Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Its a numbers game....

Well the saying goes abit like this, 'you know things are slow when' start talking about previous trips or upcoming ones.

As some may know I'm doing my master's at the University of Waterloo, studying 'reverse migration' and the effects of weather during the spring. I've spent the last two springs on the island, both 2009 and 2010, staying from April 25-May 20. What started out as a fun idea, turned eventually into my undergrad topic, and now has morphed into my master's thesis. Basically what I've done the past 2 springs is ID what species are and how many are 'reverse migrating' aka flying south in a 'reorientation flight' in the first few hours of light.

I've seen some pretty cool things, and the numbers don't lie. Over 52 days of coverage I've tallied the following species and numbers. See anything interesting???? Based on my calculations, it takes about 1,100-1,500 birds to get something 'good'....though it depends on what you think is good. That might seem like alot, but it averages out to a good bird per day.

Species Total
Mourning Dove 16
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 96
Red-headed Woodpecker 28
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Least Flycatcher 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 4
Eastern Kingbird 263
Yellow-throated Vireo 6
Blue-headed Vireo 8
Warbling Vireo 41
Philadelphia Vireo 9
Red-eyed Vireo 18
Blue Jay 569
American Crow 2
Horned Lark 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 39
Eastern Bluebird 3
American Robin 298
European Starling 864
American Pipit 94
Cedar Waxwing 149
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Tennessee Warbler 12
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Nashville Warbler 684
Northern Parula 28
Yellow Warbler 282
Chestnut-sided Warbler 138
Magnolia Warbler 286
Cape May Warbler 14
Black-throated Blue Warbler 33
Yellow-rumped Warbler 640
Black-throated Green Warbler 55
Blackburnian Warbler 71
Pine Warbler 1
Kirtland's Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 279
Blackpoll Warbler 8
Bay-breasted Warbler 32
Black-and-white Warbler 25
American Redstart 53
Prothonotary Warbler 2
Ovenbird 2
Hooded Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 7
Canada Warbler 6
Summer Tanager 3
Scarlet Tanager 111
Chipping Sparrow 43
Clay-colored Sparrow 1
Field Sparrow 3
Savannah Sparrow 5
Lark Sparrow 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 25
Indigo Bunting 443
Dickcissel 5
Bobolink 168
Red-winged Blackbird 5051
Eastern Meadowlark 2
Rusty Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 2349
Brown-headed Cowbird 1219
Orchard Oriole 82
Baltimore Oriole 1648
Purple Finch 1
House Finch 12
Pine Siskin 21
American Goldfinch 630
House Sparrow 4

Flycatcher sp. 2
Vireo sp. 50
Warbler sp. 4425
Sparrow sp. 59
Blackbird sp. 16271
Small Bird Sp. 668

Total 38497


  1. according to my calculations, it may also mean you've had 2-3 ORBC rarities pass overhead in the "un-ID" category.. What were they???

    I'm already pretty pumped for this spring

  2. yeah totally, was pretty sure I had a male (adult) BLGR fly over once (2009), but likely something cosmic....

    Yeah this should be a sweet year, should be a few of us down there.

  3. I believe that Wormington had 600 Nashvilles reversing off
    Point Pelee one morning. I went to Rondeau that day, and it
    wasn't as big as Pelee.

    Fred Urie

  4. Yeah there seems to be a fair difference from location to location. This year I'm going to be doing surveys at Fish Point, Pelee Island, and Josh Vandermeulen will be doing surveys from Point Pelee - so we should have an interesting comparison.