May 5th – NE Wind Slows Things Down

This Year's McMaster group.

A cool NE wind blew throughout the night and I could see as we were opening the nets that it was going to have an impact on the day’s events. In fact, it probably had well before we got to Ruthven – many birds would have been grounded or would have rduced their flight times rather than go into a stiff head wind. And it played out that way – we handled about 40 fewer birds today than yesterday. Still we had a respectable day – just not a really good day….

Faye Socholotiuk has become a great asset. - M-P. Laplante

We caught birds on every net round in large enough quantities and varieties to be interesting but not to the point of rushing us off our feet. And this was a good thing – today – since we were visited by a McMaster ecology group under the tutelage of Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser and Lyndsay Smith. Now this has become a regular event that I really look forward to. Since they started bringing students out in the early 2000’s we have had a string of excellent students do work or projects or theses at Ruthven. And some of these students have gone on to do some great and interesting things as well as contribute to Ruthven itself. So with a more relaxed pace we were able to ensure that all the students got lots of opportunity to begin to learn the skills involved in banding birds. Having skilled volunteers also ensured that students got individual attention while they were working with the birds. Faye, Marie-Pier (who is learning at a great rate), Christine and Chris all did a great job.

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak checking out the trap.

Banded 52:
2 Least Flycatchers
1 Blue Jay
1 House Wren
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4 Eastern Bluebirds (including 3 nestlings)
1 Veery (1st for the year)
1 Hermit Thrush
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
5 Nashville Warblers
6 Yellow Warblers
8 Yellow-rumped Warblers
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds
7 American Goldfinches

One of my favourites - ASY male Orchard Oriole. Originally banded in 2010.

Retrapped 25:
2 Blue Jays
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 House Wren
3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers
2 Blue-winged Warblers
4 Yellow Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Field Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 Orchard Oriole
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 63 spp.

Photo Gallery:

Faye trying to fend off the early morning chill.

Chris and Christine - still's early in their field season.

Marco, visiting from Belgium, holds a goldfinch,'s infectious.

Taking a bird out of a bag - harder than it looks


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