Frontenac Bird Studies in 2012

Migration Research Foundation is excited to announce that fieldwork for the Frontenac Bird Studies program will recommence in early May 2012! Here is the lineup of activities for the spring and summer field season.

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Prairie Warblers

This year will find us back in familiar territory, the expansive granitic rock barrens in Frontenac Provincial Park. Swept by intense fires in the 1930s, the barrens have been a refuge for several bird species in decline such as, Common Nighthawk, Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow and Eastern Towhee, to name a few. Our efforts in 2011 were successful – male Prairie Warblers were located and colour-banded and nests were found. It wasn’t exactly easy, though. The late spring, extreme heat, abundant biting flies and hundreds of kilometers walked made for a challenging month of June (there’s a reason these barrens are explored by few!). Fortunately, the experience will make our studies substantially more efficient and productive for our return this year. Prairie Warblers are exceptionally rare in Canada and Frontenac remains a significant stronghold for the Ontario population clinging to life along the southern edge of the shield.

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M.A.P.S

In addition to our work in the barrens, we are looking forward to our fourth year of Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS). Our data indicate a short-term but marked reduction in forest bird abundance, perhaps owing to late spring and/or summer weather anomalies in recent years. A thorough analysis of demographic rates will be conducted following the 2013 season. Here is a snapshot of one of “our” thrushes from the Maplewood Bog (MABO) station in South Frontenac, ON:

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Rare Species Inventory and Monitoring

For a third spring in-a-row we will survey high potential breeding locations for Louisiana Waterthrush within the study area.  Additionally, targeted area searches will be conducted in Frontenac Provincial Park for other rare/sensitive bird species and habitats such as Golden-winged Warbler and Red-headed Woodpecker. This exercise is part of an annual initiative to inventory and map distribution and abundance of breeding avifauna within the study area, particularly the park itself. This year our efforts will be focused on meadow/shrubland and wetland environments.

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The Frontenac Biothon fundraiser returns for another blitz in 2012! This year our biothon team will be racking up the species in Frontenac Provincial Park for 24 hours on June 9-10. Thanks to everyone who supported the biothon in 2011! We hope you will consider sponsoring one of our biothon participants this year. Visit our biothon page for more information or to make a donation.

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FBS Online

As always, you can follow our progress throughout the spring/summer field season via our blog, twitter and Facebook.

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