May 22nd-24th – Bottleneck

ASY male Baltimore Oriole taking advantage of the feeders. -H. GEYER

It’s been a hectic 3 days complicated by a change in the server hosting the blog, the reason I haven’t been able to post. In the meantime people have sent me scads of photos (most of them really good) to help with my posts. So I’ll just list off birds banded and ET’s (with just a little commentary) and put up some of the photos.

May 22nd; Ruthven Park Banding Station:
We had a good day with the overcast weather and intermittent showers. We handled a beautiful mix of warblers, plus a variety of other species that ranged in size. The species that we could hear or see around the banding lab and along the net lanes included cuckoos, warblers, orioles, Cedar Waxwings and our colony of Purple Martins just to name a few!

Banded 39
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 Gray Catbird
1 Cedar Waxwing
2 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Tennessee Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Chestnut-sided Warbler
3 Magnolia Warbler
4 Bay-breasted Warbler
4 Blackpoll Warbler
1 American Redstart
1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Indigo Bunting
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
4 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 69 species

May 22nd; Fern Hill Oakville:
Rain tapered off early and we ran nets through the morning. The most interesting catch was a Killdeer(!) that flew into a net close to some trees. Couldn’t figure out what it was up to…..
Banded 19:
1 Killdeer
1 Blue Jay
2 American Robins
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
5 Common Grackles
1 Orchard Oriole
1 House Finch
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 41 spp.

May 23rd; Ruthven Park:

Note the complete eye-ring of this male Connecticut Warbler. -L. ISAACS

Beautiful weather! The day got off to a great start when I heard a Connecticut Warbler singing around nets 6A/7 and then found it in #7 on the first net round. This is only the 2nd one banded in the Spring at Ruthven!

Banded 36:
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Blue Jay
1 Tufted Titmouse
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds

Cedar Waxwings have arrived in big numbers in the last few days. -R. Fotheringham

12 Cedar Waxwings
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Magnolia Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
2 Canada Warblers
3 American Redstarts
2 Ovenbirds
1 Connecticut Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 American Goldfinch
1 House Sparrow

ET’s: 72 spp.

May 23rd; Ruthven – Evening:
Michelle Karam visited tonight with 2 of her students to try and catch and band bats. Sian Ford and I tagged along (me just until it got dark….something to do with the need for beauty sleep…). While waiting for it to get dark Sian opened Net 7 in the hope of netting some of the Common Nighthawks that were flying around. The nighthawks were too high but she did get a new Brown Thrasher and 2 retrapped Brewster’s/Blue-winged Warbler, a male and female, probably a mated pair. Later Michelle did get a bat – a Big Brown Bat – and banded it.

While waiting for bats, Sian caught this pair of warblers: female Blue-winged Warbler (top) and male Brewster’s Warbler (below); probably a mated pair. -SEF

Big Brown Bat in an aerial net. -SEF

Bat in the hand…..not quite as cute as a bird. -SEF

May 24th; Ruthven Park:
Early morning net rounds are made with anticipation wondering how busy it might be but also, wondering what species we’ll see and what will be new for the season. Today, the first net round was very exciting when I had one male Mourning Warbler that was new for the season and before I finished checking all of the nets, there was a second one, this time a female. Last year, only one was banded in the spring. The weather stayed cool through the morning, and it was a good day with a great diversity of bands handled.

Banded 38
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 House Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
5 Gray Catbird
8 Cedar Waxwing
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
5 Magnolia Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler

Female Black & White Warbler (throat isn’t black). -NRF

1 Black-and-White Warbler
1 Canada Warbler
1 American Redstart
1 Northern Waterthrush

Male Mourning Warbler. -NRF

2 Mourning Warbler
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Indigo Bunting
3 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 65 species

May 24th: Fern Hill Oakville:
We had a good day at Fern Hill as we banded 15 species including 2 Bobolinks. There’s a big group of them in the weedy field just to the south of the school’s playing field. We had to close up somewhat early as the Parent’s Committee was putting on a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, a.k.a. feast. I did my best to show my appreciation.

Banded 24:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
4 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
3 Red-eyed Vireos
2 Northern Waterthrushes
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Song Sparrow
2 Bobolinks
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 American Goldfinch
1 House Sparrow

ET’s: 37 spp.


The Eastern Bluebirds have persisted, quietly but firmly, in maintaining possession of their nest boxes. -H. GEYER

This female Baltimore Oriole was hatched in 2008 and banded in May of 2009 making her just under 10 years old!! -KMP

Tia (who does NOT go to Harvard) with a Gray Catbird. -FAS

Female Northern Cardinals simply blend into the shrubbery. -H. GEYER

Tessa helping a young enthusiast with holding a bird. -H. GEYER

Female Tree Swallow on the lookout….. -H. GEYER

Male Yellow Warbler in new foliage. -H. GEYER

Female Blackpoll Warblers look nothing like their male counterpart… the Spring. –KMP

Female Canada Warbler. -KMP

Red-eyed Vireos have finally returned in good numbers and can be heard singing from multiple locations. -KMP

Yellow-billed Cuckoos will be feasting on the tent caterpillars that seem to be around in good numbers. -KMP

The broad rufous wing panels help identify this as a Yellow-billed Cuckoo – even if you can’t see the bill. -KMP

Nancy (left) coaching Sian through the banding of her first hummingbird. -LEO

Female Mourning Warbler – looks much like a Connecticut Warbler but lacks a complete white eye-ring. -NRF

Eastern Kingbird. -RF


Leave a Reply