Friday, December 2, 2011

Snow Bunting Banding

This summer Oliver Love sent out a request for volunteer bird bandings to help study Snow Buntings across Canada this winter. Of course, without many birds to band around here during the winter, I have jumped at the opportunity. We are still waiting for a bit of snow around here before we start heading out, but I thought I would just post a bit information on the Snow Bunting.

The Snow Bunting is a small passerine that nests in Canada's Arctic. It comes down to Saskatchewan during the winter in small to very large flocks. The bird is easily identifiable with its white body and black back, wings and tail. While in flight the bird is easily to ID with its long black and white wings.

Oliver and his team of student researchers have been working on Snow Buntings on Canada's East Bay Island. Since 2007 his team have banded an amazing 1000 Snow Buntings on this tiny little island in the Arctic. They have also been doing some really amazing research using geolocators, colour banding and sound recording devices. They are studying signals of male quality, mating strategies, reproductive physiology and the migratory connectivity of the Snow Bunting population on East Bay Island. For more information on all of this research, check out the first "Snow Bunting Report" published by Oliver and his crew earlier this week. Some fascinating information in here.

You can also check out the Canadian Snow Bunting Network website.

We'd also like to thank Sun Country Farms in Langham, SK for their help in acquiring the feed we need to catch the birds. Thanks Sun Country Farms! :)

I look forward to posting once we start catching some birds!!

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