July 9th – The Incubator

This very young Yellow Warbler is just moulting from its gray juvenile plumage into the yellow.

This very young Yellow Warbler is just moulting from its gray juvenile plumage into the yellow.


The Ruthven incubator has opened and young birds are showing up everywhere. We banded 52 birds today and only 7 of them (13.5%) were adults.
The yellow lining to the inside of the mouth indicates that this is a juvenile Tufted Titmouse.

The yellow lining to the inside of the mouth indicates that this is a juvenile Tufted Titmouse.


Over the next month or so, the young will fledge and disperse while their parents will lie low and go through a complete moult of their feathers. Then it will be time to fatten up and head south. The Summer’s almost over folks…..To attest to this I didn’t see any Tree Swallows all morning at Ruthven. It wasn’t until we went over to the barn to band the young Phoebes that I picked out 4 sitting on some wires.

That being said, American Goldfinches are just starting to pair up. These late breeders won’t fledge young until August…or even later.

This male Cedar Waxwing was sporting just one "waxy" tip - on its tail.

This male Cedar Waxwing was sporting just one “waxy” tip – on its tail.


Most of the tips of this Cedar Waxwing's tail are orange indicating that it was feeding on exotic honeysuckle when it was moulting. The red carotenoid pigment rhodoxanthin gives it the orange colour.

Most of the tips of this Cedar Waxwing’s tail are orange indicating that it was feeding on exotic honeysuckle when it was moulting. The red carotenoid pigment rhodoxanthin gives it the orange colour.


Banded 52:
4 Downy Woodpeckers
3 Eastern Phoebes
5 Purple Martins (from the nest boxes)
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Tufted Titmice
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 American Robins
3 Gray Catbirds
3 Cedar Waxwings (all adults)
1 Warbling Vireo
3 Blue-winged Warblers
5 Yellow Warblers
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
11 Song Sparrows
3 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 39 spp.

Note: Next Banding Day – Friday (if the weather is good)

Rick

1 thought on “July 9th – The Incubator

  1. Awesome Rick! Wish we had tufted titmouse here.. And there is nothing cuter than a baby one! We are just seeing a few juveniles out and about now in fact the tree swallows are only just leaving the nest boxes and the blue birds have yet to hatch! We have not started banding yet at the marsh, but today at home we threw up the nets for an hour and managed to band a baby oven bird and a few veery. Come to think of it 3 of the 5 birds we banded today were juvies! Keep up the good work 🙂

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