May 30th – Thank Gawd for Goldfinches

Female Purple Martin.

It was a very slow morning – but we have school classes to educate about birds so empty nets just won’t cut it. All the birds we were seeing/hearing were local breeders, not a migrant anywhere. And most of the locals know exactly where the nets are. It’s almost comical to see them fly directly at a net and then up and over in the nick of time…just to tease you. But there seems to be an influx of ‘new’ American Goldfinches, female goldfinches: of the 16 that we banded, 12 (or 75%) were females. Where did these birds come from and where are they going.? One thing for sure: they provided a lot of entertainment for the grade 9 students today.

We have just two more days of migration monitoring left. Our total for the Spring is 2,024. We have to band just 11 more birds to break the Spring record! I’d like to do it tomorrow so the record would be “official” – we are going to run on June 1st just for Natalie’s sake (normally we would end on the 31st) as, in her zeal, she booked a class for that date. If we didn’t get the record on the 31st we’d have to put an asterisk beside it. So keep your fingers crossed.

The Purple Martin colony continues to thrive – at least 30 birds in attendance; 28 eggs; and new nests almost ready to receive more. It will be interesting to see how many young we fledge.

Dorothy with a bag of the BEST butter tarts in the world..and Nancy waiting to get at them....

Banded 28:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 Purple Martins
1 Wood Thrush
4 American Robins (nestlings)
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Common Grackles (both HY’s)
16 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 54 spp.
Photo Gallery: (from the past couple of days)

The census seems almost idyllic...... -C. Jones

Tuesday's census crew: Matt, Liz, and Maggie. -C. Jones

Garter Snakes seem more numerous than they have in previous years - a good sign. -C. Jones

Comma Butterfly on Dame's Rocket. -C. Jones

An Eyed Click Beetle.

Underside of a Click Beetle.

Note the tan colour at the base of the lower mandible of this young (HY) White-breasted Nuthatch - perhaps a good aging characteristic?

Elaine's group of Xtreme Birders - the Larks. - E. Serena

Elaine Serena’s group – The “Larks” – went on an Xtreme birding excursion on Monday along the tall vegetation of the Grand River up to the railroad bridge, braving high 32 degree temperatures, fallen trees, stinging nettles, and my entertaining repartee….and lived to tell about it.

-E. Serena

-E. Serena

-E. Serena


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