May 20th – There May Yet Be Time!!

Male Scarlet Tanager - originally banded in 2009. - P. Thoem

As you know (or have heard), the world is ending tomorrow….the Rapture is coming (although I’ve never been able to figure out what exactly was “rapturous” about the fiery end of the world, people roasting in hell and all that….). Anyway, I’m not sure what the exact time of the demise is supposed to be, so…..if you hurry tomorrow, you may be able to get to Ruthven in time to see the Cerulean Warbler that Nancy Furber turned up before you snuff it. It was in the stream valley, just up from Net 10. What a great way to spend your last few minutes. And if you’d like to donate all your worldly goods to the banding lab (you’re unlikely to be needing them anyway), we’ll put them all into our “spa fund”, just in case we survive.

Male Mourning Warbler - one of the highlights of the day.

Blue-winged Warbler on the left; hybrid Brewster's Warbler on the right.

We encountered 18 species of warblers in the course of the day. Beside the Cerulean, Caleb Scholtens turned up a fine male Mourning Warbler; we also had a brilliant Brewster’s Warbler. All in all, we had 81 bird species through the day. Of these we banded or retrapped 28 species. This was fortunate as we had two grade 9 classes to entertain.

Our two newest scribes-in-waiting.

We had lots of help (Nancy, Peter Thoem, Peter Scholtens, Christine, and Chris) so we were able not only to band but to help a couple of new folks learn the rudiments of scribing. I mean, why just watch when we can teach you how to meaningfully participate?

Peter Scholtens after skiing Net 10 Hill - judges awarded him a 9.5 for artistic presentation.

With all the rain, some of the trails and net lanes are pretty muddy and slick. The worst/best is probably Net 10 which is a double-net lane running down a hillside. We’re pleased to report that all of Peter Scholtens’ hard training paid off today when he won the individual freestyle mud skiing competition with his patented “flat out on your back” manoeuver. His score of 9.5 set a new record for the course. Peter, we’re proud of you!

Precocious ornithologists: Emma, Hannah, Caleb and Jonathan Scholtens

The woods are still pleasantly, no, make that VERY pleasantly, mosquito free. It’s a pleasure to simply wander along the trails and take in the birds and wildflowers. It won’t be that way much longer. (If you believe the Doomsday folks, less than 24 hours.) Soon the tiny buzzing denizens will be around your ears looking for a good place to bite. Although for the birds, I imagine this is a good thing – all these little meatballs flying to you.

One of the most interesting birds today was a retrap – a stunning male Scarlet Tanager that we banded in 2009.

Banded 45:
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
9 Gray Catbirds
1 Philadelphia Vireo (a new arrival for the year)
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Myrtle Warblers
1 Black & White Warbler
1 Mourning Warbler
6 Common Yellowthroats
1 Scarlet Tanager
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Indigo Buntings
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Orchard Oriole
3 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 28:
1 Tree Swallow
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Brewster’s Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Scarlet Tanager
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
10 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 81 spp.

Today’s Photo Gallery (courtesy of Caleb Scholtens):

Female Scarlet Tanager - possible mate of the male shown above.

Male Wilson's Warbler - C. Scholtens

Female Myrtle (Yellow-rumped Warbler) - C. Scholtens

Male Mourning Warbler - C. Scholtens

SY male Indigo Bunting - C. Scholtens


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