May 27th – Edging Into Summer

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding. -IT

You really get the feeling now that the migration is at an end. Most of the birds we’re seeing may be long-distance migrants but they’re local breeders. Most aren’t likely to move on. In this vein it was wonderful to retrap a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that we had banded last year. We don’t catch many of these secretive birds to start with so recapturing one a year later is a treat especially when you consider that this bird spends the Winter in northern South America (maybe even as far south as northern Argentina) and crosses the Gulf of Mexico on its northward migration.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – a retrap from last year! -MAS

U. of Windsor students, Jason and Madison, are getting a great chance to learn about birds and both have banded close to 200 each. Today Madison got to realize 2 dreams: band a cuckoo (in this case a Black-billed Cuckoo) and a hummingbird!

Madison with a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird that she has just caught in the Hall trap behind her and is about to band – her first one!!

Nancy instructing Madison on how to band a hummingbird. -MAS

Measuring bill length. -MAS

Banded and ready to go. -MAS

Banded 17:
2 Black-billed Cuckoos
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
2 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
1 House Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Veery
1 Gray Catbird
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 59 spp.

I’ll bet you’re starting to think that all we do is eat…….a picnic with the Larks to end the morning. -DG

Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Note the rufous wing panels – a good thing to look for when they’re flying and you can’t see the bill. -DG

Black-billed Cuckoo; note the brown wing panel. -MAS

Female Baltimore Oriole searching for nesting material. -IT

Purple Martin (left) and Eastern Bluebird (right); both species love to perch on the crosspieces of the martin gourd array. -iT

The feeders remain busy: female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (left); male Red-bellied Woodpecker (middle); Downy Woodpecker (right). -IT

Cedar Waxwing among the blossoms. For the past weeks small to medium-sized flocks have been moving through the area. -IT

Male Eastern Bluebird. -IT

Scarlet Tanager – this species seems to be in short supply at Ruthven this year. -IT

Fern Hill Burlington:

A very uncommon bird for the area: Clay-coloured Sparrow. -KAP

It was a beauty of a day at Fern Hill Burlington. We were catching birds throughout the day, and a really nice variety too! We caught our first ever Clay Coloured Sparrow, a real beauty. Our feeders are still busy with a variety of birds including Orioles and Goldfinches, flashy species that our students are very excited to spot and easily identified.

Young Ornithologists with a Cedar Waxwing. -KAP

Banded 21:
5 American Goldfinches
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Clay Coloured Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Trail’s Flycatcher

ASY male Orchard Oriole. -KAP

SY male Orchard Oriole. -KAP

2 Orchard Orioles
4 Cedar Waxwings

Bright male Baltimore Oriole. -KAP

2 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Robin
1 European Starling

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