September 20, 2011

New Breeding Records for Iqaluit

Tonight I'm making a short presentation to the Brodie Club, a naturalists' club that meets once a month to hear an invited speaker and observations made by its members. The September meeting is traditionally given over entirely to short presentations by the members about things they've seen over the summer (field-work season for many professional biologists).

Over the course of three days in July 2011, while doing field work for David Hussell, I observed and photographed three species of birds feeding their young near Iqaluit, all well to the north of their standard breeding range. None of the three species have breeding records near Iqaluit.

(All the presentation's images in a single album).

White-crowned Sparrow (WCSP), Zonotrichia leucophrys:
WCSP near Iqaluit, 2011/07/23
WCSP range map, with Iqaluit marked
WCSP chick in Iqaluit, 2010/07/08
WCSP and fledgling, 2010/07/28

I saw adults feeding young in 2011 as well, but didn't get a photograph of the young that year.

Savannah Sparrow (SAVS), Passerculus sandwichensis:
SAVS near Iqaluit, 2011/07/21
SAVS range map, with Iqaluit marked
SAVS chick near Iqaluit, 2011/07/21

The adult was feeding that young. The chick is just hiding in a hollow in the tundra; that isn't the nest.

Dark-eyed Junco (DEJU), Junco hyemalis:
DEJU near Iqaluit, 2011/07/22
DEJU range map, with Iqaluit marked
DEJU with food, near Iqaluit, 2011/07/22

Again, I saw the young, and the adults feeding the young, but was unable to get a photograph of a young Junco.

Breeding records for all three species are being prepared for submission to the NWT/Nunavut Bird Checklist Survey, and may eventually be published in The Canadian Field-Naturalist.