October 23rd-27th – The Week In Review

Red sky in the (Monday) morning…….

It’s been a hectic week – banding in the morning and attempts at catching owls on 3 nights. So not a lot of time for processing pictures or writing up daily reports. So here’s a brief overview:

Oakville’s YO’s. -KAP

The week began with the descent of the Fern Hillians on Monday and Tuesday (including a sleepover on the Coach House floor). We were busy Monday until the wind and rain started in the late afternoon. We put up nets and put out a lure tape for an hour when it stopped around 9 PM but had no luck. Tuesday was slow as not many birds ventured out in the wet windy weather.
Monday, October 23rd; Banded 67:
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Brown Creeper
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
11 Ruby-crowned Kinglets

Female Eastern Bluebird. -KMP

5 Eastern Bluebirds
7 American Robins
7 Cedar Waxwings
3 Myrtle Warblers
3 Song Sparrows
5 Dark-eyed Juncos
7 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 House Finch
11 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 35 spp.

Tuesday, October 24th; Banded 16:
1 Blue Jay
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Eastern Bluebirds
6 American Robins
1 Cedar Waxwing
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrows
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 28 spp.
Fotos of the Fern Hillian Expedition:

David Brewer teaching Katherine……. -JDF

So much to learn…so little time. -JDF

Katherine at work….or is it play? -JDF

Laura banding an American Robin. -JDF

Two geezers going over the data entry (and Joanne breathing a sigh of relief it’s none of hers). -JDF

Bentley with a robin he’s just banded. -KAP

Exploring the river. -KAP

Sam with a Brown Creeper. -KAP

Han with his primitive fishing rod. -KAP

Evan with an American Goldfinch. -KAP

The weather wasn’t much better on Wednesday – windy, cold and threatening rain during the day. But after we closed up the wind began to drop and the skies cleared a little so, on the spur of the moment, we decided to give owling a try. It was a good decision as we banded 9!! [See pictures a little further down.]

Wednesday, October 25th; Banded 25:
9 Northern Saw-whet Owls
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
2 American Robins
1 Nashville Warbler
2 Myrtle Warblers
1 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow

ET’s: 31 spp.

Thursday morning the nets were frosted shut and we were about an hour and a half late in opening. Not much you can do about that….just do the census a little earlier than usual (which turned up 27 species). There weren’t a lot of birds around in the vicinity of the nets though. Earlier in the week we had made a prediction that it woiuld be a pretty good night for owling and sent out an invitation to the public. This was a good move for owl lovers as we caught and banded another 6.

Thursday, October 26th; Banded 43:
6 Northern Saw-whet Owls

Eastern Phoebe. -KMP

1 Eastern Phoebe
3 Brown Creepers
12 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Eastern Bluebird
3 American Robins
5 Cedar Waxwings
1 White-throated Sparrow
7 Dark-eyed juncos
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 39 spp.

Today juncos and goldfinches (yes, goldfinches) made their presence known! And the most interesting goldfinches were the retraps – birds we had banded in previous years that we recaught. It’s a very curious thing but it appears that some of these older birds must travel together as we were catching them together at the same time in the same net or trap. And some of them would seem to be making Ruthven a regular stopover on their travels south (or north). One goldfinch we banded exactly a year ago and hadn’t recaught. A couple of others were much older – one going back to 2012. That one we hadn’t seen for 2 years but each time we had recaught it, it was in the same month. Uncanny. Where do these birds nest? And where do they spend the Winter. We think of them as wintering in our area, and I’m sure many do but some of “our” birds have been found as far away as Long Island, West Virginia, and one all the way down in New Orleans!! So many questions…..

Karen with Blue Jay.

It was tough this morning to choose…….where to start.

Friday, October 27th; Banded 58:
1 Brown Creeper
5 Golden-crowned Kinglets

Hermit Thrush with a single white rectrix. -KMP

2 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robins
3 Myrtle Warblers
1 Song Sparrow
9 White-throated Sparrows
20 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 House Finches
13 American Goldfinches

This American Goldfinch was banded in October 2012; it returned today (27th) after not being recaptured since 2015.

“Stumpy” – we captured and banded this Blue Jay with one leg in 2015. It is still in fine shape.

ET’s: 33 spp.

Pictures from owling nights:

Matt’s edible art depiction of an owl – note the cream cheese/blackberry eyes as it perches on a green bough of….grapes.

It’s hard not to like these little guys.

Matt and the Fotheringhams……-

The look says it all. -CHS

The fluorescent underwing of a young Saw-whet. -CHS


William showing obvious delight; the owl….not so much. -CHS


The return of the native – Matt Timpf returned for some owling. -CHS


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