Kurt Hennige has performed a survey of several threatened bird species on Amherst Island, which is located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The island Open Country Breeding Bird Habitat is known to provide critical habitat for several threatened species and there is now a proposed wind turbine project slated to cover essentially the entire island. During June 2012 Kurt traveled four routes (East, Centre, Northwest and Southwest) around the island observing and recording the presence of these species from a total of 64 stopping points spread along public roads.

Of these 64 stopping points, 27 had suitable habitat on both sides of the road. In this case two "stations" were defined at that point and separate observations were made on each side of the road. At the other 37 points with suitable habitat on one side of the road so only one station was defined. Each stopping point was given a number and the one or two stations at that point were given a direction, depending on the orientation of the road. Thus the station on the east side of the fifth stopping point of the East route would be named EA 5-E. There were a total of 91 stations (27*2 + 37 = 91).

He made three trips along each of the routes, observing for five minutes at each station. The numbers in the map and detailed listing are the highest numbers observed at one out of the three trips.

Kurt concentrated on the Bobolink and Meadowlark as both species are presently listed as threatened in Ontario. His observations show that Amherst Island supports large numbers of both species. During his trips he observed a high-water mark of 561 Bobolinks (of which 316 were within 100m) and 158 Meadowlarks (of which 91 were within 100m). For a detailed listing of the stations, land uses and observations click here.

In order to show his data pictorially a map of Amherst Island has been created showing the stations, land use and observations. You can get to this map by clicking below. When you do you'll be presented a new screen with a Google Map (so you can use your mouse to pan and zoom) of Amherst Island overlaid with the 91 stations and the wind turbine project plan, as shown below (with the project plan hidden).

Each station is represented by a half-circle 250 metres in radius and is color-coded by its primary land use. As you mouse over a station its name will appear above the map. Clicking on a station will allow you to see the high-water numbers of Bobolinks and Meadowlarks that Kurt observed. You can also choose to display the wind turbine project overlay or not by clicking on the links above the map.

CLICK HERE TO DISPLAY THE MAP

The original forests on Amherst Island were removed long ago for agriculture, leaving mostly pastures and hayfields. The primary land use and observations at each type of land use are shown below.

Land UseOur Identifyer# of Stations# of BobolinksBobolinks/Station# of MeadlowlarksMeadowlarks/Station
Hayfield, in useHF362436.75591.64
Hayfield, abandonedHA3175.6731.00
Pasture, marginalPM271816.70501.85
Pasture, intensively grazedPI12494.08191.58
Pasture, abandonedPA6396.50172.83
Shrub/Thickets, >50%SM3206.6751.67
Shrub/Thickets, <50%SL4123.0051.25
TotalsNA915616.161581.74


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