Winter avifauna of Lease 17, a preliminary survey

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  • During the periods 27 January, 3-6 February and 10-13 February 1977, a preliminary survey was conducted on Syncrude Lease 17 to gain the following information on wintering birds: species presence during mid winter; abundance of each species within representative habitats; and numbers of birds present in undisturbed, lightly disturbed, and highly disturbed habitats. To accomplish these objectives, transect and flight surveys were established, together with listening posts, in three sample plots that are representative of the five major habitat types on Lease 17 (trembling aspen, black spruce, mixedwood, and riparian habitats, and the main cleared area). A total of 14 species was observed on the study plots in 72 separate sightings. The gray jay was the most common species (57 sightings), followed by hoary and common redpolls (33 sightings), willow ptarmigan (24 sightings}, boreal chickadee (10 sightings), black-capped chickadee (six sightings), hairy woodpecker (five sightings), downy woodpecker (four sightings), ruffed grouse and common raven (three sightings each), goshawk and black-backed three-toed woodpecker (two sightings each}, and sharp-tailed grouse and snowy owl (one sighting each). One additional species, the house sparrow, was seen near the extraction plant. The number of avifauna sightings made in each habitat type were: main cleared area 46, mixedwood 37, trembling aspen 34, black spruce 22, and riparian 12. In undisturbed habitats 37 sightings of birds were made, while in lightly disturbed and highly disturbed habitats 45 and 69 sightings, respectively, were counted.

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    Conditions of Use Gill, D., 1979. Winter avifauna of Lease 17, a preliminary survey. Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta. Professional Paper 1979-3. 41 pp. Permission for non-commercial use, publication or presentation of excerpts or figures is granted, provided appropriate attribution (as above) is cited. Commercial reproduction, in whole or in part, is not permitted without prior written consent. The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the sole risk of the end user.