November 3rd – Early Morning Surprise

Matt worked the dayshift yesterday and then returned on nightshift just in time to band the lone Saw-whet that they caught.

The owl nightshift – Nancy and Matt – finished their night shortly after 6:00 (having banded one owl), turned off the sound system (for the owl lure tape), and got ready for a little shuteye. The owls were done for the night……or were they? Shortly after 7:00 I was making the rounds when, lo and behold, there in net 8 was a young male Saw-whet! What a great way to start off the day! This bird must have been drawn to the area by the tape and had inadvertently found its way into a net while looking for a roost for the day. Or perhaps it was hunting, looking for a late-night snack to tide it over for the day.

The fat belly pad on a Kinglet with a '5' fat score (out of 6).

We hosted a couple of classes of grade 4’s from Hagersville. Now I’m sort of a cynical old codger but I must say that these kids were absolutely delightful; not only attentive but full of enthusiasm and asking really good questions. There’s hope for the world yet! Ironically, we were able to have their teacher, Mrs. Downy, release a newly banded Downy Woodpecker.

Wing of that female Eastern Bluebird - we've banded 33 bluebirds so far this Fall.

Young (HY) female Eastern Bluebird

Again, we were catching birds steadily thoughout the day. As you would expect, Net 2, close to a feeder complex, was catching a lot of birds (especially American Goldfinches, which continue to show up in large numbers) but it was Net 10, the “double” running down the hill to the stream, that caught the most birds. Part of its catch included a small hit of Rusty Blackbirds – 6; just a tiny percentage of the estimated 600 that were around.

Matt with his Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Although we are going to finish the passerine banding on Monday (the 7th), Nancy intends to continue to try for Saw-whets for another week after that. There will be a concentrated effort this weekend – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights – as the conditions look like they might be ideal. If you are interested in coming out, you should contact her just to let her know and confirm that she will in fact be banding.

Another courtlet of kinglets; this time female Golden-crowned (left), male Ruby-crowned (middle), and female Ruby-crowned.

Banded 87:
2 Northern Saw-whet Owls
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
5 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Eastern Bluebird
5 American Robins
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Fox Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrows
9 Dark-eyed Juncos
6 Rusty Blackbirds
3 House Finches
43 American Goldfinches

A young (HY) Swamp Sparrow

Retrapped 37:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
2 Brown Creepers
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
4 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
10 Dark-eyed Juncos
9 American Goldfinches

Not often seen - the remnants of a "wing bar" (white edging to the greater primary coverts) on this Junco.

ET’s: 41 spp. (a big improvement on yesterday’s 30!)

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 61


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