April 24th & 25th – Catching Up

Beautiful male Eastern Bluebird. -RF

Ruthven – Still Trudging Along

We’re getting pretty tired of squelching through muddy trails and net lanes. And this morning, after having to scrape frost off my windshield, I had to wait to open the frozen nets on iced poles – while Myrtle Warblers frolicked above them. Ah the joys of banding in April, especially this one. When the sun did come out this morning I had hopes of the lanes drying up significantly….but we got some more rain late this afternoon and there’s more forecast tonight and tomorrow. So if April showers bring May flowers you better get ready because your garden is about to explode.

April 24th; Banded 28:
1 Downy Woodpecker

House Wrens have just arrived within the past couple of days. -RF

1 House Wren
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Field Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
3 Red-winged Blackbirds

Female Brown-headed Cowbird scoping out nests she can lay an egg in. -RF

4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 52 spp. (including a couple of firsts – Broad-winged Hawk and Western Palm Warbler.

April 25th; Banded 15:

Banded Tree Swallow on the Butterfly Meadow rail fence. -RF

1 Tree Swallow
1 Carolina Wren

Male Myrtle Warbler. -RH

1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Field Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
6 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 44 spp.

Two of the three Purple Martins that have returned so far. -RF

The “dirty” white head tells you this Bald Eagle is almost an adult. -RF

This Osprey (on a nearby nesting platform) can often be seen fishing over the river by Ruthven. -RF

Fern Hill School – Oakville:

75 of the 126 birds we’ve banded this Spring in Oakville have been Black-capped Chickadees; 5 of these have had these white central tail feathers (rectrices). I wonder how closely they might be related….. -KAP

We had a couple of fairly cold early mornings with wind – and we don’t have much protection from it. The thing that is intriguing me at Oakville is the number of Black-capped Chickadees we’ve been banding : in April we’ve banded 75! That’s almost 60% of all the birds we’ve banded! Most of these have been carrying large fat loads that suggests that they’re migrants and “on their way”. Wouldn’t you love to know where they’re headed!? Another interesting thing is that 5 of them have had white central tail feathers. Do you think they might be related, have similar genetics? Hmmm……

April 24th; Banded 15:
1 Eastern Phoebe
9 Black-capped Chickadees
2 American Robins
1 Chipping Sparrow

Adult male Red-winged Blackbird. You don’t really appreciate how brilliant the red epaulette is until you have in your hand. -KAP

1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 34 spp.

Sonali with a Blue Jay she’s just banded. Sonali is the new banding record holder in Oakville with 107 banded birds to her credit over 2 years. -KAP

Kate with 2 Blue Jays – at least the one in her hand is a winner. -KAP

Three of Oakville’s keen Young Ornithologists: Samuel (with Phoebe), Sonali, and Andrew. -KAP

And In Other News:
Marnie and I talked with some of the staff at Suez Water Technologies in Burlington and they got interested in putting up a nestbox trail. What an enthusiastic group!! 8 boxes were up in no time….and just in time: Swallows are already checking them out!

Tree Swallow checking out the newest nestbox “trail” put up by the staff at Suez Water Treatment Technologies in Burlington. Nice going folks!!! -RW

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