October 1st – A Big…no…A Very Big Day!

Christine Madliger - a beautiful bride but, more importantly, a beautiful person.

At 6:30 a cold wind was blowing out of the NE and the skies were overcast, threatening rain. I kept my fingers crossed as I opened the nets. Not so much for the birds I was thinking might have “fallen out” during the night but for there to be a change in the weather. Christine Madliger and Chris Harris were getting married – they deserved better weather than this! I guess the finger crossing paid off because, as the morning wore on, the sucker holes turned into actual sunny patches. They, in turn, gave way to blue skies with puffy cumulus clouds. By the time of the ceremony it was a cool but beautiful day. Of course the sunshine that surrounds this lovely young couple would have dissipated any clouds.

Christine, Chris and their colleagues from the University of Windsor.

The bridal party; Chris's brother and Christine's sister stood up with them.

Bridesmaids, featuring Education Co-ordinator Natalie Campbell (2nd from right).

It was a few years back now that Christine emerged as a “bird person”. She was originally interested in trees but found birds to be irresistable once she’ held them in her hand. Her interest in trees proved useful in helping her take in the complete ecology of the site in her capacity of Species-at-Risk Co-ordinator, a position she held for over a year until she decided to take on a Master’s (now PhD) with Oliver Love at the University of Windsor. The transformation of husband Chris, from chemical engineer to bird/biology enthusiast, has been even more interesting (at times entertaining) to watch. Together they are an amazing field research team!

The Ruthven Contingent.

Ruthven's Big Three: Betsy, Caitlin, and Marilynn.

The wedding, which took place at Ruthven (of course!), had their personal touch throughout. Beautiful and classy and folksy – all at the same time. Just like the bride and groom. It was neat to see everyone turned out in such finery. You think of these folks mainly in their role of scientists and field researchers and Ruthven staff but tonight….tonight they were on a different plane.

The girls from Oli's lab - hard to picture them grubbing it out in the Arctic.

And, oh yes, there were some birds around this morning, including the first Golden-crowned Kinglets and White-crowned Sparrows of the season.

Banded 36:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 American Robin
9 Cedar Waxwings
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
3 Blackpoll Warblers
2 Chipping Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 19:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpeckers
7 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Eastern Tufted Titmice
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow

ET’s: 41 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 34

Chris and Christine.

PS: And lest I forget: this day also marked my wife Marg’s and my 35th anniversary. And like the big spender I am I decided to take her out for dinner…….


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