October 16th – 18th – Catching Up.

It’s been a busy 3 days (as you’ll see below). And…..we started owl banding so things just got busier.

October 16th; Ruthven Banding Station:
It was a beautiful Fall day – cool and clear – but without a lot of bird activity.
Banded 41:
1 Mourning Dove

Lauren’s last day – celebrating with a flicker. -KMP

1 Northern Flicker

Eastern Phoebe. -LEO

1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
8 Cedar Waxwings
1 Myrtle Warbler
5 Song Sparrows
13 White-throated Sparrows

American Goldfinches have finally arrived. This is an adult male. -ECG

6 American Goldfinches

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker. -ECG

Double-crested Cormorants heading south. -KMP

ET’s: 33 spp.

Monday (16th) Night – Owling:
Success!! Nancy and the crew got 6 Northern Saw-whets: 5 new ones and a retrap.

Dorothy and Diane…..and one of the 6 owls caught Monday night. -BF

The Northern Saw-whet Owls have arrived! -BF

Northern Saw-whet Owl. -BF

An owl with attitude. -LEO

Straight from the fresh produce section at Foodland – Samuel with an owl. -LEO

Saw-whets are cute little things….with killer feet. -LEO

Fully fluorescent = young owl. -LEO

Gaps in the fluorescence = older owl. -LEO

Fern Hill Oakville:
Monday October 16th was a busy day at Fern Hill Oakville. We tried out a new net placement in an area we had noticed birds gathering, most likely drawn by the abundance of wild grapes, buckthorn, and sumac growing. We weren’t disappointed, in all we banded 20 birds including
1 bluejay
1 black capped chickadee

Brown Creeper. -KAP

1 brown creeper
1 ruby crowned kinglet
1 hermit thrush
8 American robins

Orange-crowned Warbler. -ECG

1 orange crowned warbler

The orange crown is pretty subtle. -ECG

1 northern Cardinal
3 slate coloured juncos

We have been noticing groups of turkey vultures migrating past the school. We spotted a kettle of about 50 turkey vultures riding thermals in large numbers.

I was excited to hear and observe black capped chickadees around the property, as we seem to have lost our resident chickadees over the summer. It was a real treat to finally find a recaptured chickadee in our net, hopefully we will be seeing more as the season progresses.

2 YO’s with 2 robins. -KAP


October 17th – Another Good Day at Ruthven!
After a short night due to owling, the big “pulse” this morning was something of a surprise…and hard work. Over 40 Cedar Waxwings were caught at one time in Net 9!!
Banded 96:

A very feisty chickadee letting you know what’s what. -LEO

1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
15 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 Hermit Thrushes
56 Cedar Waxwings
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Nashville Warbler
5 Myrtle Warblers
2 Song Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 41 spp

October 18th; An Even Better Day at Ruthven!!:
The first 2 net rounds this morning were huge – we ended up just “ringing and flinging” to try to keep up. (Ringing and flinging means that one just bands and then determines the age and sex of a bird and then releases it without taking any morphometric measurements – it speed things up considerably.) And then it was like someone had turned off the tap – the wheeling flocks of waxwings were gone and the sparrows, kinglets and myrtle warblers moving along the edges disappeared. The last hour and a half were very quiet – giving us a chance to catch our breath from the early morning exertions.

One very positive note: American Goldfinches are starting to show up in numbers. We banded 16 but estimated (based on banding #’s and observation/census #’s) that there were at least 55 around the site today.

Swamp Sparrow…..note the rufous “shoulders”. -ECG

Banded 120:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
20 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
8 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin
35 Cedar Waxwings
2 Tennessee Warblers
14 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Field Sparrow
7 Song Sparrows
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
8 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
16 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 48 spp.

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