October 14 & 15th – Rain, Wind, Traps and Limited Nets

An adult Bald Eagle takes off from its perch in the top of a spruce tree in front of the Mansion. - J. Manning

It’s finally starting to feel like Fall. The weather yesterday and today would best be described as “unsettled”. Yesterday there was heavy rain in the early morning and it looked like we weren’t going to be able to open any nets – a data entry day. But shortly before the 40 or so grade 2 students arrived, the rain stopped, so we quickly opened 8 nets and set out a few ground traps. Lo and behold we had 36 birds to demonstrate the wonder of birds with (25 banded and 11 retraps). Shortly thereafter the rain started again and we had showers for the rest of the day.

The skies cleared and the wind picked up during the night. In fact, it was quite clear as my wife, son and I were driving back from a production of the “Merry Wives of Windsor” at the Stratford theatre. But the wind…..several times I woke in the night to listen to it, like a freight train. When I arrived this morning it was blowing quite strongly out of the WSW – a direction that effects many of our nets. I decided to wait until it got light and I could actually see the nets before deciding whether I would even open any. I decided to open only the most sheltered nets – 10, 5, 6, 6A and 7 – and set out a few ground traps. I wasn’t expecting to catch much, if anything….another data entry day. But, I wasn’t able to sit down until I finally got all the leaves out of the last net – 117 birds later (89 banded; 28 retraps).

We continue to see Turkey Vultures every day although their numbers are dropping. - J. Manning

A large proportion of this number was made up of 48 Cedar Waxwings that went into net 6 just before I went to close it. To a degree I wasn’t surprised – I think the surprise was that the “hit” was comprised of Cedar Waxwings rather than of European Starlings; a flock of 1,000+ had been swirling around the treetops above the net not half an hour before. Myrtle Warblers were also around in good numbers. They really seem to like to forage in the Butterfly Meadow.

October 2nd; Banded 25:
1 American Robin
4 Cedar Waxwings
7 Myrtle Warblers
5 Chipping Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco

ET’s: 34 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 101

There have been lots of Eastern Bluebirds moving through in the past few days. - J. Manning

October 3rd; Banded 89:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Eastern Bluebird
2 American Robins
48 Cedar Waxwings
2 European Starlings
21 Myrtle Warblers
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 37 spp.

Birds Banded per 100 net hours: 238


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