May 20th – On The Move or Making House

Stunning blue on green.  -S. Ross

Stunning blue on green. -S. Ross


There’s lots of activity going on. Migrants are still on the move in good numbers – and will be for a couple of weeks yet (although in diminishing numbers). At the same time local nesting birds are either busy building nests or already, in some cases, sitting on eggs. [Canada Geese in the York Park are even ushering around goslings!] But there’s a sense of frenzy. The local breeders that we’ve been catching (many of them retraps) aren’t carrying any fat and their muscle mass is diminished – it takes a LOT of energy to defend territories, build nests, lay eggs and….just survive the cold wet conditions we’ve been experiencing this Spring. What a relief it must be to these birds when the young fledge and they can just kick back, moult and “relax”.
Baltimore Orioles are busy nest-building all over the grounds.    -G. MacLellan

Baltimore Orioles are busy nest-building all over the grounds. -G. MacLellan


- G. MacLellan

– G. MacLellan


House Wrens have been stuffing this feeder with twigs - potential nest.   -G. MacLellan

House Wrens have been stuffing this feeder with twigs – potential nest. -G. MacLellan

The highlight of the day was a Peregrine Falcon that blasted by – up high and headed north.

At least 7 of the Brown-headed Cowbirds taken to Western have returned to Ruthven.

Blue band.     -S. Ross

Blue band. -S. Ross


Hot pink.     -S. Ross

Hot pink. -S. Ross


Green-banded cowbird.   -S. Ross

Green-banded cowbird. -S. Ross

Banded 52:
4 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Wood Thrush
7 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
6 Yellow Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
6 Magnolia Warblers
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
4 American Redstarts
1 Northern Waterthrush
7 Common Yellowthroats
3 Indigo Buntings
1 Field Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 61 spp.

Photo Gallery:

Second-year male (left) and female American Redstarts. Note the black patches coming in on the male and the orange tinge to the shoulder patch.

Second-year male (left) and female American Redstarts. Note the black patches coming in on the male and the orange tinge to the shoulder patch.


Wood Thrushes are part of the dawn chorus in the valley behind the banding lab.    -G. MacLellan

Wood Thrushes are part of the dawn chorus in the valley behind the banding lab. -G. MacLellan


A feisty little bird: Yellow-throated Vireo.   -S. Ross

A feisty little bird: Yellow-throated Vireo. -S. Ross


Another feisty bird....letting me have it: Rose-breasted Grosbeak.    -S. Ross

Another feisty bird….letting me have it: Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -S. Ross


Male Northern Flicker.   -S. Ross

Male Northern Flicker. -S. Ross

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