October 18th – Quick Update

REMEMBER: SATURDAY October 19TH IS THE BIRD FESTIVAL. Banding in the morning; hawks and a speaker in the afternoon (maybe some banding too); owls at night; and you can sleep over in the Coach House for 10 bucks a head so you can be ready for banding Sunday morning bright and early.

Male Eastern Bluebird. -CAJ

Very busy morning at Ruthven as we set the season high for banding (note: NOT record high which is 379). We banded 117 from the standard nets and another 4 from a non-standard net.
Banded 121:
1 Northern Flicker
1 Tufted Titmouse
2 Black-capped Chickadees
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Eastern Bluebird
10 Hermit Thrushes
18 Cedar Waxwings
1 Nashville Warbler
6 Myrtle Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
4 Field Sparrows
2 Swamp Sparrows
22 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
5 Dark-eyed Juncos
25 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 42 spp.

Fern Hill Oakville:

Ceileigh doing the scribing. -KAP

It was cloudy and cold this morning at Fern Hill Oakville while opening nets, but catching a glimpse of an American Woodcock flushed from it’s hiding spot instantly brightened the day. The nets steadily caught sparrows and other feeder birds and kept Miss Paveley’s classes and the Young Ornithologists busy. Some of the students were spending their first day in the banding lab and hearing how truly excited they were when a beautiful Blue Jay was removed from it’s bag was really cool. The sun came through the clouds, warming things up a little and the feeder birds gave way to warblers, with mini hits of Yellow-Rumped and Western Palm Warblers in the nets as we closed. Also on the final net round, Sam and I saw a nearly pure white bird, presumably some sort of leucistic sparrow or junco. Here’s hoping that it finds it’s way into the nets soon!

Katherine: “Students, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…especially if it’s a Western Palm Warbler…remember that.” -MMG

Banded 21
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Blue Jay
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
5 Western Palm Warblers
3 Myrtle Warblers
1 Dark-eyed Junco
5 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows (first of season for Fern Hill Oakville)

Katherine teaching….about birds in the hand. -MMG


October 17th – Blustery Fall Day

Rob spent the day upgrading our boardwalks and building some new ones. You gotta admire a guy who has tools and knows how to use ’em. -NRF

When I think of Fall weather today is the sort of day I think about: cool/cold, stiff NW wind pushing heavy clouds across the sky. Even though the nets were billowing at times, we still had a good catch, with American Goldfinches making up about a third of it.

We banded two very interesting Gray-cheeked Thrushes. One weighed in at 42.7 grams – a huge amount of energy that could fuel it for a very long flight; the other was even heavier – 50.2 grams – enough fuel to get it to South America non-stop, which might be its strategy.

Bulging furcular fat on this Gray-cheeked Thrush. -NRF

And speaking of fat and thrushes….. On October 10th Marnie banded a Hermit Thrush which weighed 28.9 grams; today we recaptured it at a weight of 34.9 grams, an increase of 6 g in just 7 days!

Two gray birds: Gray Catbird (left) which should be well on its way south and Dark-eyed Junco which, for it, is south – it will spend the winter in the area. -NRF

Banded 67:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
6 Ruby-crowned Kinglets

This Gray-cheeked Thrush weighed in at 50.2 grams!! -NRF

2 Gray-cheeked Thrushes
9 Hermit Thrushes
4 American Robins

Gray Catbird. -NRF

1 Gray Catbird
2 Cedar Waxwings

Tennessee Warbler. -NRF

1 Tennessee Warbler

Nashville Warbler. -NRF

1 Nashville Warbler
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
9 White-throated Sparrows

Dark-eyed Junco. -NRF

3 Dark-eyed Juncos
23 American Goldfinches

Retrapped Red-eyed Vireo – another straggler. -NRF

ET’s: 43 spp.

October 16th – A Wet One

Very late Nashville Warbler. -DOL

We got heavy rain during the night; it diminished somewhat in the morning but persisted until about 11:30. Hannah and I ran the 3 “close” nets for half an hour to catch some birds for the school group and then closed down right away. No bird was in the net for more than just a few minutes. Thank goodness for goldfinches.

When the rain stopped I reopened 1, 1A, and 2 and added 4. There was a fair amount of activity and I’m kicking myself I didn’t open more nets (but I was afraid of the rain starting again and having to run around to close).

Every now and again we catch birds that have some sort of physical anomaly. Check out the bill on this White-throated Sparrow. Despite the much shorter upper mandible the bird seemed to be in quite good shape with lots of fat and relatively heavy.

White-throated Sparrow with a mis-shapened upper mandible. -DOL

Another look at that sparrow’s bill. -DOL

Banded 41:
1 Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
7 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 American Robins

Blue-headed Vireo -DOL

1 Blue-headed Vireo
4 Tennessee Warblers
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Myrtle Warbler
2 Song Sparrows
6 White-throated Sparrows
14 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 29 spp.

October 15th – Still Moving

New volunteers Tracy (left) and Ann (with the weapon) giving David what for. -DOL

A cold start to the morning with a frost coating the top of the closed nets and the poles – difficulty in unfurling the nets to start with and then it was frustrating as the trammel lines would only slide back down the pole. White-throated sparrows could be heard as I moved quietly to each net lane in the darkness and I was trying to get the nets opened before they started to move around. The sun’s warmth felt good with the cooler fall temperatures but the wind picked up through the morning causing nets to billow and fill with leaves. (Nancy)

Banded 52:
1 Blue Jay
1 Brown Creeper
8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets

Note the fault bar on the tail of this Hermit Thrush – an indicator of nutritional distress when it was growing these tail feathers. -MMG

6 Hermit Thrushes
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
5 Myrtle Warblers
3 Chipping Sparrows
5 Field Sparrows
4 Song Sparrows
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
5 White-throated Sparrows
9 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 48 spp.

More Pics:

Young Cedar Waxwing (note the “splotchy” breast) eating juniper berries in the large junipers behind the mansion. -CR

An adult male Cedar Waxwing. The age is based on the clear breast and red feather tips. The sex is based on its black chin (female would be brown). -CR

American Goldfinches have just started to show up in large numbers (finally). Many of them are quite young still. In this picture the juvenile male on the left is quivering its wings to stimulate the adult (on the right) to feed it. -CR

It paid off! -CR