Stephane’s blog for June 10

End of season!

The nets were furled one last time during the Spring 2016 season on Friday, June 10th, at 11:00am precisely. In fact, not only were they furled, we also took them down and stored them away for the Summer months. That closing marked the end of a busy and exciting Spring season. But don’t you worry: we’ll be back! The fall migration monitoring will start on August 15th.

The last ten days of the Spring season turned out to be cold and slow, following a brief, unexpected, and early burst of summer. We had many chilly mornings with strong North winds, bringing quietness in the woods and in the nets. As a consequence, very few birds were seen or banded during this period.

Nonetheless, the 2016 Spring banding total stands at 2355 birds banded, of 67 species, the second-highest total of the 15 years of bird monitoring at the Cabot Head Research Station. It is still quite far from the spring-of-all-springs, 2002, when 2610 birds were banded. But it is also much, much higher than the lowest of all, Spring 2015, when a mere 876 birds were banded! The average of the past 14 years is about 1500 birds banded during a Spring season, but, as often and shown by totals in 2002 and 2015, the average masks the tremendous variation of the natural world.

It was a great Spring season, with many birds in our nets and many birds moving through, but also with great help from many volunteers, almost as diverse as the birds, hailing from various corners of this vast world (Italy, New Jersey, Israel, and even Wakefield, QC, for example). So, I would like to take the occasion to thank them again deeply: we couldn’t do it without you guys!

I am off on my own migration now, taking me this summer up North for some volunteering at a goose research camp in the vast Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Nunavut). The blog therefore will pause for the Summer but will resume with my return to beautiful Cabot Head in mid-August.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful summer of natural exploration and enjoyment.