Fall Migration….

The MAPS season was completed at the end of July with a total of 409 new indiduals banded at the three stations.  The most common capture during MAPS by far was Least Flycatcher with 51 new bandings.

View of the Elkwater Lake and Migration Monitoring Station on the left (photo: Colton Prins)

View of the west arm of Elkwater Lake from the Migration Monitoring Station (photo: Colton Prins)

With the end of the MAPS season came the beginning of Fall Migration. The first day of fall monitoring season began on August 2, 2013.  August was steady with a total of 605 birds banded.  The busiest day was August 28 when 54 birds of 21 species and forms were banded – an incredible diversity!

A rare East meets West, Kingbird Style. Captured on August 28. (photo: Colton Prins)

A rare East meets West, Kingbird Style. Captured on August 28. (photo: Colton Prins)

Though all of the kingbirds caught so far this fall have been hatch year birds, adults have bright orange  or red feathers hidden within their crowns. These bright feathers are usually only visible when a kingbird is defending its territory or chasing off a predator.

Early September started with a lull but on September 4 a total of 64 birds were banded, 35 of them being Yellow Warblers. Most individuals of this species are easily aged by the colour of the underside of the bill. Hatch year birds show a fleshy colour on the bill while adult bills are entirely grey similar to the colour of pencil lead.

Yellow Warbler (photo: Colton Prins)

Yellow Warbler (photo: Colton Prins)

One of the most memorable birds was this hatch year Belted Kingfisher. These birds breed in the park and can be heard nearly every day calling around the banding station, but rarely end up in the nets due to their size and habits of flying over water. Kingfishers hunt from perches or by hovering over water and plunging in after small fish which they grasp easily with their heavy serrated bill.

Belted Kingfisher (photo: Colton Prins)

Belted Kingfisher (photo: Colton Prins)

One of two Magnolia Warblers captured on September 10 (photo: Colton Prins)

One of two Magnolia Warblers captured on September 10 (photo: Colton Prins)

A long overdue species for the staion was Blue-headed Vireo. This handsomely bright specimen was the 102nd full species to be captured at the migration station since the project started in 2010.

CHIP's first Blue-headed Vireo - and a 'stonker' he is! (photo: Colton Prins)

CHIP’s first Blue-headed Vireo – and a ‘stonker’ he is! (photo: Colton Prins)

Another notable milestone – Cypress Hills banded it’s 10,000th bird on September 10, 2013!  Here is a quiz bird to celebrate….Good luck.

Celebration Quiz Bird: Hint - it's a sparrow. First person to respond in the comments section wins $6 million dollars.

Celebration Quiz Bird: Hint – it’s a sparrow. First person to reply in the comments section wins $6 million dollars.

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2 Responses to Fall Migration….

  1. Tanya Nestoruk says:

    Juvenile savannah sparrow !? ..I will accept cash or cheque for the $6 million.

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