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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Albert Creek Bird Observatory Update - April 29, 2012


The Albert Creek Bird Observatory began it's 12th consecutive spring season of operation on April 21st. The first two days were quite slow with just a few birds banded and very few observed. The weather was beautiful but cold. On the 23rd we witnessed a big wave of sparrows move in and ended up with 120 banded most of which were American Tree Sparrows. On the 26th we estimated 130 Rusty Blackbirds at the site; a new record for ACBO ! On the 28th we had our first day of Tundra Swan movement estimating just over 400. The big news was the reapperance of the notorious Barred Owl first heard by Susan Drury on April 19th and has been heard hooting on most days since. An other welcomed return was a Pileated Woodpecker spotted by Matt Clarke on April 16th. Unfortunately we have not detected it since.

Our biggest challenge this week was dealing with the very unstable weather. We were forced to open nets late on a few days due to severe cold in the early morning and we had to run one day as a non-standard day due to snow.  We did not operate at all on April 27th due to snow and rain which persisted throughout most of the day. All in all we had a productive week and are looking forward to better weather. Many thanks to Susan Drury for volunteering for the entire week and Chris Nemeth who came down one day and may return. Thanks also goes out to Ryan Drummond and Barry Drury for providing logistical help. Also thank you to Gerry Whitley for transporting the travel trailer to Watson Lake to accomodate the Bander In Charge.

Birds banded April 21st - 28th inclusive

Wilson's Snipe - 1
Boreal Chickadee - 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 24
Myrtle Warbler - 4
American Tree Sparrow - 265
Savannah Sparrow - 2
Fox Sparrow - 12
Lincoln's Sparrow - 5
Gambel's White crowned Sparrow - 3
Slate-colored Junco - 135
Rusty Blackbird - 21
Common Redpoll - 2

Season total = 476 birds of 12 species

Setting up mist nets and clearing the board walks

Setting up mist nets and clearing the board walks

male Rusty Blackbird

Wilson's Snipe

100 + Rusty Blackbirds observed near the banding table

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