May 9th – Some Nice Surprises!

Seven years ago – to the day! – Joanne Fleet started volunteering at Ruthven Park. To celebrate the birds conspired to congratulate her and talked this Summer Tanager into making an appearance so she could band it. It’s the first one we’ve ever seen here. There can be no other explanation.

What a delightful day! A school class cancelled (did you know that we have ticks here!?) and some fun bird-people showed up and…we caught some neat birds including the first Summer Tanager at Ruthven!!! We also got two Eastern Kingbirds, a common enough bird but one that we don’t catch very often (just 21 in the past 23 years). Further, there were a lot of birds around. The Birding Machine (Janice Chard and Katherine Paveley) identified 63 species during the hour and a half census, including the first Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow of the year.

After a record-setting 63 species seen on census, the team of Janice Chard (left) and Katherine Paveley celebrate. -JDF

Polina (seen with Sain and the pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks they banded today) will be heading out tonight for England to pursue bird research. -SEF

On a sad note though, long-time volunteer, McMaster student Polina Utkina, spent her last morning here. She just finished her undergrad degree and is now moving on to pursue birds in Great Britain and beyond. We wish her the best of luck! She couldn’t have left on a better note.

The first hummingbird banding of the year. -SEF

Banded 63:
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
2 Eastern Kingbirds

One of two Eastern Kingbirds banded today – both males. -DOL

3 Tree Swallows
1 Swainson’s Thrush
4 Gray Catbirds

For comparison: male Blue-winged Warbler on the left, female on the right. Note the difference in head colour and the intensity of the eye stripe. -NRF

1 Blue-winged Warbler

This stunning male Yellow Warbler was originally banded in 2016 and not encountered since then. -KMP

5 Yellow Warblers

The first Magnolia Warbler of the migration. A SY male. -SEF

1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler

Western Palm Warbler. -SEF

5 Common Yellowthroats
1 Summer Tanager

Another shot of the Summer Tanager. Note the massive bill. -SEF

2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
6 White-throated Sparrows
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 Baltimore Oriole
22 American Goldfinches

Sian and Jared processing a pair of male Eastern Kingbirds – a bird we don’t catch very often. -JDF

ET’s: 75 spp.

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