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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Update from Albert Creek - April 27

Albert Creek Bird Observatory began its tenth year of consecutive spring migration monitoring on April 22nd. We were kept very busy banding the numerous American Tree Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Slate Colored Juncos, and Lincoln's Sparrows. The first of the Myrtle Warblers were also apparent at the site.

Our binoculars were often pointed skyward to view the hundreds of Tundra Swans and White-Fronted Geese moving north. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped out all week. Albert Creek Week #1 April 22nd to April 27th. Birds banded during the first week (April 22-27):

Fox Sparrow - 161
White-crowned Sparrow - 127
American Tree Sparrow - 105
Common Redpoll - 103
Slate-colored Junco - 37 (bottom photo)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 24
Lincoln's Sparrow - 15
Myrtle Warbler - 6
Boreal Chickadee - 3
Purple Finch - 2
Golden-crowned Sparrow - 1 (middle photo)
Black-capped Chickadee - 1
Lapland Longspur - 1 (top photo)
American Robin - 1
Gray Jay - 1

TOTAL BIRDS - 588
TOTAL SPECIES - 15

Sunday, April 25, 2010

McIntyre Marsh Station Update - 25 April

The McIntyre Marsh station had another busy day on April 25 with 160 birds of 11 species banded. Leading the banding totals was Slate-colored Junco, with 72 banded; numerous small groups were observed moving through the marsh throughout the day. Fox Sparrows were also seen frequently throughout the area today and 27 were banded. A single American Pipit was also banded today; this species is banded infrequently as it is most often seen in relatively "open" habitats. Rusty Blackbirds have once again taken up residence in the marsh with an estimated 15-20 individuals in the marsh for the past few days. Four new individuals were banded today, bringing the season total to 7. Other birds banded today included; Common Redpoll (18), White-crowned Sparrow (14), American Tree Sparrow (11), Myrtle Warbler (7), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (5), Hammond's Flycatcher (1) and Lincoln's Sparrow (1). A Lesser Yellowlegs (a first for the season) was also observed in the marsh today.

The station will be closed this week, but will be open next weekend (May 1-2) from 7am to noon. Thank you to the following supporters/contributors of the McIntyre Marsh station; City of Whitehorse, Yukon Energy, Environment Yukon, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Alaska Pipeline Project, Lotteries Yukon, Yukon Bird Club and EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc.
Some photos from today are shown below; American Pipit and male Rusty Blackbird.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

McIntyre Marsh Station Off To A Great Start !

Today was the first full day of operation for the McIntyre Marsh field station and it was busy; both in terms of birds banded at visitors. The banding effort was led by myself will have help (scribing/bird extracting) by Tami Hamilton, Shayla Hamilton and Brian Charles. Today we banded 187 birds of 11 species which included the following; Dark-eyed Junco (73), American Tree Sparrow (29), Fox Sparrow (22), Myrtle Warbler (22), White-crowned Sparrow (18), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (9), Common Redpoll (4), Golden-crowned Sparrow (4), Rusty Blackbird (3), Lincoln's Sparrow (2) and Hammond's Flycatcher (1). Some interesting observations included Tundra Swans (flyover), Orange-crowned Warbler, American Pipit, Lapland Longspur and Varied Thrush.

The station will be open again tomorrow (sunday) from 8am-noon and on all weekends and holidays until the end of May.

Thank you to the following supporters/contributors of the McIntyre Marsh station; City of Whitehorse, Yukon Energy, Environment Yukon, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Alaska Pipeline Project, Lotteries Yukon, Yukon Bird Club and EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc.

Some photos from today are shown below and include (in order presented; click to enlarge); Rusty Blackbird (female), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (male), Myrtle Warbler (male), Lincoln's Sparrow, Hammond's Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow.







Sunday, April 18, 2010

Setting Up & Banding at McIntyre Creek.

While setting up the banding station at McIntyre Creek today, we decided to open a few nets and managed to band a few birds: American Tree Sparrow (9; top photo), Black-capped Chickadee (1), Common Redpoll (9), Hoary Redpoll (1; middle photo) and Slate-colored Junco (9; bottom).

Other birds observed but not banded included; Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Herring Gull, Common Goldeneye, Mallard, American Pipit, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin and Common Raven.

Judging from the number of birds at the site today, I am anticipating a busy day next saturday (April 24) when the station opens for the season.

See the previous post for a map to the site.





Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yukon Bird Observatories Opening !

Well it is that time of year again, we have been waiting all winter for the Yukon Bird Observatories to open again and they will be doing so this coming week. The Albert Creek field station (Watson Lake) be begin operation on April 22 and will remain open daily until the first week of June. For further information about Albert Creek, contact Ted Murphy-Kelly by email (plus@northwestel.net).

Likely of particular interest to Whitehorse residents, the McIntyre Creek Field Station will be open on April 24 and 25 (Sat/Sun); hours of visitation will be from 8am to noon. The snow is melting rapidly at the site, but please except wet conditions and wear appropriate footwear (rubber boots). The station is located at McIntyre Marsh on the Fish Lake Road near the bird viewing gazebo (see below map for directions from downtown Whitehorse; click image to enlarge).

This station will only be open of weekends/holidays and on weekdays for special arrangements (typically school groups) until late May. If you are interested in birds or would just like to see how bird banding is done, you are strongly encouraged to visit the site. For further information email yukonbirdobservatories@gmail.com