December 31st – It’s All About People

The Coffee Clatch - Rhiannon, Lorreta, Nancy, Elaine, and Liz.

A good friend described our current weather conditions as a “fragile winter”. And so it continues to be – mild and rainy; snow gone; Snow Buntings with it.

So, I’m sitting here reflecting on the year, and it truly was a remarkable one: 10,000 banded, a new “Big Day” record of 309 birds banded. In terms of what we’re supposed to be doing, i.e., banding birds, it was a terrific year. But it was also terrific from a couple of other angles: we had just under 2900 visitors and we had close to 60 different people contribute their time and energy and expertise and enthusiasm to make it all happen. Below is a smattering of pictures capturing many of them at work:

Chris and Christine.

Matt with his Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Nancy - the "Owl Lady" - J. Manning

Bob Donald with the first Saw-whet of the night. - N. Furber

Species-at-Risk Co-ordinator, Sandy Turner, bringing implements of destruction for trimming the Butterfly Meadow.

Loretta taking a well-deserved breather after doing the census, a couple of net rounds, and a lot of teaching.

Anne Klaus, keeper of the Fox Den Trail, soliciting help with.....muffins. I'm a sucker for muffins....

Last night's owl team: Faye, Chris, Christine, Allison, and Nancy (behind the camera).

Joanne adds an Eastern Bluebird to her growing banding total.

Liz honing her quickly-developing banding skills.

Adam, Rob, Gillian, and Rhiannon had to wait until after midnight to see the first Northern Saw-whet.

Natalie taking advantage of the morning's influx of muffins.

Angie with a Black-capped Chickadee (unbanded ones are a rarity for us and we had 3 today). - R. Mueller

Rob, with an Eastern Bluebird, playing a game of one-upmanship.... - A. Macaloney

Zakhar releasing on of the many Myrtle Warblers we banded today.

Stephanie and Ben hard at work.

Lukian, Faye, and Danielle sharing a moment.

Peter Scholtens' retinue: front-Emma, Jonathan, Peter and Micah; back-Diana, Hannah, Caleb, Jessica, and Darren.

Rhiannon, sheepish when caught in the act, searches for a band she dropped.

Another fine section of Mac's 2nd year Ecology class (under the inspired tutelage of Lyndsay Smith).

Carol, looking very wet and bedraggled in the rain, carrying the last few Cedar Waxwings back to the lab (the garbage bad os to keep them dry).

The record-breaking team - 309!! - Matt, Nancy, Carol, Bev and me (behind the camera).

"Spatter hands" - a function of Robins and wild grapes.

Today's team - the folks that did most of the banding while I ate the muffins....

Erich with a Blue Jay he's just banded.

Irene Schmidt, at 91 our keenest bird enthusiast, made the drive down from Cambridge.

It's really the scribe (in this case Bev Trojnar) who runs the show.

The return of the Sisters of Mercy - Bronwen and Elaine.

Lyndsay and Rhiannon - McMaster alumni.

Marilynn (CAO) and Betsy (president) - the two that make it happen.

There's a reason Rick sees more birds........

Mac student Birha Zuberi in action

Mac student Birha Zuberi in action.

Gabrielle Leiher, Aurora highschool student, learning the ropes. - R. Beaumont

Loretta kicks off her first banding day of the Fall with a Yellow-billed Cuckoo - not a bad way to start!

Dorothy and Dianne

Natalie taking a coffee break.

David Hussell, Oliver Love and Rick Ludkin

Oliver Love with graduate students from his lab: Holly, Sarah B., Kara, and Sarah G-P.

The Three Musketeers: Nancy, Natalie, and Christine

Liz scribes while Eric bands. - R. Bauer

Nancy, Rhiannon and Rosemary carrying back some of the 61 waxwings - the storm after the lull. - R. Beaumont

Peter looking thoughtful after doing point counts and just dodging a thunderstorm.

The brightest and the best of McMaster's 2nd year Ecology class.

Ezra handles 3 knives.

Giovanni juggles 5 balls.

Thanks for a great year!

2 thoughts on “December 31st – It’s All About People

  1. We made the blog!! We feel honored. 🙂
    We were over today birding, had a good time, saw the Titmouse, Eastern Bluebird, Cardinals, Chickadees, Goldfinches, House Finches, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, loads of Hawks on the drive over and back, a couple Northern Harriers and about 50 Wild Turkeys while driving around, but alas, no Snow Buntings.
    Rob didn’t get any shots worth sharing.

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