December 15th – Last School Group of the Year

Ruthven’s Education Co-ordinator, Natalie Campbell, likes to pack ’em in. You’d think banding demonstrations would end when the migration monitoring ended….but not for Natalie. She asked us if we could, “pretty please”, do some banding today to help entertain the 60 or so grade 8 students who were visiting from Brantford. Sure. No Problem. Of course, there could well have been a problem: December is not noted for big catches of birds. And I’m not sure how far a Goldfinch would go in terms of entertaining.

Nancy and I had just enough time to bait a distant field for Snow Buntings before we got back for the school kids – in fact, we followed their buses up the lane. We quickly opened 2 feeder nets. These had not seen any action for almost a month so the birds would not be used to them….we hoped. This proved to be the case. In just 2 hours we caught 76 birds: 47 for banding; 29 retraps. The kids got their money’s worth today.

47 Banded
1 Mourning Dove
1 Blue Jay
3 Black-capped Chickadee
9 American Tree Sparrow
6 Slate-colored Junco
23 House Finch
4 American Goldfinch

29 Retrap
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Northern Shrike
1 Downey Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
13 Black-capped Chickadee
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
3 American Tree Sparrow
4 Slate-colored Junco
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinch

ET’s – 15

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