October 25th & 26th – A Puzzler

An “unusual” junco: Pink-sided, Oregon, Cassiar? What is your opinion? -KMP

Distinctive bib and flanks. -KMP

Chocolate saddle. -KMP

Brown primary coverts indicate a HY bird. -KMP

Note the cream-coloured undertail coverts – I’ve never seen that before in a junco. -KMP

On the 24th, with the Fern Hill Young Ornithologists and amidst a lot of birds, we handled 34 juncos, all banded as Dark-eyed Juncos. At the time we were running 3 banding “stations”, all under the supervision of an experienced bander – this way we could maximize the learning opportunities for the students. Nonetheless it was hectic at times.

On the 25th I retrapped one of these juncos and noticed that, while a junco, it was markedly different than any Dark-eyed Junco I had seen before in southern Ontario. Karen got lots of pictures of it and since then we have been trying to get a reliable identification of it. If you have an opinion (that you can back up), I’d like to hear from you.

The last two days have been much quieter, both in terms of numbers and of variety. No more wheeling flocks of Cedar Waxwings or the myriad chips of White-throated Sparrows from the meadow and shrubbery at opening. Things are definitely winding down. On the other hand, Northern Saw-whet Owls continue to move through in good numbers.

October 25; Morning – Banded 68:
1 Downy Woodpecker
7 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Hermit Thrushes
5 Cedar Waxwings
2 Northern Cardinals
3 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
10 Dark-eyed Juncos
10 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Purple Finch
22 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 36 spp.

Evening; Banded 9 Northern Saw-whet Owls.

Another first that I simply chanced upon: Orange-marbled Orb Spider -KMP

October 26th; Banded 36:
1 Mourning Dove
3 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin
4 Cedar Waxwings
2 Fox Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
5 White-throated Sparrows
4 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Purple Finch
12 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 36 spp.

Be on the lookout!

Male Evening Grosbeak. It’s been quite a while since we saw these big “goldfinches” at Ruthven but there are reports of them recently in southern Ontario. Keep your eyes open! -FJS

Female Evening Grosbeak -FJS


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