April 10th – One Sixth Done

This stalwart pair of Eastern Bluebirds seems to be determined to hold onto one of the nest boxes in the meadow. -CR

Time slips inexorably by. Here we are, April 10th, one sixth of the way through the Spring migration. To compare one year to the next I’ve been keeping track of the average number of birds banded per day for each 10-day period going back to 2011, the year I retired and the time put into the banding operation became more consistent. For this year’s first 10-day period the average is 15 birds per day. This is the second lowest total (last year it was only 12) and well below the average of 22.4. This reflects the lousy weather we’ve had for much of this time. But it is rather sobering that we are getting well into the migration!

For the last couple of days Tree Swallows have had a noticeable presence around the meadow nest boxes but this morning, with the cold wind making foraging for insects much tougher, they were pretty well absent. However, Carol did get a count of 131 of them over the River while she was doing the census. When these birds run into bad weather, especially cold weather, they resort to the river, which provides marginally more heat and a food source: emerging midges, a staple for early-migrating insectivores.

We didn’t run into any Golden-crowned Kinglets this morning (although Ben Oldfield noted that there were lots around his place in Lowville, s0 north of Lake Ontario).

Banded 16:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 American Robin
1 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
7 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 39 spp.

Photos from the weekend and today:

Male American Wigeon along the river this morning during census. -CAJ

Part of a flock of 27 Bonaparte’s Gulls on the river. -CAJ

Crocuses in Carol’s hummingbird garden – a flash of colour in an otherwise drab early April landscape. -CR

Male Eastern Bluebird. -CR

Liam releasing a female Northern Cardinal – obviously doing it correctly as he’s not wincing in pain….. -CR

Making the acquaintance of an Eastern Tufted Titmouse. -CR

Hardly a handsome bird…..unless you’re another Turkey Vulture. -CR

Takeoff!! -CR


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