May 12th – International Migratory Bird Day

This is an ideal time to celebrate migrating birds – we’re at the height of their migration. It’s exciting! But before we talk about today we should go over yesterday’s results…..from 3 locations: Ruthven, Fern Hill Oakville, and Lowville Park.

May 11th; Ruthven Park:
An overcast, cooler day with winds from the north. This morning, there was a steady flow of orioles feeding on the Grape Jelly in the martini glass feeder that hangs next to the banding lab . With the oranges that Carol brought, the orioles were well fed and there was even one Orchard Oriole feeding on the jelly, too. The first few net rounds were productive but the numbers dwindled through the morning. Temperatures remained cool and never got above double digits.

We handled twelve Baltimore Orioles and twenty-one American Goldfinches with some older retraps. The bird of the day was an older female Yellow Warbler retrap. She was originally banded on May 13, 2014 as an adult.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird – one of two banded today. -NRF

Banded 46:
2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Blue Jay
3 Gray Catbird
2 Warbling Vireo
2 Nashville Warbler
9 Yellow Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
4 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Field Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
8 Baltimore Oriole
9 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 61 spp.

Sunrise on the drive down the “Mountain” heading toward Oakville. -KAP

May 11th; Fern Hill Oakville:
We opened the nets in a cool easterly wind; and it stayed cool throughout the day. The conditions brought birds to the feeders accounting for the large number of Icterids that we banded (as well as a number of White-crowned Sparrows). A number of the older students were away on school trips so some of the younger, up-and-coming banders got a good opportunity to develop skills.

Ella with a Common Yellowthroat that she has just banded. -KAP

Our outdoor banding workshop at Fern Hill. -KAP

Banded 45:
1 Blue Jay
1 House Wren
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Yellow Warbler

Northern Waterthrush. -KAP

1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Common Yellowthroat

Samuel with an Ovenbird he’s just banded. -KAP

1 Ovenbird
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Savannah Sparrow

Bentley with one of 6 White-crowned Sparrows we banded. -KAP

6 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
9 Red-winged Blackbirds
10 Common Grackles
8 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 45 spp.

May 11th; Lowville Park:
This morning started off cold! It was only 2 degrees! I figured this meant for a slow day, but a quick check of NEXRAD radar showed these birds were not going to be stopped by some cold weather and NW winds. The first round was large, with 24 birds captured! The next two rounds were steady but nothing compared to the first. In exciting news the Cerulean Warbler was still singing. First of year birds were Yellow throated vireo, Warbling vireo, Red eyed vireo, Least flycatcher and White crowned sparrow.

Banding Total: 38
Wood thrush-3
Warbling vireo-1
Ruby crowned Kinglet-1
Least Flycatcher-1
Grey Catbird-5
Magnolia warbler-2
Yellow Warbler-1
Black and white warbler-1
Nashville warbler-1
Myrtle warbler-1
White throated sparrow-2
White crowned sparrow-1
Rose breasted Grosbeak-3
American Goldfinch-13
Ben Oldfield

Baltimore Oriole (left) and Orchard Orioles taken grape jelly and oranges from the feeder. -KMP

May 12th; International Migratory Bird Day:
Not a very auspicious start to the day: cold, NE wind and rain. The rain tailed off around 6:30 and we quickly opened the nets and a couple of traps. Migratory birds were VERY noticeable. Orioles were hitting the grape jelly feeder with gusto; grosbeaks were after the sunflower seeds; and goldfinches were swarming the nijer feeders. We were kept very busy and ended up with our biggest day of the year so far. We banded 91 and handled another 42 retraps (for a total of 133 birds)!

Kind of astonishing: this Yellow Warbler and American Goldfinch were both banded on May 13th, 2017 (ten minutes apart) and then recaptured today (30 minutes apart)! I wonder where they were in-between these encounters. -KMP

Banded 91:
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 Gray Catbirds
2 Warbling Vireos
3 Tennessee Warblers
2 Nashville Warblers
21 Yellow Warblers
2 Myrtle Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
4 Common Yellowthroats
6 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

For comparison: top bird is a young or SY male; the lower one isan ASY bird. -KMP

3 Indigo Buntings
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
4 Red-winged Blackbirds
9 Baltimore Orioles
1 Orchard Oriole
24 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 56 spp.
Photo Gallery:

Male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. -KMP

Male Indigo Bunting – one of three banded today. -KMP

Katherine instructing partner, Robert, in the finer points of handling a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -KMP

ASY male Orchard Oriole. -KMP


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