Mountain Chutes Banding Station is operated as a sub-station of the Timiskaming Banding Group. All of the banding is done in the back yard of Mountain Chutes Camp on the Montreal River in Barber Township, mostly at feeders. Banding is conducted year round under a standardized protocol. Bruce Murphy and his TERRA students banded a few birds at Mountain Chutes in 1998 and 1999. Full time banding by Barry Kinch was begun in 2000.
2001 Highlights: The highlight of 2001 was the number of woodpeckers of each species that we banded including the only Pileated Woodpecker to date. In 2001 a total of 2,852 birds of 68 species were banded. The number of returns, especially Purple Finches, from the previous year was exciting. There were 102 returns from the 526 Purple Finches banded in 2000. There was a total of 126 returning birds of 13 species, not including any resident species.
2002 Highlights: In 2002, 2916 birds of 69 species were banded, bringing the three year total to nearly 10,000 birds of 79 species. One of the main highlights was the number of Purple Finches, including 1093 new birds and 162 returns of birds banded in the previous 3 years. One male was here for the fourth year in a row. We also had 2 foreign Purple Finch retraps. Of the returning birds, the largest percentage were males (105) with only 5 known females and 52 unknown sex early in the year. There was also a large fall movement of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, with 250 banded. The previous high was in 2001 with 54. Most of the birds banded are nesting on the property or in the immediate area. New species banded in 2001 include Eastern Phoebe, Brewer's Blackbird, Vesper Sparrow, Orange-Crowned Warbler and Winter Wren.
2003 Highlights: 2003 was a very slow year for banding at Mountain Chutes Camp, with only 1626 new birds banded. The average for the last 3 years was 3125 birds. We had a foreign recapture of a Northern Saw-Whet Owl that was banded at Hilliardton Marsh 5 days earlier. We had 117 birds returning to Mountain Chutes from previous years consisting of 16 species. The most exciting happenings were the 155 Northern Saw-Whet Owls banded and the banding of our resident Canada Geese. The Canadian Wildlife Service gave us bands and colour bands to use on them. We banded 14 of our 17 residents, including the 4 local geese hatched last year. New species for our station included Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, Black-Backed Woodpecker, Indigo Bunting, Canada Goose and a Barred Owl. Record high numbers were recorded for Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Common Grackle, White-Winged Crossbill and Tennessee Warbler.
2004 Highlights: 2004 was the best year to date at Mountain Chutes as far as number of birds go and second in number of species. We banded 3725 birds of 68 species. We had 2 Northern Saw-Whet Owls recaptured in Pennsylvania and Virginia, Purple Finches recaptured in Rouyn and Timmins and Evening Grosbeaks recaptured in Montreal and Wisconsin. We also had 5 foreign retraps, including a Common Redpoll Montreal, a Purple Finche from Pennsylvania, and a Northern Saw-Whet Owl from Cheboygan, Michigan. We had 261 birds of 14 species return this year that we had banded before. The number of Purple Finches returning is amazing. Once again, we banded local Canada Geese. All geese that summered here were banded, including 4 locally hatched birds. We had 5 birds that were banded in 2003 return this year. We also banded 135 Northern Saw-Whet Owls. New species for the year include Lapland Longspur, Broad-Winged Hawk and Rusty Blackbird. We set new number records for 13 other species.
2005 Highlights: 2005 was the best year to date at Mountain Chutes as far as number of birds go, but number of species was down. We banded 4413 birds of 59 species. We had 10 foreign recaptures including 3 Northern Saw-Whet Owls from Hilliardton and 1 from Hawk Cliff. There were 169 return birds of 14 species previously banded at Mountain Chutes. New species for the year include Wood Duck and American Crow, with record highs for Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll (2,268), White-crowned Sparrow and Northern Shrike.