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Monday, May 24, 2010

Last week seem to have been the peak migration of Yellow-rumped Warblers which have now reached a new season record (780) at Albert Creek. Towards the end of the week other Neotropical migrants, primarily Wilson’s and Blackpoll Warblers, arrived in good numbers. More species arrived early this week including Brown-headed Cowbird, Chipping Sparrow and Tennessee Warbler, the bringer of summer, as we call it here at Albert Creek. Two Olive-sided Flycatchers banded over the weekend were enjoyed by many as we have been having lots of fun and qualified help lately. A big thanks for everyone who have been helping out!

ACBO Bander In Charge

This week's banding totals (17 - 23 May);

Myrtle Warbler - 457
Wilson's Warbler - 182
Orange-crowned Warbler - 111
Blackpoll Warbler - 46
Northern Waterthrush - 36
Yellow Warbler - 30
Savannah Sparrow - 21
Common Yellowthroat - 21
Lincoln's Sparrow - 19
White-crowned Sparrow - 10
Swainson's Thrush - 7
Purple Finch - 6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 5
White-throated Sparrow - 4
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 3
Brown-headed Cowbird - 2
Western Wood Pewee - 2
Olive-sided FLycatcher - 2
Swamp Sparrow - 2
American Robin - 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Solitary Sandpiper - 1
Slate-colored Junco - 1
TRee Swallow - 1
Hermit Thrush - 1

TOTAL = 973

Some photos from this week (click to enlarge) include the following from top to bottom; Olive-sided Flycatcher, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

McIntyre Marsh - May 14 to 20

The past week at McIntyre Marsh has seen a transition from primarily sparrows to warblers. A few weeks ago, the marsh was filled with songs of White-crowned Sparrows and American Tree Sparrows. Now, the morning chorus is filled with the rolling witchy witchy witchy of Common Yellowthroats and the che che che che of Wilson's Warblers. New arrivals this week included Yellow Warbler (18 May), Common Yellowthroat (18 May) and Blackpoll Warbler (20 May). Some other banding highlights included an Olive-sided Flycatcher (15 May), a Belted Kingfisher (18 May) and 3 Wilson's Snipe throughout the week. Although not banded, a male Townsend's Warbler was observed/heard (its song a zizle zizle plink plink) and photographed on May 14th.

Be sure to visit the station this weekend, there are only two weekends left in our banding season at the marsh !

The following is a list of this week's banding totals.

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 (3)
Spotted Sandpiper - 1 (1)
Solitary Sandpiper - 3 (4)
Wilson's Snipe - 3 (8)
Belted Kingfisher - 1 (1)
Olive-sided Flycatcher - 1 (1)
Hammond's FLycatcher - 1 (6)
Violet-green Swallow - 12 (22)
Black-capped Chickadee - 0 (4)
Boreal Chicakadee - 0 (1)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1 (24)
American Robin - 6 (14)
Varied Thrush - 0 (2)
American Pipit - 3 (6)
Orange-crowned Warbler - 7 (9)
Yellow Warbler - 1 (1)
Blackpoll Warbler - 1 (1)
Myrtle Warbler - 70 (203)
Common Yellowthroat - 11 (11)
Northern Waterthrush - 5 (5)
Wilson's Warbler - 68 (73)
American Tree Sparrow - 0 (75)
Savannah Sparrow - 22 (81)
Fox Sparrow - 0 (107)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 17 (55)
White-crowned Sparrow - 20 (340)
Golden-crowned Sparrow - 5 (34)
Slate-colored Junco - 3 (246)
Lapland Longspur - 0 (1)
Red-winged Blackbird - 1 (1)
Rusty Blackbird - 0 (11)
Common Redpoll - 0 (33)
Hoary Redpoll - 0 (1)

TOTAL BIRDS - 254 (1,385)

Some photos from this week (top to bottom): female Yellow Warbler, male Common Yellowthroat, male Blackpoll Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, female Red-winged Blackbird, Belted Kingfisher, Townsend's Warbler.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

McIntyre Marsh Update - May 8 to 13

This past week was somewhat productive at McIntyre Marsh and we have been open all week for visiting school groups. Over the period, 213 birds of 20 species were banded with the most common species being White-crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Myrtle Warbler and Lincoln's Sparrow. This week's banding effort brings the season banding total to 1,111 birds of 25 birds. The following is a list of birds banded this week (with the season total in brackets);

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 0 (2)
Solitary Sandpiper - 1 (1)
Wilson's Snipe - 4 (5)
Hammond's Flycatcher - 3 (5)
Violet-green Swallow - 5 (10)
Black-capped Chickadee - 0 (4)
Boreal Chickadee - 1 (1)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2 (23)
American Robin - 2 (8)
Varied Thrush - 1 (2)
American Pipit - 2 (3)
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1 (2)
Myrtle Warbler - 38 (133)
Wilson's Warbler - 15 (15)
American Tree Sparrow - 0 (75)
Savannah Sparrow - 47 (59)
Fox Sparrow - 0 (107)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 17 (38)
White-crowned Sparrow - 56 (320)
Golden-crowned Sparrow - 10 (29)
Dark-eyed Junco - 4 (243)
Lapland Longspur - 1 (1)
Rusty Blackbird - 2 (11)
Common Redpoll - 1 (33)
Hoary Redpoll - 0 (1)

TOTAL = 56 (1,111)

Some photos from this last week include; Solitary Sandpiper, female Varied Thrush, Savannah Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow. Thanks to John Meikle for sharing these great photos !
The station will be open this friday (school group) and saturday but THE STATION WILL NOT BE OPEN THIS SUNDAY (MAY 16) due to other committments.

Albert Creek Update - May 6 to 11

This week Albert Creek was closed for four days due to personnel constraints. We returned into the action on Monday the May 10th.

It appears that the timing of the four day gap was perfect as there has been very little passerine movement lately. The banding totals for May 10 and 11 were 23 and 26, respectively. Yellow-rumped Warbler has been the most numerous species together with some late Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-crowned Sparrows and early Orange-crowned Warblers. Northern Waterthrush and Wilson’s Warbler were new species for the spring.

Outside the nets the most notable change has been the appearance of shorebirds. Both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs are now frequenting the area and small flocks of various species, including Solitary and Pectoral Sandpipers, have been seen flying over the site. A Swamp Sparrow is singing in the marsh and Tree Swallows have found the nest boxes.

Jukka Jantunen
The BIC on duty

Birds banded this week:

Boreal Chickadee 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5
American Robin 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 22
Northern Waterthrush 2
Wilson’s Warbler 2
Savannah Sparrow 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow 3
White-crowned Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco 2
= 49
The photos below include a female Ruby-crowned Kinglet (top) and a hybrid male Oregon x Slate-colored Junco (middle, bottom).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

McIntyre Marsh - May 8

The bird traffic through the marsh was somewhat reduced today in comparison to last weekend. Although the day's banding total was not very high (28 birds), there was a good variety of species including two new species for the season; Wilson's Warbler and Wilson's Snipe. The number of White-crowned Sparrows have dropped off substantially, but the numbers of Savannah Sparrow have increased. In fact, this was the top species banded today with 11 banded.

The station will be open again tomorrow (Sunday) morning from 7am to noon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

McIntyre Marsh Update - May 1 to 2

This past weekend was very busy at the marsh. The sparrows arrived in droves and kept us very busy extracting and banding. Fortunately, there were a number of helpers onhand and even more visitors who were able to see how a banding station operates when very busy. Some highlights from the weekend included the first Orange-crowned Warbler on the 2nd. Other new species included a Varied Thrush and a small number of Violet-green Swallows on the 2nd, these species have been at the site for a few weeks but had avoided the nets until this point.
White-crowned Sparrows were althroughout the site on both days and were the number one species, with 95 individuals banded. Other bird banded this week included; Myrtle Warbler (42), Slate-colored Junco (24), Fox Sparrow (17), Lincoln's Sparrow (13), American Tree Sparrow (12), Golden-crowned Sparrow (8), Savannah Sparrow (7), Violet-green Swallow (5), American Robin (5), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (4), Black-capped Chickadee (2), Varied Thrush (1) and Orange-crowned Sparrow (1).....grand total = 236 birds.

Some photos below include (in order); Savannah Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Myrtle Warbler, Golden-crowned Sparrow, American Robin, Violet-green Swallow and Varied Thrush.
For more photos, visit our flickr page at;

Albert Creek Update - 28 Apr to 4 May

This post was written by Albert Creek volunteer bander Gwen Baluss, from Juneau, Alaska.

This week was characterized by variable spring weather, and good numbers of sparrows.
Highlights included a group of about 500 Sandhill cranes over the station on 4-29. Three
Rusty Blackbirds were captured on 4-29. April 30 brought many White-crowned and Fox Sparrows and some Lincoln’s and Savannah Sparrows, as well as Myrtle Warblers. It was also the first note of chorusing wood frogs. The weather was exceptionally nice and warm. But it rained on May 1, the day of the first White-throated sparrow song.

I arrived on May 2 to a cool cloudy day with a steady migration (85 birds banded) of mostly sparrows. We were excited to catch the first Hammond’s flycatcher, an early long-distance migrant. On May 2 the fickle nature of spring revealed a steady snow, so we didn’t band. It cleared beautifully overnight, but on the morning of May 4 we faced a temperature of -10 C and icy nets. Also, the migrants had clearly moved out, and as the day warmed we banded mostly recaptures.

We are pleased to report that the Barred Owl continues to be on site and was hooting at 12 p.m. on May 5.

Our international team of banders and assistants included:

Ted Murphy-Kelly, Whitehorse
Jukka Jantunen, migrating with the birds throughout the Yukon
Sarah Davidson, Haines Junction
Mario Benassi, Haines, AK
Pam Randles, Haines, AK
Manie Cooke, Watson Lake
Susan Drury, Watson Lake
Jessica Condon, Watson Lake
Gwen Baluss, Juneau, AK

Banding totals from the week included; Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7), Orange-crowned Warbler (6), Myrtle Warbler (80), American Tree Sparrow (28), Fox Sparrow (93), Lincoln's Sparrow (8), White-crowned Sparrow (96), Slate-colored Junco (16), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1), Black-capped Chickadee (1), American Robin (3), Savannah Sparrow (5), Rusty Blackbird (3), Common Redpoll (23), Boreal CHickadee (1) and Hammond's Flycatcher (1)......grand total = 373.

The photo below is Albert Creek's first Hammond's Flycatcher of the year !

For more photos from Albert Creek, view our flickr page at