Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wascana MAPS station completes 4th season!

2013 was the 4th season of the Wascana Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) station and what a season it was.  We again saw an overall increase in the total number of birds we captured, with 630 new birds of 35 different species, being banded in just 6 days!  This is almost double the number of birds we banded in our first season in 2010.
I just figured out I can't actually upload files on the blog here, so will have get creative as to how I get all the information on here, but I have copied in the results of our 4 years of MAPS banding below.  I have been amazed by the sheer numbers of birds we have captured - it definitely has exceeded my expectations when we first decided to try this project at this site.  In total we have captured and banded 45 different species!  What amazing biodiversity can be found in the Habitat Conservation Area, within Wascana Marsh!
Baltimore Oriole
The Wascana MAPS site is located in Wascana Centre, inside the Habitat Conservation Area.  Here we follow the MAPS protocol set out by the Institute of Bird Populations.  We use 10 mists spread throughout the area in various habitat types, including cattail marsh, willow edge, and caragana and tree rows.  The nets are set up in the exact same spots each year and are opened 6 days each season, evenly distributed between June 10th until August 10.  We start at dawn, which varies from 4:45 am in June, to 5:20 am in August, and keep the nets open for 6 hours.
Nelson's Sparrow
We rely heavily on a great team of volunteers without whom this project would not be successful! A huge thank you to all of you. 
A few highlights from 2013 included a few interesting recaptured birds (birds we banded in previous years), including a Yellow Warbler which was the first Yellow Warbler we banded in 2010 for MAPS.  Another highlight was catching a juvenile Sedge Wren and adult Black-billed Cuckoo!  I have since learned from the Bird Banding Office, that was the first ever Sedge Wren banded in Saskatchewan and the Black-billed Cuckoo was only the 3rd banded in SK! 
Black-billed Cuckoo
I will post more information specifically about some of the recaps soon. 

Here are the total number of birds banded as part of the Wascana MAPS program.  Click on the table to enlarge it, so you can see the Total column.

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