Linda and Al Thrower have been involved with the banding program at Ruthven for quite a few years now. They’ve moved from being curious spectators to tentative helpers to running a very large Bluebird Box nesting trail at Ruthven and then Ontario Power Generation as well (and my understanding is that they are going to expand their operation even further). In the course of running the banding boxes they have banded hundreds of bluebirds and thousands of Tree Swallows. Following is their report on a recent recovery of a banded swallow.
“As a bander from Ruthven Park’s Banding Program, I came across a first while monitoring the 90 nest boxes at Ontario Power Generation Plant in Nanticoke Ontario , on the North Shore of Lake Erie. During a study looking for double nesting Tree Swallows [i.e., birds that have nested earlier and are embarking on a second attempt] an amazing foreign return was found. Of the 48 returns this season 28 were retrapped at the Ontario Power Generation Plant Site. Nine of the 28 were foreign returns [i.e., banded at another location but recaptured at OPG]. Eight of these 9 were from Long Point Bird Observatory . The last foreign return was one very late nester found to be banded near Prince George B.C. This Female was banded as a L-U ( too young to fly ) 20 km SSE of Prince George B.C. in the Red Rock Lake Area . Originally banded on July 3rd. 2006.She was retrapped on July 9th 2009. She was sexed as a female due to the presence of a brood patch. Her 3 young were banded on July 22nd . After checking the records and consulting with the Banding Office it was confirmed that this is the only known Tree Swallow banded in B.C. and recovered/retrapped in Ontario.
Whether this is due to this female Tree Swallow finding an Ontario Power Generation male down south on the wintering grounds and following him back to Nanticoke , or it is that westerly jet stream that has persisted throughout this summer that brought this late nesting bird to Ontario, is a mystery.”