May 28th – The Late Surge Continues

Talking it over at the end of the day: Rick, Chris, Christine and Oli (l. to r.)

This late surge in the number of birds caught continued today (we banded 51) but it is unusual. Usually by this time the long-distance migrants have moved through and we’re getting just the “late” ones. But almost half of the birds banded were warblers and just one of them, a Blackpoll Warbler, is one that we would expect later in May. I’m wondering if the bad weather over the past several weeks in the southern and middle states is the cause. Talking it over with various colleagues, we think that the migration this year is 7-10 days late. So, although we end on May 31st, it’s quite conceivable that there will be a good number of migrants going through well into June that we won’t be able to monitor.

As well as the birds being later, the mosquitoes are later as well. You can still quite comfortably walk the forest interior trails without being set upon – so you can take the time to search out that elusive call that might just turn into the warbler you’ve been waiting for. I don’t kow how much longer this will last but it’s VERY enjoyable right now.

Faye processed most of the birds we caught today.

Saturdays are “Faye days” – Faye teaches during the week but comes out consistently on Saturdays to hone her ID and banding skills. It won’t be long now before we apply for a subpermit for her. She’s been a big help (but she needs to retire so she can be an even bigger help).

Dr. Oliver Love from the University of Windsor out to help the Tree Swallow team (and band a few birds).

Oliver Love, professor at the University of Windsor and an Arctic compatriot, visited this morning. He’s helping Christine and Chris with their Tree Swallow Master’s work. It was good to see him and catch up with what’s going on with the Snow Buntings on Southampton Island. Another one of his students, Christie Macdonald, put geolocators on some birds up there last Summer and is hoping to retrieve at least one. If the gizmo worked we will get a readout of where that bird travelled – its migration routes and its wintering area. Exciting stuff!! Evidently she arrived at the study site just yesterday so we’re still waiting……

We had a couple of interesting retraps today:
One was a White-breasted Nuthatch that we originally banded as an adult in August, 2004 making it at least 8 years old. Further, we hadn’t seen it for a couple of years – 2008 being the last one. Where has it been in-between?!
Aother was a beautiful male Eastern Bluebird banded as a nestling from one of the nest boxes on the property in July 2008 – making it 3 years old.
And Christine reports that one of the Tree Swallows in the Butterfly Meadow is 7 years old.

Banded 51:
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
4 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
5 Traill’s Flycatchers
1 Least Flycatcher
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
2 Gray Catbirds
5 Cedar Waxwings
3 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Blue-winged Warbler
2 Yellow Warblers
2 Chestnut-sided Warblers
5 Magnolia Warblers
1 Blackburnian Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
5 American Redstarts
2 Common Yellowthroats
4 Canada Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Song Sparrow
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 18:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Tree Swallow
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 Eastern Bluebird
2 Blue-winged Warblers
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Song Sparrow

ET’s: 68 spp.

Photo Gallery (thanks to Faye Socholotuiuk):

We're getting lots of hummingbirds at the window feeders. - F. Socholotuiuk

The magic of hummingbirds. - F. Socholotiuk

Sara with her new favourite bird - a Cedar Waxwing. - F. Socholotiuk

We're getting Canada Warblers like never before. - F. Socholotiuk

Sara with a female Blackburnian Warbler. - F. Socholotiuk

Early morning mist. - F. Socholotiuk


2 thoughts on “May 28th – The Late Surge Continues

  1. Rob was quite interested to hear about the WBNH, wonder where the little fellow was these past few years?

  2. Yeah, we quite often wonder that ourselves about the various birds we retrap. I wonder how many more of “our” birds are out there but are just to net-savvy to get caught.

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