November 5th – Catching Up On Winding Down

When released, this little owl turned and made a beeline for Nancy’s shoulder. -B. Fotheringham

We have just two more days of migration monitoring left to go. Most of the migrants are gone and the Winter residents are just showing up and deciding whether to keep moving a little further south or try to make a go of it in this area. Many will continue to move around the area looking for a patch of habitat that will sustain them through the cold, snowy months to come (he says hopefully…Snow Buntings in mind….).

This male Downy Woodpecker, retrapped today, is just over 6 years old.

Over the past two days we’ve handled 225 birds, 140 of which were “new” birds (this includes the 7 Northern Saw-whet Owls caught on the night of the 4th). Just over half (73) have been American Goldfinches – our “bread and butter” bird. Juncos, American Tree Sparrows and Chickadees make up the bulk of the remainder. The variety of species present at Ruthven is also dwindling – 37 and 32 on the 4th and 5th respectively. So, it’s time to wrap things up. Wednesday will be the end for this season – a record season – and think about Snow Buntings and next Spring (which isn’t too far away really).

The “owl team” continues to have great success. The seven banded on the night of the 4th/5th brings the total to 71 Saw-whets and 1 Screech Owl. Nancy will continue to catch owls until the 11th.

As a followup to the image below, I sent the picture to Dr. Oliver Love who in turn passed it on to Dr. Catherine Soos, an expert on avian diseases. We had met and worked with Catherine on Southampton Island. Following is her note:

4 odd growths on the lower abdomen of a Pine Siskin.

Hello Oli and Rick,
I haven’t seen anything quite like this before. The closest I have seen are follicular cysts, but they wouldn’t be this smooth or uniform, and usually end up infected or eroded at this size. So I asked Ted Leighton, and he thinks it is probably a fluke infection, with the genus Collyrichlum.
I’m starting to think that Wikipedia really does have the answer to everything….check this out:
Thanks for sharing this, Rick! Really cool (…ok, maybe not so much for the bird).
If you find it dead or sick, please send it to CCWHC so the pathologists and parasitologists can get their hands on some material J
I wish you both well,
Catherine Soos, BSc, DVM, PhD
Wildlife Disease Specialist/Research Scientist
Environment Canada

November 4th; Banded 64:
1 Mourning Dove
7 Northern Saw-whet Owls
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Brown Creeper
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Northern Cardinal
6 American Tree Sparrows
9 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 House Finch
3 Pine Siskins
26 American Goldfinches

ET;s: 37 spp.

November 5th; Banded 70:
1 Mourning Dove
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Northern Cardinal
9 American Tree Sparrows
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
4 Purple Finches
1 House Finch
2 Pine Siskins
47 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 32 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 4,974
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 7,559

Photo Gallery:
[slickr-flickr tag=”November52012″]


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