Migration Census- 18/04/2009

Barred Owl, Devil Lake Road

The fourth census of the spring season was completed this morning. Weather was warm and calm with overcast skies. A singing male Ruby-crowned Kinglet was the first species recorded, a good sign that some new migrants had filtered into the area. A total of 32 species were noted, which included eight newly arrived species. The most noteworthy amongst the arrivals was a group of four Double-crested Cormorants flying low toward the north. Cormorants nest in the region in small numbers. Golden-crowned Kinglets (3) and Brown Creepers (1) did make first appearances as did Tree Swallow (1) and Chipping Sparrow (2).


As promised, an attempt was made to survey for nesting owls in the study area, which was quickly thwarted by the incredible abundance and vocal prowess of local frogs. Spring Peepers, Leopard Frogs, Wood Frogs and Chorus Frogs, all seemed to be singing from every lake, pond, pool and puddle along Canoe Lake Road. I could easily hear Barred Owls answering my iPod, however the soprano-like tones of Eastern Screech Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl would have been very difficult to detect. We will plan to revisit this study in early spring 2010. A trip to a favourite mixed-forest plot on Devil Lake Road revealed a Barred Owl, which I strongly suspect has a nest nearby. I am planning a return visit to determine if this individual is nesting or simply a “lone wolf”.

Results (new arrivals in bold)

Canada Goose    47
Common Loon    5
Double-crested Cormorant    4
Turkey Vulture    1
Red-shouldered Hawk    1
Ring-billed Gull    2
Mourning Dove    2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker    4
Downy Woodpecker    1
Northern Flicker    3
Eastern Phoebe    6
Blue Jay    7
American Crow    7
Tree Swallow    1
Black-capped Chickadee    13
Red-breasted Nuthatch    4
White-breasted Nuthatch    1
Brown Creeper    1
Golden-crowned Kinglet    3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet    1

American Robin    11
European Starling    2
American Tree Sparrow    1
Chipping Sparrow    2

Fox Sparrow    1
Song Sparrow    6
Dark-eyed Junco    4
Red-winged Blackbird    19
Common Grackle    18
Brown-headed Cowbird    2
Pine Siskin    5
American Goldfinch    5

Spring Species Total: 40

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