May 22nd – Odds and Ends

A pair of Blackpolls caught at the same time in the same net no more than 1 meter from each other.

After opening the nets, I started the day off watching a Blue Jay feeding at the local buffet – the roof of the washrooms, where the night light attracts a myriad of insects which then get caught in spider webs. I was surprised to see it plunge to the ground and fly off with a Luna Moth. A search of the parking lot turned up at least another 3 of these large beautiful insects.

There were at least 4 Luna Moths around the parking lot this morning.

First thing in the morning, this area of the washrooms is an avian buffet - insects attracted to the light get caught in the webs.

As mentioned in a previous blog, the Eastern Bluebirds in the box in the corner of the parking lot have fledged their young. I watched a pair this morning starting to build/rebuild a nest in that box, getting ready for the 2nd round of nesting. With luck, they (assuming the pairing is the same) might pull off 3 broods!

A pair of bluebirds. The female (left) carrying nesting material, signals the start of round 2.

It’s hard to get an accurate count now of the Purple Martins because there’s so many of them. But we counted at least 30 of them this morning. The colony appears to be thriving. So far there are 8 eggs: a clutch of 3 and another of 5. Interestingly, both are in gourds. There are 13 nests in the boxes themselves – none yet with eggs.

We recaptured a Blue-winged Warbler that we had originally banded as an AHY bird on May 3rd, 2009 (making it at least 4 years old). We haven’t encountered the bird since then.

It was another slow day although we did band a stunning pair of Blackpoll Warblers (a male and female caught in the same net not more than a meter from each other) and the census crew came upon the first Yellow-billed Cuckoo of the year.

Male Blackpoll Warbler

Female Blackpoll Warbler

Banded 21:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Tree Swallow
1 House Wren
1 Eastern Bluebird
3 Gray Catbirds
2 Yellow Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
4 American Goldfinches

This female hummingbird is carrying either an egg or a tumour.

Retrapped 26:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 American Robins
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blue-winged Warbler
4 Yellow Warblers
3 Common Yellowthroats
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
2 Chipping Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 56 spp.

Even the statuary is pondering the lack of warblers.

To me, this Red Chestnut is the most beautiful tree on the site.


Leave a Reply