May 29th-31st – The End

A full moon greeted our last days of the season. -S. Merritt

The migration, which seemed to take forever to get started, tailed off quickly at the end and we’ve been hard put to get enough birds to reach the 1800 plateau. (Why that makes a difference I don’t know…..just nice to have something to aim for, I guess.)

Fred Smith, who lives just across the river and downstream about a kilometer, has been seeing this Red-headed Woodpecker around his place – a real rarity these days. -FJS

Here’s the way it played out at Ruthven:

May 29th: Banded 19:
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Wood Thrush
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
2 Cedar Waxwings
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
6 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 51 spp.

May 30th; Banded 11:
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 House Wren

Male Eastern Bluebird keeping an eye on his nest box. -KMP

1 Eastern Bluebird
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
2 Cedar Waxwings
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Yellow Warbler

Valerie banding a Blackpoll Warbler. -RB

1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Song Sparrow

The Blackpoll ready to go. -RB

ET’s: 65 spp.

May 31st; Banded 15:

Female Tree Swallow – the 1800th (and last) bird banded this Spring. -KMP

1 Tree Swallow
5 Eastern Bluebirds
2 Gray Catbirds
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Field Sparrow
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 60 spp.

In Summary:
In April and May, in our standard operation, we banded 1,800 birds of 88 species.

Top Ten:
1. American Goldfinch – 422
2. Yellow Warbler – 112
3. Brown-headed Cowbird – 94
4. Song Sparrow – 82
5. Gray Catbird – 80
6. Baltimore Oriole – 51
6. White-throated Sparrow – 51
6. Cedar Waxwing – 51
9. Common Yellowthroat – 44
10. Red-winged Blackbird – 38

Karen’s Entymology Corner:

Click Beetles have been finding their way into the nets. -KMP

Red-spotted Purple Butterfly. -KMP

And at Fern Hill School:

We had a couple of scorchers at Fern Hill – Burlington! It is crazy to think that about a month ago we had our only snow day of the year in April…and this week the temperatures felt unbearable at times in the mid-thirties. We closed our nets early to avoid putting stress on the birds which reduced our catch but made for a nice slow pace for our younger learners.

May 28th; banded a total of 13 birds:

We had an ET of 44 species throughout the day and on census. Our seasonal firsts were a Northern Parula, Black & White Warbler, Alder Flycatcher observed throughout the day.

May 29th; 5 birds banded:

Janice (Chard) observed an ET of 39 species but most birds seemed to be laying low in the heat/because of nesting season. At one point we saw a large flock of 14 AMCRs wheeling and calling above the schoolyard for some time, drawing out the hidden Baltimore Orioles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Tree Swallows who got caught up in the commotion. There is a definite feel in the air that migration is slowing down as the nesting season kicks into high gear.

Fern Hill – Oakville:

May 30th: The heat referred to above continued and banding was slow. Interestingly I saw a Common Loon flying over but headed West!
Banded 7:
1 Black-billed Cuckoo
1 American Robin
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 House Finch

ET’s: 35 spp.

May 31st; Banded 24:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Tree Swallow (female form a nest box sitting on 5 eggs)
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Yellow Warbler
1 American Redstart (ASY-M)
2 Song Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Common Grackle
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 House Finch
9 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 38 spp:

In Summary for Fern Hill – Oakville:

In April and May, banded 361 birds of 49 spp.

Top Five:
1. Red-winged Blackbird – 72
2. American Goldfinches – 43
3. Common Grackle – 34
4. American Robin – 24
5. Song Sparrow – 23


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