January 7th – The Big Announcement

Matt Timpf announcing the beginning of his Canada Big Year.

Ruthven bander (and leader of the Birdathon Dream Team), Matt Timpf, has decided NOT to go to Australia….or Argentina….or back to grad school at Queen’s. Instead he has decided to do a Canada Big Year bird count and, more importantly from my perspective, band at Ruthven…and lead the Dream Team….One of the exciting aspects of this is that he will not use airplanes to chase down species. So, trains, cars, feet, boats, skis, water skis, roller blades, anything but planes. He will be leaving shortly for Newfoundland to add some east coast rarities to his already growing list. If you want to follow his progress, you can check out his blog made developed especially for this event:

Matt was out today to the banding lab and he and Nancy opened the nets for a few hours.

Banded 30:
1 Mourning Dove
2 American Tree Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 House Finch
1 Pine Siskin
21 Common Redpolls (bringing our total to 60 – 10x more than we’ve banded in the last 16 years combined)
3 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 27:
6 Downy Woodpeckers (including 1 banded as a SY in 2007 making it 6 years old)
4 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Northern Cardinals
3 American Tree Sparrows
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 Common Redpolls
3 American Goldfinches

Ruthven visitors Rob Mueller and Robin McKay have Snow Buntings on their minds of late. Both sent me a series of neat photos. Robin’s were taken in the Guelph area (“part of a flock of 400”) and Rob’s were taken today up in Keswick:

Snowbirds in flight. -R. McKay

Swirling Snowbirds. -R. McKay

Picking up grit on the road. -R. McKay

– R. Mueller

Snow Buntings in Keswick, Ontario. -R. Mueller

Mink – cute but deadly predator. -R. Mueller

Snowy Owl near Keswick. – R. Mueller

Brian Enter sent me some lovely photos of the HNC’s CBC For Kids that was held here on Saturday. There was a big turnout – of both kids and birds:

This, kids, is a bird. -B. Enter

Peter (Pied Piper) Scholtens leading the census walk.
– B. Enter

Some of today’s visitors. -B. Enter

Eric learning how to check for fat. -B. Enter

Getting it right. -B. Enter

A perfect bander’s grip. -B. Enter

The right way to use a telescope. -B. Enter

Up and coming bander/ornithologist, Eric Cook. -B. Enter

A bird in the hand…… -B. Enter

Larry, Curly, and Moe. -B. Enter

Nancy scribed for all 149 birds captured. -B. Enter

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