May 13th – Swingin’ With The Swallowtail Sisters!

The Swallowtail Sisters!! -DOL


It was a pretty dreary start to the morning: misty drizzle and cold NE winds. But Eila and Nola – the Swallowtail Sisters (their actual stage name) – took a chance on the elements and joined us for some banding. When the drizzle tapered we opened a number of nets and started catching. When I did the census I was struck by how few birds there were in the woods; so much habitat but so little used. Where are all the birds!? During census I saw only 4 warblers. But we were catching other things, especially orioles. The 7 Baltimore Orioles we banded raises our total now to 61, 10 above the previous record. And the 3 Orchard Orioles puts us up to 12 for the season, just 4 shy of our record. How come there’s so many orioles around!?

Eila with her violin. -DOL


Nola is all concentration. -DOL


But I think the highlight was the impromptu concert put on by Eila and Nola, two young but very accomplished violinists/fiddlers. We have witnessed some pretty good musical acts in the banding lab (Alessandra’s and Ezra’s renditions of popular muiscals come to mind) and this one ranks right up there with the best of them. And in return we were able to give the girls direct access to most of the birds we handled. It was a good trade.

And with one of 7 Baltimore Orioles she helped band this morning. -DOL


Nola with a White-crowned Sparrow she’s just processed. -DOL


Banded 33:
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Northern Parula
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Common Yellowthroat
7 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
7 Baltimore Orioles
3 Orchard Orioles
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 50 spp.
Pictures from today:

One of the 7 Baltimore Orioles we banded today bringing our total to 61 – a new record! -ELO[/caption[caption id="attachment_16977" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Male Black & White Warbler. -ELO


Blue-headed Vireo. -ELO


Yellow-throated Vireo with yellow “spectacles”. -ELO


The Jason “style” of banding aggressive birds: give them something to latch onto besides your finger. -ELO


Geezer and Nola with a pair of Baltimore Orioles (female on the left, male on the right). -ELO


Lovely ASY male Orchard Oriole. -ELO


A pair of Tree Swallows looking for Spring. -ELO


For comparison: female (left) and male Yellow Warblers. -ELO


Photos from May 11th – International Migratory Bird Day (thanks to Irene Turjansky):

Caleb helping a visitor to experience a bird. -IT


White-crowned Sparrows are still hanging around. -IT


The feeders have been seeing a lot of action as birds maintain body condition through these unseasonably cold days. Red-bellied Woodpecker (top); American Goldfinch (middle); and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (bottom). -IT


Kim watching as Laura enjoys a beautiful male Baltimore Oriole. -IT



Madison with an Indigo Bunting and female Yellow Warbler. -IT


Myrtle Warbler. -IT


Nancy put on a display banding this male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. -IT




Young (SY) male Orchard Oriole: has the lime green colouring of a female but with a black bib. -IT

Leave a Reply