October 11th & 12th – Awards and Teams

Receiving a GRCA Watershed Conservation Award from CAO Joe Farwell (left) and Chair Jane Mitchell. -M. Havelka

I’ve never been big on individual awards. Except on rare occasions, it’s been my experience that an individual ‘wins’ an award in the context of a team. And that was exactly what I was thinking last night when I recieved a Watershed Conservation Award from the Grand River Conservation Authority for the work done at the banding lab. There is no question that the banding program at Ruthven is highly successful but….it is successful because of a large number of skilled and very dedicated people who love birds and are willing to work hard at studying and preserving them. So, while it was nice to be acknowledged, I accepted it thinking of what a wonderful team of people has made it develop and grow.

The lab has become a busy place. -E. Campanelli

Early net round. -E. Campanelli

Banding and migration monitoring at Ruthven, now, NEVER takes place as a 1-person show. Take the last two days for example. Yesterday there were 13 (yes 13!) individuals who volunteered their time and effort and skills to deliver the program. And today, there were 5 of us. And those involved had a good idea of what needed to be done and what they could do. And did it. That’s teamwork.

The banding lab is fueled by home-made baked goods. -E. Campanelli

Of course, as Napolean Bonaparte noticed with his army, a banding operation “marches” on its stomach. And there never was a banding operation that could come even close to matching Ruthven’s volunteers for bringing scrumpdelicious homemade goodies. (After all, to be successful, migrants and migration monitors both need a good fat load…..)

Pine Siskins at the feeder. -P. Thoem.

The 11th produced a very respectable 107 birds banded and 57 retraps. There seems to have been an influx of Eastern White-crowned Sparrows (on the 10th we handled 1 of these birds; on the 11th we handled 20; and today, Peter Thoem saw 36 while doing the census).

A fairly fat Gray-cheeked Thrush.

Today, the 12th, we banded only 77 and handled 41 retraps. But some of the retraps were quite interesting, especially a Gray-cheeked Thrush. This bird was originally banded at the end of September and even then weighed around 36 grams. But today it weighed over 43 grams – an increase of over 7 g. And most of it would have been fat. [Of course, it is still well below the Gray-cheeked Thrush that we had several years ago: it’s weight climbed to over 52 g in the course of 10 days – enough “fuel” to easily fly non-stop from Ruthven to Colombia if it had wanted to.]

Late (in the season) Ovenbird. -E. Campanelli

The lines of a jet fighter - a Northern Flicker. -E. Campanelli

October 11th; Banded 107:
1 Northern Flicker
2 Eastern Phoebes
2 Blue Jays
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Brown Creepers
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
11 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Nashville Warbler
7 Myrtle Warblers
1 Ovenbird
3 Chipping Sparrows
4 Song Sparrows
3 Swamp Sparrows
10 White-throated Sparrows
15 Easter White-crowned Sparrows
1 Purple Finch
1 Pine Siskin
35 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 43 spp.

Late Nashville Warbler -E. Campanelli

October 12th: Banded 77:

A tiny Winter Wren.

1 Mourning Dove
3 Eastern Tufted Titmice(!)
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Winter Wren
9 Golden-crowned Kinglets
5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
2 Hermit Thrushes
2 American Robins
8 Myrtle Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Fox Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
3 Swamp Sparrows
9 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
3 Purple Finches
1 House Finch
3 Pine Siskins
14 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 46 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 3,465
Year-to-date Banding Total: 6,050

Photo Gallery:

A 'teasing' American Goldfinch sitting on a net trammel. -E. Campanelli

Old leaf detail. -E. Campanelli

Turkey Vulture. -E. Campanelli

Female (no "moustache") Northern Flicker. -E. Campanelli

Crest of a female Golden-crowned Kinglet -E. Campanelli

This Ovenbird was a surprise. -E. Campanelli

Giovanni with a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. -E. Campanelli

Pine Siskins and American Goldinches at the feeder just outside the lab. -E. Campanelli

Turkey Vulture closeup. -E. Campanelli

Pictures of the recent Marsh Wren:

Marsh Wren - only the second one ever banded at Ruthven. -J. Fleet

Marsh Wren. -M Timpf


2 thoughts on “October 11th & 12th – Awards and Teams

  1. Hello Rick–A Big Congratulations on your award–well deserved for all your work.
    Dianne, Joanne and Dorothy S.

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