May 9th – “Storm” After The Drought

Dorsal view of the Marsh Wren.  -P. Thoem
It was pretty quiet when I was opening the nets and, frankly, I was surprised since we’d had a pretty good day yesterday with a lot of different species around and I was expecting this to continue. But as soon as the sun cleared the horizon things picked up and, like yesterday, the big willow was festooned with warblers. But then the White-crowned Sparrows picked up and the orioles and catbirds…..and every net round became an exercise in anticipation: you just never knew what would turn up. It seems that during the night there was a large movement that dumped migrants all over southern Ontario. (For example, we banded 14 White-crowned Sparrows; friends in 2 other locations just north of Lake Ontario also reported large numbers of them in their yards.)
Marsh Wren.    -P. Thoem
We had a big day banding – 95 birds – with good variety (24 species). One of these, a Marsh Wren, was only the second we’ve had at Ruthven.

Between banding and Peter Thoem’s census walk we found 7 new species for the year: Marsh Wren, American Bittern (down beside the pond below net 8), Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Kingbird, American Redstart, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting. International Migratory Bird Day (tomorrow) couldn’t be coming at a better time it would seem. It will be interesting to see what this unsettled weather will produce tomorrow at Ruthven given the huge flights that have been going on.

Christine and Chris hit 29....and provide the excuse.

Christine and Chris hit 29….and provide the excuse.


Christine Madliger and Chris Harris are having their 29th birthdays – a great excuse to revive the Friday Potluck Lunch, a tradition that had waned with Joanne Fleet getting a job……
Birthdays - a good excuse for a "Friday Potluck"

Birthdays – a good excuse for a “Friday Potluck”


Betsy and Fred Smith donated a stand for our Purple Martin colony. I have called it the Betsy Smith PUMA Perch. I think this is most fitting: Purple Martins start their pleasant social chattering at first light and don’t give up until the sun goes down….just like Betsy.
Betsy Smith with the "Betsy Smith PUMA (Purple Martin) Perch"

Betsy Smith with the “Betsy Smith PUMA (Purple Martin) Perch”


Banded 95:
1 Least Flycatcher
1 House Wren
1 Marsh Wren
1 American Robin
13 Gray Catbirds
6 Blue-winged Warblers (they arrived during the night – first date they have been seen)
3 Nashville Warblers
3 Yellow Warblers
4 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black & White Warbler
1 American Robin
6 Common Yellowthroats
6 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Lincoln’s Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
14 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
10 Baltimore Orioles
2 Orchard Orioles
12 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 67 spp.

Photo Gallery:

Male Nashville Warbler.   -D. Jolly

Male Nashville Warbler. -D. Jolly


Female Baltimore Oriole.   -L. Balthazar

Female Baltimore Oriole. -L. Balthazar


Male Baltimore Oriole.    -L. Balthazar

Male Baltimore Oriole. -L. Balthazar


Mlae Rose-breasted Grosbeak     -L. Balthazar

Mlae Rose-breasted Grosbeak -L. Balthazar


Western Palm Warbler.   - D. Jolly

Western Palm Warbler. – D. Jolly


Teaching about birds and banding can sometimes be a little claustrophobic.

Teaching about birds and banding can sometimes be a little claustrophobic.


Female Blue-winged Warbler.

Female Blue-winged Warbler.


Male American Redstart.

Male American Redstart.


ASY male Orchard Oriole - one of three caught today.

ASY male Orchard Oriole – one of three caught today.


[Note: the two pictures of the Marsh Wren were taken by Peter Thoem but for some strange reason the “caption” acknowledging this would not come up.]
Rick

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