May 2nd – The Parade Continues

For the 3rd day in a row Yellow-rumped Warblers were everywhere. -P. Thoem

For the third day in a row, Yellow-rumped Warblers poured through the site. We banded 36 today bringing our 3-day total up to 106 and 136 for the year. This is more than double the previous high total of 60 that we banded in 1999. I can’t explain why this is happening. Often, when we band large numbers of a particular species, we will retrap some of them over the next couple of days indicating that at least some are sticking around for awhile. But we have not retrapped any of the warblers that we’ve banded in the past couple of days, suggesting that they are moving on each night. From what I saw last evening, this is likely. I went to Ruthven to walk the dog and even at 7:30 at night the Yellow-rumped Warblers were everywhere. Sometimes, when birds are getting ready to migrate they exhibit a behaviour called Zugunruhe or migratory restlessness. This was evident in these birds as they were busily flitting through the trees foraging at great speed (hyperphagia?), not settling down looking for a roost for the night. I think that, shortly after the sun went down, these warblers took off for the north. If they flew for 6 hours at a comfortable speed (for them) of ~30 km/hr, they would end up well north of Toronto before descending. And there place was taken by warblers which were well to the south of us the day before.

Joanne and Dorothy Smith - Joanne has just completed her migration from Vancouver.

There was another significant migratory event at Ruthven this morning: Joanne Smith arrived to go birding with mom Dorothy and sister Dianne – a yearly pilgrimmage that allows the three of them to hit all the good birding spots in southern Ontario: Point Pelee, Rondeau, and….Ruthven.

Naming a plant after me ensures immortalization.

I was also thrilled to learn that a plant has been named after me. This act, in essence, immortalizes you as you find your name working its way into published plant lists, books, learned/scientific papers. I think it was my stalwart effort on Clean-up Day that inspired those present to rise up as one and petition for this honour. Thanks!

We had good variety, encountering 59 species (8 warbler species) for the day including 4 firsts for the year: Wood Thrush, Gray Catbird, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler.

Banded 78:
5 Tree Swallows
1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
2 Yellow Warblers
36 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
4 Western Palm Warblers
1 Black and white Warbler
3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
3 Swamp Sparrows
5 White-throated Sparrows
4 Red-winged Blackbirds
6 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 13:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Tree Swallow
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 House Wrens
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
1 Yellow Robin
1 Chipping Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
1 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 59 spp.

Photo Gallery:

A Western Palm Warbler skulks in the underbrush. -P. Thoem

Black-throated Green Warbler -P. Thoem

Male Black & White Warbler

Stanley and Livingstone looking for a continent to discover...oops! nope, it's the Husak boys.

Male Black-throated Green Warbler.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow - common over the river but very rarely in the nets.

First Gray Catbird of the year.


1 thought on “May 2nd – The Parade Continues

  1. Save some for us! 😉
    We plan on arriving bright and early Monday morning.

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