April 9th – Wind And Rain

A pleasant surprise: Brown Thrasher. -DOL

Well…actually it should be rain and then wind. We were getting light showers when I arrived at 6:00 which caused me to delay opening the nets for about an hour. [I find that the Weather Network weather map is a very accurate rain prognosticator – it showed the rain stopping by 7; it finished at 6:50.] I rushed around and opened but as soon as the nets were open the wind began to pick up and the 4-7 km/hour very quickly turned into 34-45 km/hour and I had to close the most exposed nets – which was most of them. In the interlude we banded 13 birds.

One capture was an early Brown Thrasher. This bird seems to be suffering from the same fate as the Eastern Towhee that we caught yesterday. The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas showed a decline in the probability of observation of 24% since the previous atlas 20 years before. Like the towhee this bird benefits from second growth tangles and the loss of this habitat, likely due to urban sprawl and changes in farming practices, is noticeably affecting these species.

Interestingly, the 3 juncos that we handled today were not carrying much fat which suggests that they will be around for awhile yet. Fat is energy and they have a long way to go…..time to be bulking up.

Chris Harris from the University of Windsor (you know, Christine Madliger’s significant other) rearranged a lot of Tree Swallow boxes over the weekend. You will now notice that there’s a more intensive array of boxes in the Butterfly Meadow. The swallows seem to like this new development and were squabbling quite aggressively for access to the “new” boxes.

First Tree Swallow of the year. -JNJ

Banded 13:
1 Tree Swallow
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
1 Brown Thrasher
4 Song Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 41 spp.

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