A Summer for the Birds

Broad-winged Hawk banded at Rock Ridge MAPS Station (Seabrooke Leckie)


FBS kicks avian research and monitoring into high gear!

Year one of the Frontenac Bird Studies (FBS) program has been a great success!  Over 200 surveys of breeding birds were completed in June and July throughout the FBS study area, which encompasses over 15,000 hectares between Sydenham and Westport, Ontario. This substantial effort, which included roughly 42 kilometres of walking in Frontenac Provincial Park, revealed an incredibly rich avian community. Several Species at Risk in the area were encountered including Whip-poor-will, Common Nighthawk, Louisiana Waterthrush, Golden-winged Warbler and a remarkably high number of Cerulean Warblers. We also established a new network of Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) stations to index and monitor critical demographic patterns for breeding landbirds in the Frontenac Arch. Over 300 birds were banded and recaptured during the summer for this program, the most unusual of which was an adult Broad-winged Hawk captured at our Rock Ridge site in June. A nest monitoring effort was also initiated this summer to assist in the collection of demographic statistics for local bird populations. Over 70 nests were carefully monitored in 2009, which included records of Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Common Nighthawk, Whip-poor-will, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Waterthrush, Osprey and Red-shouldered Hawk, to name a few. And finally, Project Whip-poor-will successfully took flight with over 30 roadside surveys conducted in late June and early July. These nocturnal surveys were timed to coincide with the full moon – peak time for vocalizing Whip-poor-wills. Impressively, over 50 Whip-poor-wills, now classified as a threatened species, were detected during the surveys!

These are just a few of the highlights from our busy summer that further support the Frontenac Arch as a region of significance to bird populations in Ontario and Canada. Frontenac Breeding Birds in 2009, our first year of the project, will serve as an integral foundation for us going forward. The program was made possible by a network of spirited and generous volunteers, collaborators and donors. Staff and directors of the Migration Research Foundation extend a big thanks to the following for their integral support in 2009!


The John Hackney Foundation for the Noosphere
The McLean Foundation

Volunteers and Sponsors

Andrew Jano
Don Johnston
Friends and family of Gail Woolnough
Ian Sturdee
Jan McDonald
Julia Marko Dunn
Kerry Adams
Larry Menard
Matthew MacGillivray
Pierre Robillard
Sally Wills
Seabrooke Leckie (Research Assistant)
Steve Gillis
Wendy Derbyshire


Peter Dawson
Ontario Parks

Bert Korporaal
Ontario Parks

Chris Robinson
Ontario Parks

Staff, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Mark Peck
Royal Ontario Museum

Ron Weir
Kingston Field Naturalists

Don Ross & David Bull
Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve

Audrey Heagy & Jon McCracken
Bird Studies Canada

We are already looking forward to 2010, our second year of the Frontenac Breeding Birds project, and encourage everyone to visit our website for more information on FBS programs (www.frontenacbirds.ca), or contact us at fbs@migrationresearch.org.


Dan Derbyshire
Project Lead, Frontenac Bird Studies
Migration Research Foundation
2386 Bathurst Concession 5
RR7 Perth, ON
K7H 3C9
fbs ‘AT’ migrationresearch.org

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