October 12th-15th – The Push

Stately adult White-crowned Sparrow. -KMP

It’s getting to be crunch time. Days are shorter and the temperatures are (finally) dropping; there was even snow up north. Time for lingering long-distance migrants to head south and for southern winter residences to move out of the north for wherever their winter “home” is, whether it’s Yellow-rumped Warblers going to Florida, White-throated Sparrows to Virginia, or Juncos to southern Ontario.

Although today was a washout at Ruthven, in the previous 3 days (Friday to Sunday) we banded 460 birds there.

October 12th; Ruthven Park:
This was the anniversary of last year’s record Big Day – 379 birds were banded. Three of those participants were there to try to recreate the magic: Marnie, Karen, and Nancy. They were not able to better that mark but still had a big day.
Banded 127:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Phoebe
2 Blue Jays
1 Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
15 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Swainson’s Thrush
14 Cedar Waxwings

Cape May Warbler. -NRF

1 Cape May Warbler
3 Nashville Warblers

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler. -KMP

1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
50 Myrtle Warblers
3 Blackpoll Warblers

We don’t often get Pine Warblers. -KMP

1 Pine Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat

A late female Indigo Bunting. -NRF

1 Indigo Bunting
9 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
4 White-throated Sparrows

Dark-eyed Juncos have yet to arrive en masse. -KMP

9 Dark-eyed Juncos
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 57 spp.

October 12th – Owl Night;

Bellying up to the buffet on “Owl Night”. -KMP

It was a night of patchy drizzle, no owls, but great good (thanks to Irene Fotheringham)!

October 12th; Fern Hill School Oakville Campus:
We had cool overcast conditions and it was a bit “breezy” but we did reasonably well.
Banded 24:
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
1 Winter Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Northern Parula
12 Myrtle Warblers
1 Song Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco

ET’s: 33 spp.

October 13th; Ruthven Park:

The start of a busy day! -CHS

We had a wonderful day – bird-wise and people-wise. We had a class of biology students from McMaster visiting to begin to learn birding/banding skills and we had a group of 5 young ladies ranging in age from 9 – 14 who wanted to do the same. So…..we established 3 banding stations and began to teach as we processed birds. Interestingly, ALL of the students (of all ages) were female! Where are the males!? We caught a lot of birds today so there were lots of learning opportunities. And we caught lots of Cedar Waxwings which are great birds to learn on as they are relatively docile, easily manipulated and easy to age and sex. Perfect.

Part of Saturday’s very competent crew. -ELO

Banded 183:

Male Hairy Woodpecker -ELO

1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch

Male Golden-crowned Kinglet -ELO

4 Golden-crowned Kinglets
7 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 Hermit Thrushes

A net full of Cedar Waxwings – “ring & fling” time. -CHS

121 Cedar Waxwings
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
21 Myrtle Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
2 Western Palm Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Purple Finch
6 American Goldfinches

Turkey Vulture head on. -KMP

ET’s: 46 spp.

October 13th; Lowville Park:
Ben Oldfield was running his station in Lowville. I don’t know what his totals were but he did send pictures of two neat birds: a Pine Siskin, denizen of the boreal forest and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which should have been well on its way to Central America.

Pine Siskin -BGO

In Lowville Ben got a very late Yellow-billed Cuckoo. -BGO

October 13th; Impromptu Owling at Ruthven:

The reward for staying till the end on Saturday night. -KMP

Nancy was providing “security” at a wedding on the grounds and decided to try for owls while doing so. A few of us were asked to help out at the last minute. After 3 fruitless net checks I packed it in to try and get some beauty sleep for the next day but those that toughed it out were rewarded by the catching of 2 Northern Saw-whets! W

Saturday night visit by Christine and Elliot (and Teddy). -RF

We also were treated to a surprise visit by Christine Madliger, husband Chris and little Elliot.

October 14th; Ruthven Park:
Cool, overcast, and no wind – great Fall banding conditions for us.
Banded 150:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Northern Saw-whet Owls (from early morning)
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Brown Creeper
1 House Wren
13 Golden-crowned Kinglets
31 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
9 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin

Funky Cedar Waxwing. -NRF

28 Cedar Waxwings
1 Blue-headed Vireo
4 Tennessee Warblers
6 Myrtle Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Field Sparrow
8 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
31 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
4 Purple Finches
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 45 spp.

October 15:
Funny how different weather can be only 30 kilometers away. Ruthven was pretty well rained out while at Fern Hill Oakville we got just patchy light drizzle and were able to open with frequent net checks until the drizzle stopped altogether around mid-morning. As well as banding some nice birds we got a look at a passing Peregrine Falcon!

Banded 17:

Female Hairy Woodpecker. -KAP

1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Hermit Thrushes

The distinctive reddish tail of a Hermit Thrush. -KAP

4 American Robins
3 Myrtle Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
4 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow

Andrew with his first banded bird: Song Sparrow. -KAP

ET’s: 30 spp.

1 thought on “October 12th-15th – The Push

  1. Every day I marvel at the wonderful opportunities you provide to people of all ages who are interested in birds!!! You are all to be commended!!

Leave a Reply