October 20th & 21st – Celebrating a Big Day

Yellow-rumped Warbler in the Butterfly Meadow. -R. Mueller

The “Big Day”, of course, is today, the 21st – an open house, sort of, for members of Ruthven Park. It actually started yesterday…well, not until the evening because the morning was a write-off due to rain. It rained so much that president Betsy Smith called off Fall “clean-up day” – of course she will use any excuse to call it off….Anyway, it was data entry in the morning and owling at night. The skies cleared shortly after 8:00 PM and a light wind out of the WNW pushed away the clouds and brought out the stars. We didn’t catch any owls on the 1st pass but by the time we knocked off we had caught and banded 4 Saw-whets and recaptured another one that had been banded about a week ago. This was a nice thing for Myra who had made the trip all the way from Brampton to just see one – she got to band two!

Nancy and visitor Myra Spiller with part of the night’s catch.

Northern Saw-whet Owls caught last night.

After a short night (sleep-wise) we opened the nets and had birds in them right away – in some cases before the net was even open. We caught and banded steadily all morning and into the afternoon – which was a good thing as the open house didn’t start until 1:00. Still, we had lots of birds to showcase. Interestingly we banded 33 Pine Siskins – these northern finches have been common at the feeders for the past week. It must have been a poor food crop in the north to bring them down south. We also had a good number of Hermit Thrushes and variety of sparrows.

Pine Siskins are common now at the Ruthven feeders. -R. Mueller

Carol Jones and Ralph Beaumont – good scribes ensure things run smoothly.

The banding lab was a busy place all morning. Lots of birds and lots going on. Thank goodness for good scribes to keep everything on track!! And for good birders (like Peter Thoem) to do a census!

Comparison: Eastern Bluebirds – male (left) and female (right)

Banded 129:
1 Mourning Dove
[4 Northern Saw-whet Owls]
1 Brown Creeper
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
6 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Eastern Bluebird
12 Hermit Thrushes
4 Cedar Waxwings
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
12 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
5 Chipping Sparrows
1 Fox Sparrow
4 Song Sparrows
7 Swamp Sparrows
8 White-throated Sparrows
10 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
8 Dark-eyed Juncos
33 Pine Siskins
8 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 46 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 4,107
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 6,692

Photo Gallery: (some great shots by Rob Mueller):

Eastern Tufted Titmouse, common at the feeders. -R. Mueller

Bald Eagle -R. Mueller

Wing detail of a young (HY) Eastern Bluebird -R. Mueller

Osprey -R. Mueller

Red-tailed Hawk -R. Mueller

Titmouse checking out a baited trap. -R. Mueller

Rob showed me these GREAT shots of Great Gray Owls in Algonquin Park and kindly agreed to let me put them on the blog:

Great Gray Owl -R. Mueller

Great Gray Owl -R. Mueller

Great Gray Owl -R. Mueller

Great Gray Owl -R. Mueller

For more about Rob’s work check out these sites (Angie is his partner and an avid birder too):




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