We’ve finished two out of six banding periods and the MAPS project in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is running right on schedule. Right now we are in what is called the “Adult Super Period”, during which we catch more adults than juveniles. We still have yet to catch a hatch year bird but we are catching adults showing breeding characteristics; sometimes carrying food/nest materials. This is to be expected at our altitude and latitude where we will probably not hit the “Juvenile Super Period” until mid July. There isn’t too much to report but there have been some minor changes in species composition (presence) at the sites. For example, Western Wood Pewees, Dusky Flycatchers and Vireos are singing consistently throughout the morning, compared to a few weeks ago when American Robins, Eastern White-Crowned Sparrows, Yellow Warblers and House Wrens were making the most noise. In addition, we are now catching Cedar Waxwings showing broods and cloacal protuberances.
MAPS is a continent wide effort to monitor birds during their breeding season. We tend to catch fewer birds than in migration study for three main reasons; (1) there are fewer birds passing through a given area; (2) the birds that are around have established territories thus fewer new birds are caught; and (3) we operate the stations only once every ten days to minimize stress on the breeders, incubators, new parents and juveniles who all have “more pressing” matters to attend to. That being said, it was a fairly slow week, our three sites only catching 73 birds, 20 species and banding 36 individuals. It will start to get much busier when the hatch year birds begin to fledge.