Last winter, Josee-Anne Otis who worked for the biology department at U de M, was visiting my home on weekends hoping to capture and tag Snow Buntings. We'd set a trap on top of black-oil sunflower seeds and then wait inside my house until one or more buntings walked inside the trap. They couldn't figure out how to retrace their way back out, which gave us the opportunity to go out and band the bird.
We would measure, weigh and look for signs of their overall health. The last thing to do was to pinch a metal band on it's leg. We only managed to capture two buntings.
I presently have a flock of about thirty Snow buntings making regular visits to my yard. I was happy to spot at least one had what appears to be a band that we placed on it's leg last winter.
I do not have the means to check the numbers on the band nor do I have the data compiled last year for comparison. I strongly suspect that this is the same individual caught last year.
Here are a few photos;
That is really special, Gabriel!
I'll ditto Denis, Gabe!!
Thank you very much, Denis and Joanne!
Unfortunately, I do not have Josee-Anne's contact info to give her the good news. She has since moved to another province and is no longer working for U de M. I'm not sure if anyone else took over this project after she left. It was quite interesting and also pretty cool to have handled Snow Buntings and also one Mourning Dove who walked into the trap as well.
Hi Gabriel !!! :D
Very happy that you got to see that little guy !
I continued banding some in Quebec last winter too, I got 12... better than the score I did at your place ;P
I'm working in Causapscal now, not so far from New-Brunswick. Hope to go visit you one day !
Hey Josee-Anne, it's so nice to hear from you!
Sorry for the super late reply, I've been on the road for most of the week and neglected my emails and this site. You are more than welcome to visit if you are ever passing through New Brunswick.
It's quite unfortunate, but my closest neighbours and I have been dealing with an infestation of rats this year. In my barn, I have been taking steps to avoid spillage of chicken feed. I will likely have to skip feeding the birds this winter, at least near my home. This is totally bumming me out as I enjoyed throwing seeds on the snow to feed the buntings.
I will still maintain feeders at my camp in the woods. It's at least a kilometer from my house so I suspect that the rats will not find it. So far I've been taking steps to get rid of the rat issue in my barn but if my neighbours do not do the same, the problem will never go away.
I sure hope that we can collectively get rid of our rat issue and I can then resume maintaining feeders in front of my home.
It's hard to hide online, Gabriel.
Is this your girl?
Yes, this is the right person. Wow, that's quite the resume. I see that I'd have to start a profile on Linkedin just to send her a quick message, but at least I now have a way to let her know. Thank you for the link, Ralph!
Wow Gabriel! How awesome to see one of the banded birds has returned for a visit. Congratulations!
Thank you very much, Gail!