Migration was slow over the first week, with Song Sparrows slowly building in numbers and waves of Tree and Violet-green Swallows passing through. Northern Shrikes were seen throughout the first week, but it appeared that this involved new birds arriving every few days. A few more of the wintering Yellow-rumped Warblers were banded and others recaptured, overlapping with the arrival of spring migrants.
The second week was showed a definite increase in the number of birds around. A number of Red-winged Blackbirds were caught this week, which seemed unusual as they had been around since the end of January, but had stayed largely in the marsh. Most often it was a mixed flock of females and males, perhaps caused by males pursuing females as the prospect for potential mates. The first interesting bird during this period was a Northern Saw-whet Owl caught on April 1st, but a Northwestern Crow captured on April 3rd was the first for the station and surprized all who were present. April 5th saw a fall-out of Violet-green Swallows with over 50 banded that day.
The third week of monitoring saw migration really pick up with the first arrivals of Caspian Tern on the 7th, N. Rough-winged Swallow on the 8th, Orange-crowned Warblers on the 11th, Common Yellowthroats on the 13th, and Yellow-headed Blackbird on the 8th. Large numbers of Violet-green Swallows and Audubon's Warblers were banded during this period, especially over the 13-15th. Another N. Saw-whet Owl was caught on 12th, which is quite intriguing, raising the possibility that a spring movement may occur in early April along the coast. The most interesting bird was a flyover Upland Sandpiper on April 12th, which was the first spring record for the Vancouver area.
Overall, 433 birds were banded and 205 were recaptured of 26 species. Many days of wind and rain resulted in reduced net hours and banding only occurring on 16 days. The species totals for the birds banded are listed below:
|N. Saw-whet Owl||2|
|N. Rough-winged Swallow||3|
|Barn Swallow||1 |
|Northern Shrike||1 |
|Marsh Wren||8||8 |
|Black-capped Chickadee||3||10 |
|Orange-crowned Warbler||5||1 |
|Myrtle Warbler||4||2 |
|Unk. Yellow-rumped Warbler||4||1 |
|Fox Sparrow||11||54 |
|House Finch||1 |
A big thank you goes out to all of our volunteers for helping complete our program. We are now taking a bit of a break, but will be starting our Breeding Bird Monitoring program in late May, so stay tuned for updates.