May 10th – Getting To The Heart Of It

An oldster! This Baltimore Oriole was originally banded May 10th, 2012. At that time it was at least 2 years old, so it’s in at least its 8th year now. Note that it was retrapped once in 2013 and then not again until 2017…and then today. -KAP

One third through May and into the heart of the Spring migration. It’s such an exciting time! You just don’t know what you might find in the forest or…..nets. Some are just passing through – the majority of warbler species – but some are returning to their “summer home”. We are retrapping a good number of long-distance migrants that we banded several years ago. One notable returnee was a male Baltimore Oriole. It was originally banded on May 10th, 2012. At that time it was “aged” as an after second year bird meaning that it had hatched in 2010 or even earlier. It was recaptured once in 2013 and then not seen for a couple of years, not until 2017. And then again this year. Wouldn’t you like to know where it spends the Winter? And how it gets there and back?

Not for the faint of heart! When we were looking a Wood Thrush over for ticks, Karen noticed a lump in the eye. When we removed it we found it to be a leech! I’ve never seen this before. The Thrush was none the worse for the intervention. -KAP

We have been checking migrants out for ticks. When we find any we send them to John Scott at the university of Guelph where he is looking at the possibility that birds might be helping to spread southern tick-borne diseases by transporting the ticks. When Karen was checking out a Wood Thrush this morning she spotted a dark purple orb between the birds eye and the socket. We figured it was a tick but when we removed it found that it was a leech!! I have never seen this before.

Banded 53:

Normally a bird of the tree tops, this Great Crested Flycatcher was caught in the lower panel of a net. Maybe looking for shed snakeskin to line its nest with. -KMP

1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Wood Thrush
6 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
9 Yellow Warblers

Male Cape May Warbler on the left and a female on the right. -KAP

2 Cape May Warblers
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 American Redstart
2 Common Yellowthroats
5 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting

Brilliant ASY male Indigo Bunting. -KAP

3 White-throated Sparrows
2 Baltimore Orioles
17 American Goldfinches
1 House Sparrow

ET’s: 64 spp.

Male Cape May Warbler. -MMG

A solitary Sandhill Crane flew over the banding lab in mid-morning. =KMP

Wing detail of the ASY male Indigo Bunting. Note the bright blue edging on all the wing feathers. -DOL

While walking along the Carolinian Trail, Karen noticed this Turkey Vulture sitting only a few feet off the ground. -KMP


And from Ben Oldfield at Lowville Park on May 9th:
The day started off cool with a lot of activity, looking at NEXRAD radar it was clear migrants were pouring through Ontario last night! In total I banded 25, from 0600-0800. The highlight unfortunately did not fly into the net, but a singing Cerulean Warbler ( a Species at risk) graced the banding area with its song. New arrivals were Magnolia warbler, Ovenbird, Cerulean warbler, Bobolink and Veery.

Banding Total: 25
Blue jay-1
Grey Catbird-1
House wren -2
Magnolia warbler-1
Common Yellowthroat-3
White throated sparrow-6
Lincoln’s sparrow-2
Brown Headed cowbird-4
Rose Breasted Grosbeak-1
Song Sparrow-1
American Goldfinch-1

Leave a Reply