May 7th – Numbers Starting to Climb

Christine with the first Red-headed Woodpecker we've had in many years.

It was a good day for catching at Ruthven: overcast skies and light winds. The overcast was a bit of a surprise as the forecast had been calling for sunny skies; let’s just call it a lucky break. We ended up banding 60 birds of 24 species. The highlight had to be the Red-headed Woodpecker. We’ve only banded a couple in 15 years. Interestingly, this bird had a brood patch indicating that it had a nest and was incubating eggs. It would have to be in the vicinity but….this is the first we’ve seen in some time. Another ‘rarity’ was an unbanded American Tree Sparrow. This bird should have been long gone by this time to its breeding ground in the vicinity of the tree line.

A Red-headed Woodpecker - a rare event at Ruthven (and in Ontario).

Banded 60:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
1 Tree Swallow
1 House Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Wood Thrush
5 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler
2 Rose-breased Grosbeaks
1 American Tree Sparrow
3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Lincoln’s Sparrows
2 Swamp Sparrows
11 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Common Grackle
2 Baltimore Orioles
13 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 31:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Tree Swallow
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
2 American Tree Sparrows
11 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
4 Song Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows
1 Baltimore Oriole (banded as an ASY in May, 2007 – so at least 6 years old)
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 64 spp. (including new arrivals: Yellow-throated Vireo and Red-headed Woodpecker)

Photo Gallery: (thanks to Diane Green!)

Brewster's Warbler - note the Golden-winged Warbler wing bars.

Singing Chipping Sparrow

Purple Martins

Rose-breasted Grosbeak


2 thoughts on “May 7th – Numbers Starting to Climb

  1. Very common for us to see the red headed woodpecker on our feeders for the last three years. There were two juveniles this year. Saw them tonight for the first time. We have had this pair for three years and have had one juvenile the last two years. Time goes by fast when watchng these rare sight. Tonight we were amazed as one of the adults and both juveniles would hide under or behind a branch when a couple of turkey vultures flew overhead. Not sure why they would hide from a turkey

Leave a Reply