September 19th – A Change In The Weather

Monarch Butterfly: raised by Karen, tagged and released by Nancy. On its way to Mexico. -KMP


The temperatures finally came down during the night accompanied by some light showers and a gentle northerly breeze. These factors brought in some birds – not huge number but nice variety. Yesterday we counted only 38 species around the site for the day; today we got 53 species, including the first Broad-winged Hawk and Purple Finch of the season. And although we banded only 30, this total was made up by 20 species.

Banded 30:
1 Eastern Wood-pewee
1 House Wren
1 Gray-cheeked thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds

Warbling Vireo. -KMP


1 Warbling Vireo
2 Tennessee Warblers
3 Nashville Warblers
4 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
2 Bay-breasted Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Ovenbird

The yellow “eyebrow” is a giveaway: Wilson’s Warbler. -KMP


1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Purple Finch
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 53 spp.
Pictures:

Different moults in Rose-breasted Grosbeak males: the young one (lower left) has moulted greater Secondary coverts but no primary coverts or flight feathers; the adult (above right) has moulted the whole wing. -DOL


Female Scarlet Tanager (left) and male (right); female has brown secondary coverts while the male’s are black. -DOL


Retrapped male American Goldfinch – originally banded December 18, 2011 and not seen since then until today – 7 years old. -KMP


Adult male goldfinch moulting wing feathers. -KMP


Black & White Warbler. (Banded yesterday)-KMP


Praying Mantis, a formidable insect predator. -KMP


Rick

Fern Hill School Burlington:
Hi Rick,
We had a great day at FHB today. Once again a nice turn out of students eager to see the Fall migrants on their way south. We had an Estimated Total of 35 species throughout the day and we banded 15 including:

1 Tennessee Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler. -KAP


1 Wilson’s Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler. -KAP


1 Bay Breasted Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Swainson’s Thrush
1 House Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow. -KAP


4 White-throated sparrow
1 European Starling
1 Blue Jay

We had two interesting recaptures today. The first was a Black-capped Chickadee originally captured in 2015 as a HY, and we haven’t caught it since 2016! We also caught a recaptured Chipping Sparrow that was originally banded in 2015 as an AHY. These mysterious birds always provide such rich discussion and food for thought for the students as they wonder where the birds have been this whole time, how they’ve survived, and how we can all help out our feathered friends.
Katherine

September 17th – Migrants Don’t Seem To Be In A Hurry

Philadelphia Vireo. -KMP


The ‘dog days of summer’ continue to impact our weather and subsequently, the activity of banding dries up pretty quick by mid-morning. The early morning hours are pleasant, and the first couple net rounds are the most productive. A nice mix of species today, but the banding totals continue to be low.

Banded 23:
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
6 Swainson’s Thrushes

One way to determine the age of a Gray Catbird is by checking the eye colour. If it is gray (as above) it is a young bird (hatched this Summer); if it is deep maroon it is an older bird. -KMP


2 Gray Catbirds

Philadelphia Vireo. -KMP


1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Magnolia Warblers
2 Bay-breasted Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Ovenbird
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 40 spp.
Pictures:

Young male Indigo Bunting starting to moult. -KMP


The same Indigo Bunting. -KMP


In the Fall Bay-breasted Warblers and Blackpoll Warblers look very similar. One way to tell them apart is by foot colour. The Bay-breasted (left) has gray feet and legs while the Blackpoll (right) has yellow. -KMP


Another way is to look at the undertail coverts. The Bay-breasted (left) has cream-coloured coverts which are comparatively short while the Blackpoll’s coverts are white and considerably longer. -KMP


This colour-banded chickadee was an escapee in the Spring when a predator (racoon?) tried to get into Josh’s enclosure. It has decided to remain in the area. -NRF

An anomaly: white feathers moulting in on “Josh’s Chickadee”. -NRF


Nancy

Fern Hill Oakville:
As at Ruthven – a hot sultry day. There were a few long-distance migrants around that we caught but they were few and far between. The weather isn’t conducive to getting them to push on en masse (which produces the large banding numbers we sometimes see in the Fall). The important thing for me is that we had good birds to show to the 3 classes we had today, to get them thinking about the natural world around them and about the phenomenal physical feats some of these little birds make.

Banded 15:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker (also had a retrap from 2016)
2 Blue Jays
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Song Sparrows
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 26 spp.
Rick

September 15th & 16th – A Nice Summer Weekend

The first of the hordes to come: White-throated Sparrow. -WJA


Here we are, half way through September and it feels like the middle of Summer. It was a great weekend for paddling down the Grand or cycling the backroads of Haldimand County. But it was damned hot for migrating birds which don’t seem to be in much of a rush to clear out of their northern breeding grounds. On both days we were catching migrants but not in any numbers. They were around in small patches interspersed by empty lulls. However, today we got our first White-throated Sparrows of the season, the forerunners of the coming horde.

We’re recapturing very few birds which suggests that the migrants we’re seeing are moving on during the night.

We’re hoping that Karen will bring the tags to Ruthven so we can tag some there. [This is newly hatched male.] -KMP


On a completely different note: volunteer Karen just received some Monarch Butterfly tags which she plans to put on butterflies she’s been raising at home as well as on those she catches n the field – hopefully at Ruthven for some of them.

This is the first one she’s tagged, one that she raised from a caterpillar. -KMP


September 15th; Banded 30:
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
7 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Nashville Warblers
3 Magnolia Warblers
1 Blackburnian Warbler
1 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 American Redstart
1 Ovenbird
4 Common Yellowthroats
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
3 American Goldfinches

A young aficionado, Marcus, with his first banded bird: Swainson’s Thrush. -DOL


ET’s: 42 spp.

September 16; Banded 28:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Traill’s Flycatcher

Swainson’s Thrush. -WJA


2 Swainson’s Thrushes
4 Gray Catbirds
3 Red-eyed Vireos

There were a few Bay-breasted Warblers (and their close look-alikes – Blackpoll Warblers) around today. -RC


2 Bay-breasted Warblers
3 Blackpoll Warblers
3 Common Yellowthroats
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Song Sparrows
2 White-throated Sparrows
4 American Goldfinches

Black & White Warbler. -RC


Male Hairy Woodpecker checking out the Shagbark Hickories. -RC


ET’s: 38 spp. (including a Great Egret in the river just upstream from the Mansion)
Rick

September 14th – Ah….The Irony

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler. -JDF


When I started opening this morning I looked up high into the eastern sky and saw Orion and…..ironically….the Winter Triangle!? Over the past couple of days and for the next few we are back in Summer mode with hot, humid conditions. This usually translates, for us, into low banding numbers. And our recent results show it:

We’ve been seeing (and catching) a lot of hummingbirds in the last few days. -AAW


A very young Eastern Bluebird. -AAW


September 12th; Banded 31:
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
1 Warbling Vireo
4 Red-eyed Vireos
2 Tennessee Warblers
1 Nashville Warbler
2 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Canada Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Field Sparrow
11 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 35 spp.

September 13th; Banded 13:
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 American Robin
1 Philadelphia Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
9 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 44 spp. (including a Great Egret)

September 14th; Banded 21:
2 Eastern Wood-pewee
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
2 House Wrens
1 Veery
4 Swainson’s thrushes

Comparison: Wood Thrush on the left (rufous just on the head and heavy spotting)and Veery (rufous all over and faint spotting) . -DOL


1 Wood Thrush
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo

Joanne with a lovely male BTBW.


1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat

Female Scarlet Tanager. -JDF


1 Scarlet Tanager
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 39 spp.

Fern Hill Burlington:

Janice….talking about birds to a young class. -KAP


Hi Rick and Happy Fall Migration!
Our first couple of banding days at Fern Hill School Burlington were a success. Janice and I were both pleased to see our returning Young Ornithologists our first morning, and as the next two days progressed the Field Station was busy with students popping in and out throughout the morning. I was happy to welcome our school’s new students in, it is always great to see their faces as they are immediately captivated by the magic of the birds. Speaking of birds, they didn’t disappoint!

On Tuesday September the 11th we had an estimated total of 28 species observed and banded a total of 13 birds, a nice steady flow throughout the day to show the students including:
1 American Goldfinch

Magnolia Warbler. -KAP


4 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Red Eyed Vireo

Male Mourning Warbler. -KAP


1 Mourning Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
1 Grey Catbird
2 Yellow-shafted Flickers

Learning how to use binoculars. -KAP


On Wednesday September the 12th we had a total of 10 birds banded and an estimated total of 29 species throughout the day and on census.
We banded:
1 American Goldfinch
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler

Black-capped Chickadee. -KAP


1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Trail’s Flycatcher
1 House Sparrow
1 Grey Catbird
2 Blue Jays
1 Yellow-shafted Flicker

Retrapped Warbling Vireo. -KAP


We also had a special recapture today, a returning Warbling Vireo that was originally banded in 2017 on September 20th!
Katherine

Fern Hill Oakville:
We got off to a good start despite the temperatures which spiked by mid-morning. We have an enthusiastic group of returning Young Ornithologists that are very keen. We taught the 3 kindergarten classes throughout the morning and, fortunately, had birds for them to see and experience – these will be the Young Ornithologists of the future.

Banded 12:
1 Blue Jay
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Red-eyed Vireos

Very dull Bay-breasted Warbler. -DOL


1 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 23 spp.
Rick