Migration Update- April 30, 2009

Hooded Mergansers, Kingsford Lake

Census results from yesterday morning show a reduction in diversity and abundance of migrants but there was still a pleasing variety of species present. The first Yellow-throated Vireo, Nashville Warbler and Baltimore Oriole of the spring surveys were recorded. I have been pondering the mysterious near-absence of White-throated Sparrows and kinglets along this stretch of Canoe Lake Road. A total of just ten White-throats and ten Ruby-crowns have been tallied from ten surveys since mid-April! Also, not a single Hermit Thrush has been recorded during the spring counts, although they have been spotted regularly in forest-interior locations. These three species are abundant migrants, representing a significant portion of migrants tallied at most Great Lakes migration hotspots in April and early May. It is reasonable to suspect that migrants in this area are afforded a significantly greater selection of habitats and array of foraging opportunities. Predominant edge habitats in the area such as those along roadsides and at the borders of agricultural fields and meadows have been noticeably quiet for migrants compared to forest interiors. This pattern is opposite to that for autumn 2009 when edges with marginal habitats in early succession were key features for concentrating migrants. More study needed……

Results (first of season species in bold)

Canada Goose 83
Common Loon 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 6
Eastern Phoebe 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Yellow-throated Vireo 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 9
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
European Starling 4
Nashville Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Black-throated Green Warbler 2
Pine Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 7
Song Sparrow 4
Swamp Sparrow 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-winged Blackbird 28
Rusty Blackbird 1
Common Grackle 9
Baltimore Oriole 1
Purple Finch 1
American Goldfinch 5

Spring Species Total=67
Average # Individuals per Census=150.4
Average # Species per Census=30.1

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