We are happy to report that the Kerns School of Flock is back in business!
Joanne Goddard, Temiskaming
Migration is finally over in Southern Quebec, the snow cover is high enough now and the majority of the birds have moved south. We are starting to see more recaptures in our flocks and less movement between the sites.
During the period, 106 SNBU were banded. There were two good days on Jan 12 and Jan 18 with 24 and 23 birds banded. Other residents/photographers have been spreading seeds near our catching site so the birds have plenty of options to choose from. Our success should increase once we get another dump of snow.
Some interesting recaps at Mirabel included:
-1 SNBU banded by Marie-Pier Laplante in Cookshire-Eaton (approx. 190 km north-north-east) last winter.
-1 SNBU banded in Mirabel on January 19 2013 recaptured on exactly the same date, two years later
-2 SNBU banded in St-Roch, 1 from last winter, and 1 from 15 days before.
Mirabel season total: 632 SNBU, 5 LALO and 1 HOLA
From Jan 15 to 25, 185 SNBU and 2 LALO were banded. There was no real peak during the period, just a steady flow of overwintering birds. The flock at St-Roch has been between 20 and 80 birds everyday but the birds seems less hungry than a month ago. In the last couple of days, we noticed that the fat levels are going down, which also suggests that although there will be small movements during the winter; the big long-distance migration is pretty much over.
Some interesting recaps at St-Roch included:
-4 individuals banded in Mirabel this winter that came back 30 km north, including one that was banded on November 21, 2014, where was it during all this time?
St-Roch Season total: 818 SNBU and 6 LALO
During the period (Jan 11 to Jan 25), Coteau was our busiest of the three sites with 209 SNBU, 10 HOLA and 3 LALO banded. There is all sorts of drama going on at Coteau. There are reports of Snowy Owls being poached in the area. As a results, the police as stopped us twice to ask what we were doing. There are also hunters who are making trapping very difficult as they hang out around within 20 meters of our bait site. On the positive side, the 1 SOSP banded in December is still hanging around on a daily basis, he’s now become a master at going in and out of the traps without being caught!!
Some interesting recaps at Coteau-du-lac included:
-1 LALO recaptured 8 times since January 14
-1 SNBU banded last year at Coteau-du-lac
-1 SNBU banded in December 2014 in St-Roch
Coteau-du-lac Season total: 351 SNBU, 34 HOLA, 15 LALO and 1 SOSP
So this brings our Southern Quebec Teams to a total of 1801 SNBU banded. We are hoping to break last year’s record season of 2057 SNBU in the first few days of February!
Simon Duval, The Migration Research Foundation
For my part, there are plenty of birds, but the trapping does not work as well as I would hope. I’m putting in a lot of effort for a very few birds caught. With the rain we had last week, the field is still half-covered with snow… I did band a few more, which makes my total to about 70. But the good news is, it’s fun anyways.