April 1st – And So It Begins

The hard gales out of the south blew throughout the night. The weather system tore out of the Gulf of Mexico and came right up the Mississippi. It accounted for the many anomalies we encountered at Ruthven this morning: Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Summer Tanagers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Black Vultures, and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Wherever you turned there was something new. Talk about excitement!! And so much for April Fool’s……

The reality was considerably different. It was cool, overcast and damp-feeling throughout most of the morning. And while there were birds on the move, there weren’t many ‘new’ birds at Ruthven in terms of banding; in fact we only banded 5, although we handled 33 retraps. The first Eastern Phoebes of the year showed up today and a Sandhill Crane flew over (and I saw 2 more 2 km further on up the road). Also, I saw another Tree Swallow. Although it seems a little early for them there were midges around that they could feed on.

Just before noon the clouds started to dissipate, the sun poked through and you could begin to feel some heat. Within minutes 2 small kettles of Turkey Vultures spiralled upward. And behind net #2 Chorus Frogs started to sing.

Banded 5:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 American Tree Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow

ET’s: 35 spp.


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