May 15 – 22, 2024

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On May 15, Team Tanager the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory ran our Birdathon fundraiser and were able to find 102 species – a great total, but none of them were exceptional observations. Our other fundraising team also recently ran their traveling Birdathon and long-time readers may recognize this ‘voice’. Greetings from Sherwood Park! Some… Read more »

May 9 – 15, 2024

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Although goose migration has tapered off, our songbirds arrived in droves after being held up by stormy and snowy weather in southern Alberta last week. The biggest days for migration at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory were May 9 and 10 with around 2,500 Myrtle Warblers counted each day and diversity shot up with… Read more »

April 16 – May 8, 2024

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On April 16, 2024, the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory began our 31st year of monitoring bird migration! While the start of April was warm and had us eager to start our spring program, the temperatures dropped and periods of rain and snow became more frequent. Despite infrequently opening the nets, we have banded 140… Read more »

September 28 – October 3, 2023

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On October 3, Fall Migration Monitoring at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory ended after 84 days. We normally end on September 30, and this is the first time since 2008 that we pushed into October due to the unseasonably warm weather, which may have delayed movements of some short-distance migrants. It remains unclear if… Read more »

September 21 – 27, 2023

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Fall migration continues to be unusually slow. The nights have been warm and the owls sparse, but there are other things of interest in the dark hours from the odd deer, flying squirrel, or bear to spectacular northern lights and migrating geese. It may come as a surprise that most migration occurs at night when… Read more »

September 14 – 20, 2023

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Another slow week of migration (thanks mostly to strong winds) has concluded with an exciting capture: the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory’s sixth ever Lapland Longspur. Though we may see them near daily in the late fall, they are quite unlikely to find themselves in our nets. The last one banded was back in September… Read more »

September 7 – 13, 2023

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We have finished our second week of owl migration monitoring at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory. There are two species that we target here. The first is the Northern Saw-Whet Owl, one of the smallest owls in Canada (second only to the Northern Pygmy-Owl) and our most frequent flier. Since the program began in… Read more »

August 31 – September 6, 2023

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As we enter September, fall migratory movement has been very slow, the bulk of which has been Myrtle Warblers in foraging flocks and occasionally landing in our nets. Yet this past week a rare and exciting capture was made: the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory’s second ever Belted Kingfisher—and first ever female. The last Belted… Read more »

August 24 – 30, 2023

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The Black Bears have finally begun to agree that there are no berries left at our station and have made themselves scarce, so we have started opening our ground-level nets. To compare capture rates between time periods with different effort put into netting, we keep careful track of when we open and close each net… Read more »

August 17 – 23, 2023

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In another week of sharing our station with Black Bears we were forced yet again to frequently keep our twelve ground-level standard nets closed and rely on our two mid-canopy aerial nets. However, less frequent bear encounters let us open the ground nets a few times and we were able to band 632 birds this… Read more »