished from Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers by their red nape (i.e., back of head), hence the name. Photo by Constanza.

Red-naped Sapsucker. Adult males of this species have red on the throat extending through the black malar. They also have some red on their auriculars (i.e., cheeks), but it is not visible in this picture. Photo by Constanza.

We were all three very excited when we saw a group of visitors at around 10:30 am. During their stay, they got to see the banding process with a few birds, and did tours of the nets. On the second tour, there was a Rufous Hummingbird to extract. A bit further, near the last few nets of the round (near Homathko River), there was an unknown bird making alarm calls, and we soon understood why. A bear started grunting several times, and it sounded like he/she was about 10 m away. As we walked on, the bear slowly walked away.

A little fun fact: It’s the first day of the season on which we observed both the Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds.

A volunteer, Gwyn Case, just arrived! We look forward to meeting her. Until later!

Anna.

Total Banded 272
Species Banded 25
Total Recapped 42
Species Recapped 9
Species Recorded 89

Species Banded Recapped
Swainson’s Thrush 46 7
Common Yellowthroat 32 13
Song Sparrow 29 3
Lincoln’s Sparrow 25 5
Yellow Warbler 21 2
American Redstart 21 2
Northern Waterthrush 18 1
MacGillivray’s Warbler 14 1
Chipping Sparrow 10 0
Savannah Sparrow 9 0
Wilson’s Warbler 9 0
Dusky Flycatcher 6 0
Warbling Vireo 6 0
Cedar Waxwing 5 5
Black-capped Chickadee 3 1
Red-eyed Vireo 3 0
Vesper Sparrow 2 0
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 2 0
Willow Flycatcher 1 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1 0
Lazuli Bunting 1 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 0
Townsend’s Warbler 1 0
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 0
Cooper’s Hawk 1 0
Oregon Junco 1 0
Spotted Towhee 1 0
American Robin 1 0
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 0
Red-naped Sapsucker 0 1

 

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Soon after opening the nets, Kyle told us about the biggest (fresh) bear poop he had ever seen. It’s a must see then. Ruler and camera in hand, I went to look for it.

...

30 cm ruler beside big bear poop.

Today was an average day for birds this season. Regular visitors that we don’t get in the nets include Mallards, Common Loons, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, American Crows (a regular, but not seen today), Common Ravens, and Red-winged Blackbirds, among a few others.

After monitoring, I went to play with Jaya.  I miss the family dog back home, and to be able to spend time with a joyful dog is great! I’ll miss Jaya, too.

Anna.

Total Banded 226
Species Banded 25
Total Recapped 33
Species Recapped 7
Species Recorded 84

Species Banded Recapped
Swainson’s Thrush 34 6
Common Yellowthroat 22 11
Song Sparrow 22 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow 21 3
American Redstart 20 2
Yellow Warbler 19 0
Northern Waterthrush 16 1
MacGillivray’s Warbler 11 1
Chipping Sparrow 9 0
Savannah Sparrow 8 0
Wilson’s Warbler 8 0
Dusky Flycatcher 6 0
Warbling Vireo 6 0
Cedar Waxwing 5 5
Red-eyed Vireo 3 0
Black-capped Chickadee 2 1
Vesper Sparrow 2 0
Willow Flycatcher 1 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1 0
Lazuli Bunting 1 0
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 0
Townsend’s Warbler 1 0
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 0
Cooper’s Hawk 1 0
Oregon Junco 1 0
Spotted Towhee 1 0
American Robin 1 0
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 0

 

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All mornings this week range around 2-3°C (according to the forecast) except for today, which was at least 5°C warmer. The weather in itself was something to look forward to, in part because birding is all about fingers (and eyes). Aside from that, banding a Savannah Sparrow was nice after days of Song Sparrows and Lincoln’s Sparrows.

The first after-hatch-year male MacGillivray’s Warbler of the season showed up. Some black is starting to appear on the breast (see picture below), characteristic of males.

P8160254.jpg

Yet another slow day for banding, but the number of species and individuals observed–being rather steady, or even increasing–tells a somewhat different story. Why? You’re probably right, at least partially.

Something I find interesting is that while Canada Geese are incredibly common back home in Ottawa, they are very scarce here. The birds around are sending me on a wild-goose chase, as far as banding’s concerned!

Until later.

Anna.

Total Banded 205
Species Banded 23
Total Recapped 27
Species Recapped 7
Species Recorded 82

Species Banded Recapped
Swainson’s Thrush 30 5
Common Yellowthroat 21 9
Song Sparrow 21 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow 20 3
Yellow Warbler 18 0
American Redstart 17 2
Northern Waterthrush 14 1
MacGillivray’s Warbler 10 1
Chipping Sparrow 9 0
Savannah Sparrow 8 0
Wilson’s Warbler 7 0
Cedar Waxwing 5 2
Dusky Flycatcher 5 0
Warbling Vireo 3 0
Red-eyed Vireo 3 0
Black-capped Chickadee 2 1
Vesper Sparrow 2 0
Willow Flycatcher 1 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1 0
Lazuli Bunting 1 0
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 0
Townsend’s Warbler 1 0
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 0
Cooper’s Hawk 1 0
Oregon Junco 1 0
Spotted Towhee 1 0

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The “summer” in this valley of Canada is very special. 2°C in the morning, my fingers were frozen. Fortunately, I brought enough clothes for this special weather.

This day has been slower in the number of species banded than other days, maybe because of the fires. I really don’t know. However, we have seen many species flying around. Today, we saw four Great Blue Herons flying above the field. Apparently, it’s not common to see them flying in a group. So I’m lucky to have seen them together. We also saw a dozen Warbling Vireos; we had not seen so many together since the beginning of the season.

I finally saw the ducks that I have been hearing for three days. There were at least 15 Mallards and they were in a wetland very close to the nets. In the same place, there was a shorebird, the Spotted Sandpiper. He/she was very difficult to see, because he/she was really camouflaged. Andrew helped me see the bird. It looked very familiar, so I realised that it was a Playero Manchado (Actitis macularius). He/she breeds in spring and summer in North America, and then migrates to South America to avoid the winter. Among other places, they go to my lands, the North of Chile. Maybe we are doing a similar route, the Spotted Sandpiper and me—except I’m not breeding.

Today, Andrew and Gail left the ranch to go back to their home, so we shared a last dinner in the ranch. They cooked for us with the vegetables that Sally (our neighbor) gave us. Gail cooked a delicious apple crumble. We really enjoyed the time, the stories, and the teaching that they gave us. We are already missing them. I hope to meet them again in another adventure.

– Constanza.

IMG_0574.jpg

Last dinner. 

Total Banded 197
Species Banded 23
Total Recapped 23
Species Recapped 7
Species Recorded 82

Species Banded Recapped
Swainson’s Thrush 29 4
Song Sparrow 20 2
Common Yellowthroat 19 6
Lincoln’s Sparrow 19 3
American Redstart 17 2
Yellow Warbler 17 0
Northern Waterthrush 14 1
MacGillivray’s Warbler 9 1
Chipping Sparrow 9 0
Savannah Sparrow 7 0
Wilson’s Warbler 7 0
Cedar Waxwing 5 2
Dusky Flycatcher 5 0
Warbling Vireo 3 0
Red-eyed Vireo 3 0
Black-capped Chickadee 2 1
Vesper Sparrow 2 0
Willow Flycatcher 1 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1 0
Lazuli Bunting 1 0
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 0
Townsend’s Warbler 1 0
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 0
Cooper’s Hawk 1 0
Oregon Junco 1 0
Spotted Towhee 1 0

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The smoke has cleared substantially today, and the view is most stunning. We can see the clouds moving and the wrinkles of the mountains.  Every cloud has a silver lining.

A guest volunteer, Hana Kamea, enthusiastically joined us and witnessed some of the ongoing observed and banded birds, including Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Swainson’s Thrush, and Yellow Warbler.

We had a first-of-the-season for TLBO in the net, a Yellow-rumped Warbler (subspecies: Audubon)–also my first Audubon, as we only get Myrtles in Ontario. A “tournament” (i.e., flock) of five Chipping Sparrows were in net “14” during one of the net rounds, a relatively productive net so far. 14 Clark’s Nutcrackers and eight Ring-billed Gulls were observed, and these birds have been scarce until today.

Right before we wrapped things up, this bird showed up:

Do you recognize the species? What’s going on with this bird?

After work, we joined Hana for a delicious lunch. We also got to meet her friendly dog Jaya. We headed home, and then Constanza and Kyle went for a swim at Tatlayoko Lake while I took a nap.

 

After 12 dry and sunny days, I think tomorrow’s rain will be rather refreshing.

Anna.

Species Banded Recapped
Swainson’s Thrush 24 3
Song Sparrow 19 2
Common Yellowthroat 15 3
American Redstart 15 0
Lincoln’s Sparrow 13 2
Yellow Warbler 13 0
Northern Waterthrush 12 1
MacGillivray’s Warbler 9 1
Chipping Sparrow 8 0
Savannah Sparrow 7 0
Cedar Waxwing 5 2
Wilson’s Warbler 5 0
Dusky Flycatcher 4 0
Warbling Vireo 3 0
Black-capped Chickadee 2 0
Red-eyed Vireo 2 0
Willow Flycatcher 1 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1 0
Lazuli Bunting 1 0
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1 0
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 0
Townsend’s Warbler 1 0
Vesper Sparrow 1 0
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 0

Total Banded 164
Species Banded 20
Total Recapped 15
Species Recapped 5
Species Recorded 75

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Another day in the books. Right as I started the 7:20 am net check, Kyle told me by radio, “There are fresh new bear scats (on the census route). Be vigilant, okay?”. Okay, definitely. I was then reminded of a weird event that occurred yesterday afternoon. I was inside the station with the door closed when I heard some steps, and then a loud munching sound as though someone was eating with his/her mouth open right next to me. “Who, bear? Must be enjoying them berries”, I thought. I took a peak outside and couldn’t see any bear, or any other animal for that matter.

Kyle and I had a few fun encounters today, including those with two MacGillivray’s Warblers in the nets, and another with two Yellow-headed Blackbirds hanging out in a flock of twenty-something Red-winged Blackbirds. At one point, there was a bird in the hand that befuddled me until Kyle came and asked, “What do you think this is?”. I said, “…(first-year) Chipping Sparrow?”, and he replied, “Yeah?!” “B–but, the stripes on the chest!” It’s always fun to learn new things.

We did some sawing, weedwacking and cutting in the afternoon to clear up the paths and net lanes, and then went back to the ranch and met new and returning volunteers. Andrew and Gail Harcombe, and Constanza Rivas. Welcome! Kyle and Constanza are at Tatlayoko Lake as I type. We are almost done with the preparation phase of the program, and once we are, we will try to post more and better pictures. As for now, here’s Tatlayoko Lake:

P8040544.JPG

Tatlayoko Lake, BC. Smoke from the BC fire is visible.

 

We’ll all rise and shine tomorrow to start bird monitoring at 5:55 am. Until tomorrow.

Anna.

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Northern Shrike with the Niuts in the background

So another banding season has come to a close, more with a whimper than a bang.  The wind shut us down early yesterday, prevented me from doing owls last night, prevented us from banding at all this morning, and will prevent us from doing owls again tonight.  However, losing the final 1.5 days to wind is a heck of a lot better than losing almost a week to flooding as happened in 2010 and 2011.  As this will be the final blog post of 2012 and probably my last day at TLBO since being here at the opening in 2006, I figure I should make it an epic one.

This season overall was a great one, like all seasons at TLBO.  We banded hundreds of birds, found three new species, banded 31 Northern Saw-whet Owls, had our first foreign recovery, and had several very interesting observations and banding records.  This year we added Black-throated-gray Warbler, Blue Jay, and Long-billed Dowitcher to the station list.  We banded several unusual birds including Swamp Sparrow, Blackpoll Warbler, two Magnolia Warblers, Boreal Chickadee, and Black-throated-gray Warbler.  Unusual sightings included several Northern Shrike, our second Black-and-white Warbler ever, Golden Eagle, Peregrin Falcon, Solitary Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Common Tern, Eurasian Collared Dove, and Blue Jay.  Avery and I were both very surprised by the number of Northern Saw-whet Owls we captured in less than two weeks of trying, and this effort led to our first foreign recovery when RPBO in Victoria caught one of our banded owls.

Unfortunately this year followed the trend of 2011 and was our slowest year on record with just 1286 birds banded, 48 fewer than in 2011.  This however was due to probably the nicest fall weather TLBO has witnessed in her history.  This year we only lost one day to rain and one day to wind, resulting in our highest level of effort ever, despite the lack of captures.  This could suggest population declines, but could also just suggest the nice weather led to easier times for the birds who could migrate at higher elevation or more leasurely so as not to rush into our nets.  The latter might be supported by the fact that in previous years we always had a couple really busy days associated with poor weather and this year we had no really busy days because we had no poor weather.

Perhaps one reason the banded total was so low this year is that this was the worst year on record for the Lincoln’s Sparrow, which other than 2008 has always been our number one species caught, and even in 2008 we managed to catch over 200.  Strangely, we see a lot of similarities between this year and 2008, as 2008 was actually a great year for Song Sparrows as was true this year.  Also, the Northern Shrike, Boreal Chickadee, and Swamp Sparrow all made their first appearance since 2008.

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Song Sparrow 148 69 231 101 141 127 166
Lincoln’s Sparrow 279 202 208 241 226 241 149

This year we were also fortunate to have another excellent group of volunteers and visitors.  Volunteers are always a vital part of what we do, especially for livening up a long season, where without them Avery and I would probably get bored with just eachother for companionship.  This year we even had a number of volunteers capable of doing the most important part of our jobs for us, which is both excellent and concerning 🙂  For our sakes it is a good thing none of them banded more birds than we did.  If you are considering volunteering in the future you should, if I am unable to work here next season I hope to come as a volunteer and steadfastly refuse to write blog, as all our volunteers did this year.

Bander Banded Percent Recaps Processed
Chris 596 46.35 110 46.02
Avery 414 32.19 79 32.14
Laura 151 11.74 21 11.21
Morgan 82 6.38 24 6.91
Barry 43 3.34 14 3.72

Well I suppose all there is to do now is wish all our readers the best of luck coping without this daily blog.  Avery is rushing off to band at Long Point, so if you feel a strong craving for blog I encourage you to email him and ask for daily updates.  He will be returning to warm Colombia again this winter so we should all be very jealous and a little spiteful 🙂

~Chutter

Species Banded Recaps
SOSP 166 88
LISP 149 23
COYE 125 34
WAVI 105 1
YEWA 86 17
SWTH 74 13
PISI 74 0
AMRE 58 18
NOWA 50 10
WIWA 44 3
OCWA 35 10
RCKI 34 0
SAVS 25 2
MGWA 24 6
DEJU 23 0
BCCH 18 10
ALFL 17 1
CEDW 16 7
WCSP 16 0
PUFI 14 0
AUWA 14 0
DUFL 13 0
AMRO 10 1
RBNU 8 0
SSHA 7 0
HAFL 6 0
WIFL 6 0
FOSP 6 0
REVI 5 2
LEFL 5 0
PSFL 5 0
WETA 5 0
HAWO 4 1
MYWA 4 0
UYRW 3 0
DOWO 2 1
NOFL 2 0
CHSP 2 0
HYSA 2 0
MAWA 2 0
RNSA 2 0
TOWA 2 0
VESP 2 0
HETH 2 0
FLIN 2 0
BHCO 1 0
BLPW 1 0
BTYW 1 0
LAZB 1 0
RWBL 1 0
TRFL 1 0
BOCH 1 0
SPTO 1 0
NSWO 1 0
BRCR 1 0
SWSP 1 0
VATH 1 0
Birds banded 1284
Species banded 51
Birds recaptured 269
Species recaptured 19
Species on census 108
Species Total 124
Year Birds Banded Birds Recapped Species Banded Species Recapped Obs Census ET
2006 1595 272 52 20 110 118 131
2007 1770 199 53 20 121 116 137
2008 1874 459 57 29 119 111 137
2009 1866 307 54 28 116 108 129
2010 1817 297 54 20 121 115 138
2011 1331 232 49 19 111 105 125
2012 1284 269 51 19 109 108 124

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