May 7th – More Rain!

It’s always Happy Hour at the Ruthven oriole feeder; 2 males: Baltimore on the left, Orchard on the right. -DOL

Was able to get a couple more hours sleep when I heard the rain drumming on the roof as the alarm went off. By 8 it had slowed down to light but persistent showers which stopped us from opening nets for another hour (although we did set out some ground traps). We opened two nets for about an hour when it looked like it might stop – it didn’t – and we were able to augment the catch in the traps…..a little. It’s too bad that we weren’t able to net because there were a lot of birds around, especially warblers (including the first Cape May of the year). It looked like another “fallout”: migrating birds aloft being brought to ground en masse upon hitting rain.

Two female orioles: Baltimore on the left, Orchard on the right. -DOL

The entertainment of the morning (other than doing a census in the rain) was watching the orioles give the grape jelly feeder a going over. It sits right outside the window and provided great views of both Orchard and Baltimore Orioles feeding and fighting over the jelly.

Male Baltimore Oriole getting a drink. -DOL

Banded 16:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Blue Jays
2 Chipping Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
4 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 American Goldfinch

This Brown-headed Cowbird was one of the 2016 cohort that went to the University of Western and was later released. He’s come back here every year since. -DOL

ET’s: 55 spp.

Fern Hill School – Burlington:
It was a doozie of a day for birding at Fern Hill Burlington! new species for the Spring. Janice and I took a walk by the back of our school’s soccer field along a wetland bordering the property (I was hoping for a Snipe or American Woodcock) and it seemed like ALL of the warblers were passing through! Blackburnian, Parula, Nashville, Palm, Black-throated Green, Black and White, Myrtle, Yellow, Black-throated Blue, kinglets…we happened across a sweet spot, a honey hole (Janice’s term-I questioned this term as it reminded me of the “honey pots” you find along a portage route-vastly different meaning, you see…) and I could barely keep up (a good problem to have, I’m sure, after all this poor migration weather!) I’m so grateful I get to learn from Janice Chard, she has an amazing ear and is a fabulous teacher, birder and bander.

White-crowned Sparrows seem to be everywhere right now. -KAP

We had a record high ET for our school: 60 species throughout the day including Common Loon, Spotted Sandpiper, Least Flycatcher, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Catbird, Warbling Vireo, White-crowned Sparrow, Green Heron, and a whack of warblers.

The rain slowed our catch down but we banded a total of 9 birds including:
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
2 Rd-winged Blackbirds
4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 American Goldfinch


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