Object & Deliverables
A long term monitoring program for breeding bird communities in the Slave Lake FMA began on May 1, 2001. Permanent sampling stations were established throughout the FMA which may be sampled periodically for an indefinite number of years. The first year that was funded by this study will be used for gaining knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of the majority of bird species in the area and to serve as a base year to compare bird abundance in future years. The survey was divided into a forest bird survey and a wetland bird survey. The forest bird survey consists of 18 randomly established sampling routes in a variety of forested vegetation cover practices. Transects were sampled during a four and a half hour period beginning at sunrise throughout the month of June. Eighteen sampling areas were established for the wetland complexes which also represented what was within the FMA. These were sampled in the early afternoon after the dawn “point counts”.
During the 2001 field season, 128 species were detected during surveys or by other incidental observations. These included 22 waterfowl species, 7 species of shorebirds, 9 gulls and terns, 8 species of raptors, 5 species of owl, 5 species of woodpeckers, and 65 species of songbirds. During the spring forest breeding bird survey, there were 61 species actively breeding in the area. Six percent of all the birds detected were permanent residents. Forty one percent were short distant migrants. Neo-tropical migrants were the most common migrants (52% of all bird species and 39 species). 95 species of birds were detected during the wetland survey, of which 17 species could be classified as waterfowl. Several species that are rare or of special concern were reported including an adult Peregrine Falcon that was likely breeding and the Black-throated Green warbler. The designation of special concern suggests the need to manage forests in light of its requirement.
The final report was submitted by Roger Brown of Aspen Ecological Consulting entitled, “Report of the 2001 Breeding Bird Survey for Weyerhaeuser’s Slave Lake Forest Management Agreement Area” prepared in November, 2001.