Cross-Country (SNBU) Check-up- March 13th

Well, the buntings seemed to have moved on from Southern Ontario now… Spring has come so suddenly and we in Quebec are waiting for the migrating buntings to show up at the traps!

463 bruant des neiges bague

Banded bunting near Kamouraska, Qc


Glenn caught 25 on Monday March 9th, didn’t band Tuesday and by Wednesday March 11th there were none around and the snow is largely melted.  He took the traps out of the field today, before they sank in mud.  It’s been a great season overall though, and we’re hoping to see some captures of Ontario banded birds in Quebec on the back.  Fingers crossed… (Theresa and Glenn also did another interesting foreign recap back in early February, a bird originally banded by Claire Sanders at East Harrow Banding Station (outside of Windsor) last February.) Theresa McKenzie, King City

 (March 9th )I need another 13 birds to reach 7 000, by the way, so it has been a good year….. not record breaking ………. but a good year. (March 12th) There are no Snow Buntings at my Fergus site at all. Unless we get hit by a sudden blizzard, I am afraid that this is the end of the season here. David Lamble, Fergus

*** Nancy Furber in Hagersville also reported the buntings having left Haldimand area, with the last banding taking place last week-end… Nancy has managed to band over 3000 birds, mostly all in February, so that’s wonderful!


The period of Feb 23 – Mar 8 was even slower than the last one, but the Montreal teams are still out there and we’re hoping things will change, birds will start moving soon! Come on southern people, you’ve had them enough now; time to let us enjoy it as well!

 Mirabel :   During the period Feb 23-March 8th, only 68 SNBU were banded in 12 mornings. The flock is getting a bit bigger but they are also liking the side of the road very much. We’ve had one good morning on March 4 with 21 SNBU banded. During the period, we did recapture two interesting birds:

-2531-19017, a David Lamble bird banded in Arthur, ON on 01/22/2012

-1 SNBU banded in St-Roch on January 21, 2015, did it spend time in Ontario and is getting back or was it just wandering around southern Quebec?! (Mirabel season total: 761 SNBU, 5 LALO and 1 HOLA)

St-Roch:    During the period, 4 mornings of banding produced only 22 SNBU. The flock is still fairly small (20-30). Flock seem to be improving on a daily basis but we did get a morning of ZERO bunting seen on March 8! (St-Roch Season total: 878 SNBU and 6 LALO)

Coteau-du-lac :    These last two weeks have been frustrating at Coteau. Although our effort was daily, we only caught buntings on 6 days for a total of 65 SNBU and 1 LALO (and three Tim Horton’s Roll-up- the-Rim wins).Our site was plowed over by the local farmer; this meant re-establishing our trap location. Fortunately the birds have now found the bait and we hope to be trapping better numbers in the next period. The flock size has grown to over one hundred, which is very positive after the low observations of this period. (Coteau-du-lac Season total: 780 SNBU, 34 HOLA, 19 LALO and 1 SOSP)

 Southern Quebec Teams are now at a total of 2419 SNBU banded for the winter.

Simon Duval, the Migration Research Foundation

I caught 80 more birds at the Ste-Luce site since the last post, but actually have not seen a single bird there in the last week, which is the first time that happened since early January. I still visit everyday and wait for the Ontarian buntings to make their way down the St-Lawrence…

We can do a last post early April recapitulating highlights from everyone’s season!


2 thoughts on “Cross-Country (SNBU) Check-up- March 13th

  1. Haven’t had the usual big flocks at Barnston-Ouest this year. The most I saw was a small flock of 40 back in December. I haven’t seen them while driving around either. It was strange to have had so few considering the unrelenting cold and good snow cover. Maybe next year.

  2. Wow! It sounds like the SNBU season in southern Ontario stopped very abruptly! Between David, Theresa and Glen, and Nancy alone, well over 10,000 were banded!! It will be interesting to see if any of these show up in Quebec or in northern Ontario…..or the Arctic/Greenland….as they head for the breeding grounds. Great job by all involved!! It’s rewarding, but very cold work.

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