February 17th – Family Day

Picnicing on Family Day – the warm sunshine was a treat. -DOL

What a beautiful day – to be outside, to walk the trails, to take in the birds, to picnic with the warm sun on our faces. It just felt like Spring and I/we were ever watchful for those early Spring migrants. Our attention paid off as we got the first American Robins and Northern Flickers of the year. As well, 2 Trumpeter Swans graced the river (running ice-free!) and a Common Raven flew over. Still no Red-winged Blackbirds though but I’ll bet they’ll be here in the next couple of days. And the morning started off with a flurry of Eastern Bluebirds. Spring’s on the way folks.

In the early part of the morning we had 8 Eastern Bluebirds around the grounds. -ELO

We had our feeder nets going and ended up banding 18 birds and handling another 20 retrapped birds. So there were lots of birds “on hand” for visitors to experience and it was great to have our young ornithologists doing all the explaining and demonstrating! I’m proud of them.

Banded 18:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker

Male House Finch – they have been singing loudly for the past 2 weeks. -DO

7 House Finches
8 American Goldfinches

House Sparrow – the bane of nest box species. This male one was banded and then transported to Oakville. -ELO

1 House Sparrow

ET’s: 27 spp.

(More) Pictures:

Immature Bald Eagle – note the “dirty” look to the white head and tail. -CWB

Adult Bald Eagle – note the bright, clean white head and tail. -CWB

Samantha, initially apprehensive, got braver as the day wore on. -LB

A flock of Common Goldeneyes heading upstream. With the river ice-free, these (and a good number of other ducks, are quite common. -CWB

Two Trumpeter Swans on the river. -ELO

Trumpeter Swan with a wing tag. -CWB

Peyton releasing her first bird. -LB

Tufted Titmouse. These birds have been drawing photographers and listers to Ruthven for several years now. -DO

Not to be outdone by his sisters, Jake releases one as well.


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