Prairie Warbler colour banding begins

Male Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor)

It will have to be another brief update for today. I suspect I won’t be back to more lengthy writings until late June or early July when things begin to ease up – I’m pretty swamped with fieldwork right now. One of the major tasks at hand is our continuing studies of Prairie Warblers in Frontenac Provincial Park. After 13km of combined paddling and hiking I managed to capture and band one of the isolated males this morning!

Most of the Prairie Warblers occupy the most barren of the rock barrens and are loosely colonial but there are a few singletons holding court in smaller patches of suitable habitat. This particular individual is maintaining a territory about 3km away from the core breeding area. His territory is quickly regenerating and it is possible that the habitat will become unsuitable within the next decade due to natural succession. It seems that some individuals have already abandoned this neighbourhood as the scrubby ridge formerly hosted as many three males as recently as 2009. Fortunately the “core” breeding area is very much intact and will remain so for many years to come. Below is a photo depicting the territory of the above male. Stay tuned for more updates…

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