June 28th – Summer Sampling

It’s a good time to learn about birds and banding. Maggie was able to band 59% of the 17 birds we banded today. -DOL

Starting at the end of June we like to start “sampling” the local birds that have bred here – if we’re around and have the time. This was one of those days; we needed to clear the net lanes – if we don’t stay on top of it we have to use machetes when we’re getting ready for Fall migration monitoring. We only open a few nets at a time and usually rotate the ones we use from one day to the next. It’s also a good time for interested people to learn about banding and the skills that are necessary to help out as it’s a pretty relaxed pace. This morning Maggie was able to help out and ended up banding over half of the birds we caught under watchful eyes.

Ruthven is a good place to find Blue-winged Warblers. Maggie is holding one of two that we banded today. -DOL

We caught a number of female Yellow Warblers this morning; they all had receding brood patches which suggests that either they were unsuccessful breeders or (and I think this is more likely) they have hatched their eggs and are now feeding chicks. One bird had even started its pre-basic moult. This species doesn’t fool around. Wham, bam, feed and then fledge the young, moult and then……out of here. We rarely catch/see a Yellow Warbler at Ruthven after the first week of August. [And I can’t figure out why since there’s a huge breeding population extending north even into the Hudson Bay Lowlands.]

This is a “young” (SY) male Indigo Bunting; note the brown primary coverts and remiges. -NRF

Note the blue tinging on the flight feathers. This “adult” male Indigo Bunting was originally banded in May of 2014. It was recaptured in the 2 subsequent years but, interestingly, was not retrapped in 2017 or 2018. -NRF

Banded 17:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Gray Catbird
2 Blue-winged Warblers
4 Yellow Warblers
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
4 American Goldfinches


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