November 2nd & 3rd: A Real Fall Weekend

One of the two Northern Saw-whet Owls we banded Saturday night. -CR

It was windy and cold on Saturday and cold and windy on Sunday although we got something of a reprieve Saturday night when the wind dropped. Late Winter residents are still on the move and we’re still getting a few late migrants. There are foraging flocks of a variety of species moving through the site as they strip patches of food wherever they find them: flocks of robins and waxwings in our hackberry trees and dogwoods (where they are joined by blackbirds and starlings); American Goldfinches whirl through and over the meadows taking advantage of the lush crop of goldenrod seeds that we have. Sometimes they get close to the nets and we catch them but more often than not they pass them over and we can only watch (and count).

Ruthven’s “Owl Lady”. -CR

We were lucky Saturday night – the rain that was listed as a good possibility earlier in the day never materialized so we set out lure tapes and opened nets for Saw-whet Owls….and got lucky, catching two! Not sure why they have such appeal….but they certainly do!

A potential Christmas card….. -CR

The patchy fluorescence of this owls wing indicates it is an older bird. -CR.

November 2nd; Banded 21:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Northern Saw-whet Owls
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets

Not sure which is more spectacular…the Ruby-crowned Kinglet or the nails. -DOL

1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Our biggest sparrow: Fox Sparrow. -ELO

1 Fox Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
4 Dark-eyed Juncos
8 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 41 spp.

A banding first: Mourning Dove – a real handful for these two. -ELO

November 3rd; Banded 39:
9 Mourning Doves

Male Golden-crowned Kinglet -ELO

3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
2 American Robins
1 Cedar Waxwing

Young European Starling; these birds are a pain to extract from the nets. -JET

2 European Starlings
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Myrtle Warblers
2 Northern Cardinals
2 American Tree Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
4 Dark-eyed Juncos
6 American Goldfinches

This Nashville Warbler was carrying a great deal of fat – fuel for the long (overdue) trip to Central America. -ELO

Brown Creeper. -CWB

Two Tundra Swans heading SW toward the Turkey Point marshes. -ELO

ET’s: 40 spp.

And this week at Fern Hill Oakville:
As you know our Owl Night on Monday the 28th in Oakville was very quiet owl-wise, but the students had a great night learning about owls, playing games, and enjoying Halloween treat in between the net checks. Around 9:00PM heavy fog and mist rolled in which made our walks through the cemetery to check the nets very spooky!

Early morning fog at the Oakville campus. -KAP

The next morning in some blurry eyed Young Ornithologists did show up in the morning but the fog was still thick and there was heavy mist on the nets. We opened the traps and eventually all of the nets but banding was slow.

The new banding lab at Fern Hill Oakville. -KAP

We banded:
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Mourning Dove
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Finch

Young (and Old) Ornithologists checking out a bird. -KAP

November 1st
A very cold start to our day in Burlington, and in fact I had my first snowy drive in of the season. Winter is definitely on the way! We were hoping to see Juncos and Tree Sparrows today, but the feeder area was surprisingly quiet considering they were full of sunflower, Niger, and mixed seed. We have been observing Eastern Bluebirds in the area around the nest boxes throughout the Fall and today we could hear them singing despite the cold weather. Today my students and I collected and recycled leftover jack-o-lanterns and turned them into bird feeders.

An all-natural bird feeder. -KAP

We banded
1 Field Sparrow
1 American Robin
1 European Starling
2 Blue Jays

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