For those who have been concerned about a late
spring in some parts of the Arctic, see the piece below, foraded from the Iowa
Begin forwarded message:
Date: June 26, 2009 11:55:19 AM
Subject: Arctic Breeding
Conditions in 2009
Subject: Arctic Breeding Conditions in 2009
Yesterday we saw an adult Lesser
Yellowlegs near Toronto and on Wednesday there was an adult Least Sandpiper in
Hamilton at the west end of Lake Ontario. These are the first "fall migrant"
shorebirds in southern Ontario and they are right on schedule.
Several people asked us to comment
about recent reports of a "Disastrous breeding season in the Arctic". The
Arctic is huge; it is 3500 km from southern James Bay (subarctic) to northern
Ellesmere Island. Most shorebirds have large breeding ranges and even in late
years many birds breed successfully and rarely does the entire Arctic
experience the same climatic conditions. We checked with northern researchers
and summarized their comments below. Shorebird nesting in> 2009 is poor in
some regions but normal to good elsewhere.
Ontario: Ken Abraham reports that conditions in the
Hudson Bay Lowlands were about 10 days late from Attawapiskat south on James
Bay, including Akimiski Island, with Canada Geese and Snow Geese hatching in
mid June, more like the 1990s average than the 2000s average and within the
overall norms. Other species on Akimiski Island were correspondingly late. His
guess is that for those species that require shorter time there will be some
reduction but not huge. Perhaps the predation effect will be somewhat greater
if alternate species are less available. Because coastal snow, ice and water
inundation conditions were similar from Cape Henrietta Maria to the Manitoba
border, Ken expects that for Canada Geese nesting within 40-60 km from the
coast, a much reduced effort and productivity will be the norm. Snow Geese at
Cape Henrietta Maria were greatly down and the suggestion of a 90% reduction
seems to fit what they saw on their survey. However, beyond 40-60 km inland,
he thinks conditions will be different. Mark Peck said that species nesting
away from the Hudson Bay Coast in boreal bogs and fens such as yellowlegs
should not be severely impacted because much of the freeze took place near the
situation is worse in northern Manitoba at Churchill where temperatures were
well below normal until recently and the snow cover melted late. However,
Erica Nol reports that birds have started to nest, just very late, and it
won't be a complete bust for shorebirds if there are enough bare spots.
Whimbrels and Hudsonian Godwits are nesting, but overall nesting success
should be below average for most shorebirds in northern Manitoba.
Nunavut: Snow melt was up to three
weeks late in mainland Nunavut north of Manitoba. Recent temperatures have
been close to normal. Much of Baffin Island is now snow free and
conditions there and on Bylot Island are about normal. High Arctic breeders
should have a good breeding year.
Northwest Territories: Vicky Johnston suspects it will
be a poor breeding year in parts of the Western Arctic. Spring was roughly
three weeks late in Yellowknife on Great Slave Lake based on leaf-out. The
Mackenzie Valley and Delta warmed early but then cooled off again. The Delta
flooded slowly and the water receded slowly, so some prime shorebird breeding
areas were subject to heavy predation.
Yukon: Cameron Eckert reports a late spring, but once
the heat came, everything shifted into high gear.
Alaska: Declan Troy reports from the North Slope that
the snow on the tundra is long gone. It was much warmer earlier in the month
and his guess is that the breeding season has been early there.
We will be recording the arrivals
and numbers of adult and juvenile shorebirds in southern Ontario and may post
Acknowledgements: We thank Ken
Abraham, Bruce Di Labio, Cameron Eckert, Michel Gosselin, Vicky Johnston,
Erica Nol, Mark Peck, Ken Ross, Don Sutherland, and Declan Troy.
Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron
Brad A. Andres, Ph.D.
Coordinator, U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
PO Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225-0486 USA
755 Parfet St., Suite 496B
Lakewood, CO 80215
contribute your sightings to our list; it is only as good as members make
Birding channel recommendation for FRS/GMRS radio use:
selection; channel 5/0 , alternate selection; channel 6/0
list is sponsored by the Iowa Ornithologists' Union. Membership available
on-line at http://www.iowabirds.org/iou/membership.asp.
currently subscribed to ia-bird as: [log in to unmask]
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options: