Success with The Big Year and Migratory Bird Traffic Report for May 16th

A huge thanks to everyone who joined us for our screening of The Big Year on Wednesday night at the University of Ottawa. The event was a successful celebration of International Migratory Bird Day (or week) and was a great opportunity for birders and non-birders alike to come together for a hoot – pun fully intended. “The bird is the word”, as Ben Welland suggests in his column in today’s edition of OttawaXpress magazine.

For added fun at the event Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club representatives Ann and Gordon MacKenzie, Jeff Skevington and Jennifer Spallin volunteered to field questions as part of Q &; A session after the film. Many thanks to this group for their excellent contributions and for teaching this birder several new things!

And I must offer one more big thanks again to Dave Brown and Robyn Bresnahan from CBC Radio One’s Ottawa Morning show, for their excellent work this week to insert migratory bird traffic reports into each morning’s broadcast (in addition to having me on-air on Tuesday morning). I hope that listeners in Ottawa-Gatineau have had fun hearing about the feathered friends moving through and taking-up residence in our region this spring.

We submitted the following report to CBC as the final installment in our migratory bird traffic series. Many thanks again to Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club volunteer Chris Lewis for providing the bird report data to me each evening – we couldn’t have done it without her help!

Migratory Bird Traffic Report – May 15-16th

The number of Warbler species spotted locally remains stable at 22. Ottawa-Gatineau birders spotted a couple of Common Loons loafing and fishing below the Deschenes Rapids and at Shirley’s Bay, though still no reports of their Red-throated counterparts at Lac Deschênes. An often elusive and acrobatic Least Bittern was spotted in a west end marsh near the old Nortel campus – both Virginia and Sora Rails have been spotted there recently. The skies downtown are being patrolled by a pair of breeding Peregrine Falcons, whose nest is precariously located on the Delta Hotel downtown – this no doubt has our smaller feathered friends on alert. Gorgeous Scarlet Tanagers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have been singing at Shirley’s Bay recently, where computerized-sounding Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks are all very active on territory. An Evening Grosbeak was also spotted hanging out on Parliament,and small numbers of Chimny Swifts are being reported in the region. Red-eyed Vireos continue to move through the area in large numbers, accompanied by large numbers of shorebirds, including Least Sandpipers.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Image of a Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler (Alan Woodhouse)