May 6th – Another Big Push

"Old" Baltimore Oriole - at least 6 years old.

I hope you all got a chance to take in the moon last night. It rose dramatically in the east in a clear, star-studded sky that was almost electric. And this morning, it was just going down in the west as I was heading for Ruthven. If I was a bird, I would have set out last night for a good jaunt north, enjoying the lack of wind, the cool temperatures (good for thermoregulation), and the clear sky (good for navigation). I think a lot of birds did set off last night as there were many ‘new’ birds around this morning, including the first Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Swainson’s Thrush, and Canada Warbler of the year.

Goldfinch and Yellow Warbler - Caleigh and McKenna

We also had a large influx of parents and kids, whose interest and enthusiasm just added to the day.

Kids exploring.

One of the most interesting aspects to Spring banding is the recovery of birds banded in previous years – like the return of old friends. (And amazing when you consider that many of them have survived the rigours of long-distance travel between the tropics and Ruthven for several years.)
Here are a few of the more interesting ‘retraps’ that we had today:
Tree Swallow – banded as a new hatchling in a nest box on Indiana Rd. on June 3, 2005 (almost 7 years old)
Tree Swallow – banded as an AHY female on June 2, 2010 (at least 3 years old)
Yellow Warbler – banded as an AHY female on May 9, 2009 (at least 4 years old)
Baltimore Oriole – banded as AHY on May 16, 2007 (at least 6 years old)
Baltimore Oriole – banded as SY on May 20, 2008 ( 5 years old)
Just think of how many kilometers, collectively, these 5 birds have flown and the places they’ve seen!

Swainson's Thrush - first of the year.

Banded 78:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Tree Swallow
2 House Wrens
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 American Robin
3 Gray Catbirds
1 European Starling
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
22 Yellow-rumped Warblers (they were all over, again, today)
6 Western Palm Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Canada Warbler
5 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
3 Chipping Sparrows
2 Field Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
2 Baltimore Orioles
5 American Goldfinches

Male Magnolia Warbler

Retrapped 29:
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Tree Swallows
1 American Robin
2 Blue-winged Warblers
4 Yellow Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Field Sparrows
4 Song Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
6 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 64 spp.

Photo Gallery:

After the recent rains, the river has gone up covering the gravel bar - now just a riffle.

Turkey Vulture soaring over the river. - C. Jones

Even parents (Alison) got into the act!

Eastern Bluebird along the River Trail.

McKenna and Caleigh releasing a bird. - Allison

Lincoln's Sparrow

Candace bravely holds a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


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