Earth Day wasn’t much of a day for banding. A little drizzly, and a little too windy. I opened a few nets for a little while, but didn’t trap much, so I ended the banding effort for the day and did a census. There weren’t any new species for the year observed today, and I didn’t get any of the exciting birds that Rick did yesterday (Brown Thrasher and White-winged Crossbill), but taking a walk around Ruthven on Earth Day was an enjoyable experience. When the nets are closed, census is less stressful–there is no need to rush back to the birds that may be trapped in the nets. So I took an hour or so and walked the census route plus the Fox Den trail. I hadn’t walked the Fox Den trail yet this year, and last year it was so good for warblers that I had to try it today. I did pick up a few extra species down there–some Wood Ducks poking around in one of the vernal pools, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Red-tailed Hawk. Sure, a little disappointing that there were no warblers, but it added a bit of time to my walk, and what’s better than standing on a carpet of Trout Lily in a Carolinian forest listening to birds on Earth Day? When trying to stay motivated to make good choices for the Earth, it’s important to be mindful of what exactly is at stake.
Here are a few pictures sent in by Christine Madliger. The bird is a Tree Swallow that seems to be interested in one of our nest boxes. The fish is an Asian Carp that is stuck in a flooded area created by the high water levels this year (his hopes of getting back to the river are slim and none). The frog is a Green Frog caught on the Ruthven property. The snake is an Eastern Ribbonsnake that was recently discovered at Ruthven–a new species at risk for Ruthven Park. Apparently, it’s pretty exciting to have this guy around the park.