November 2nd – The End Is Nigh

Female and male Northern Cardinals.

What was most noticeable today was the absence. The absence of species that, not more than a week ago were around in large numbers. No Myrtle Warblers were encountered today; only 3 sparrow species; we had estimated totals of only 20 for American Robins, 40 for Cedar Waxwings. Overall, we encountered only 30 species for the whole day!? It’s staggering to think of the sheer avian biomass that has been on the move over the last few days and nights.

A very Ruby-crowned...Kinglet - R. Mueller

On the other hand, there were a few interesting phenomena: American Goldfinches continue to hit the feeders hard (and we’re getting recaptures of birds dated back to 2007; one was recaptured again in 2008 and not encountered since – I wonder what its personal trajectory has been); Rusty Blackbirds outnumbered Red-winged Blackbirds by about 3:1; and on census, Erich Bauer turned up 4 Ruffed Grouse – the first ones I’ve heard of in the vicinity of the Mansion (although I’ve encountered them across the highway well into the forest). Still, it’s clear: the mass of the migration is through and well south of us. We’ll continue on to Monday, November 7th but I predict diminishing returns (except maybe for goldfinches), although I’d like to be pleasantly surprised….

Angie with a Rusty Blackbird - we banded 21 today!

The Rusty Blackbirds really seem to like the forest that lines the stream running past the feet of nets 10, 2 and 4. They stay high until some brave soul drops down to the stream to drink or into the leaf litter on the forest floor to feed and then there’s a mad rush to join in and not miss any morsel. Consequently, when we catch them, we tend to catch them in bunches – as we did today with two small ‘hits’ in nets 2 and 4 (we banded 21 of them).

'Wax' tips on the wing of an adult Cedar Waxwing.

The bird also had wax tips on its tail.

We had sort of a day off: no school classes. It was almost a holiday – just bird enthusiasts and birds……and home-made butter tarts (thanks Liz!)…..and doughnuts……

Liz joins Loretta as the resident 'bag ladies'. She made 50 new bird bags and donated them no strings attached!

Rhiannon and Liz...attaching the strings......

Banded 86:
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
5 Eastern Bluebirds
1 American Robin
5 Cedar Waxwings
1 Northern Cardinal
5 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
21 Rusty Blackbirds
3 House Finches
38 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 31:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
4 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Swamp Sparrow
8 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
5 Dark-eyed Juncos
7 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 30 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 70

Photo Gallery:

A pair of Bald Eagles catch the sun's first rays. (Taken last week.) - E. Bauer

Tree fungus.....of some sort(?) - E. Bauer

Rob, with an Eastern Bluebird, playing a game of one-upmanship.... - A. Macaloney

Angie with a Black-capped Chickadee (unbanded ones are a rarity for us and we had 3 today). - R. Mueller

Angie and Rob with Northern Cardinals.

Liz banding one of the 5 Eastern Bluebirds we caught today.


2 thoughts on “November 2nd – The End Is Nigh

  1. It felt great to be over there after all these months. I always enjoy the company and I always learn something new about our feathered friends.

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