May 26th – Nearing The End

Our fight against Garlic Mustard (in certain areas) is resulting in some nice stands of wild flowers. -MMG


Beautiful day but slow birding/banding. Very few warblers around and variety, generally, was down (only 59 species for ET’s). This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, we’ve been at it for 56 days and most migrants should have moved through. Still, it’s a little….sad. I firmly believe that you’re given only so many migrations and this particular one is drawing to a close.

Jeff MacLeod passed on this very interesting article (see below). We sometimes think that migration is a pretty “doable” thing for birds but, in reality, it is fraught with dangers: adverse winds, rain storms, heat, poor body condition setting out, predators. And some birds (sometimes many birds depending on those conditions above) just don’t make it. One large obstacle that many birds cross is the Gulf of Mexico and it seems that enough birds don’t make it, consistently from year to year, with the result that Tiger Sharks have adapted to the phenomenon, having their young in exposed stretches but fairly close to the shore so that they can take care of (i.e., eat) the bonanza of birds that end up in the water. Check it out.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/05/how-songbirds-ended-inside-stomachs-sharks/589909/

Banded 18:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
3 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
1 Least Flycatcher
1 White-breasted Nuthatch

Wood Thrush -JWC


1 Wood Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds

Warbling Vireo. -JWC


1 Warbling Vireo
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Mourning Warbler
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Baltimore Oriole (#113)
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 59 spp.
Pictures:

For comparison: Philadelphia Vireo (left) and Warbling Vireo (right). -MMG


Nola with a hummingbird. -MMG


Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. -MAS


Wild geranium (I think). -MMG


Although I’m sure many Canada Goose nests got wiped up by multiple floods on the Grand River, some obviously made it. There are 17 goslings in this group. (This is likely a combined group of goslings from several parents.) -CAJ


Sort of a surprise: 2 male Common Mergansers on the river. -MMG


Muskrat on the river. These used to be trapped for their fur. -MMG


Rick

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