October 3rd & 4th – After The Rains

Eastern Bluebirds all caught at the same time in the same net and all previously banded. The one on the left was banding as a hatchling in a nest box in May; the much younger one in the middle was from a nest box in August; the one on the right, a male and probably the father of both, was banded a couple of years ago. -DOL

October 3rd; Ruthven Banding Station:
What a change it was with the weather today – cooler temperatures that felt even cooler with the rain and a strong NE wind blowing. It was a heavy rainfall when I arrived at six-thirty am that continued until mid-morning when it settled into a fine mist. During a short lull in the rain, we opened two nets just for an hour for the school program and we had a back up plan just in case we didn’t handle any birds.

By now, it was late in the morning and the misty rain had settled in again …. just when Carol and I started census. We anticipated it would be quiet with very little bird activity due to the weather and the birds taking shelter but that wasn’t the case and it was a great census. There were ‘pockets’ of bird activity in two to three different areas along the census route that kept us searching every movement of bird that was seen one moment and then gone as they were flitting around in the trees. The highlight for one big ‘pocket’ of bird activity was observed on the Carolinian Trail located next to the forest and agricultural edge – flocks of American Robins, White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Rusty Blackbirds, and a few warblers were creating a sweet cacophony of noise! Two new species were observed for the season that included the Rusty Blackbird and Hermit Thrush. Estimated totals for today was 34 species.


October 3rd; Fern Hill Oakville:
Miserable day with either rain or drizzle for much of it. We opened 2 close nets for an hour and ended up banding 6 birds:
1 Mourning Dove

Female Golden-crowned Kinglet. -RW

2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
2 American Robins

Yellow-rumped Warbler. -RW

1 Myrtle Warbler


October 4th; Ruthven Park:
Migrants were pouring through this morning! Lots of birds and great diversity. We banded 98 and ended up beating ourselves up for closing before we got to the magical 100 mark. Oh well….maybe tomorrow if this weather holds. We retrapped an interesting Gray-cheeked Thrush. It was banded on September 26 and weighed 34.1 g.; We recaptured it on September 30 at which time it weighed 38.6 g.; today it weighed n at 44.4 g! A gain of over 10 g. in 8 days. This may be a “non-stop flyer” in its bid to reach South America.

Those Eastern Bluebirds from the back side. -DOL

Banded 98:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Eastern Wood-pewee
2 Eastern Phoebes
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
11 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 Gray-cheeked Thrush
5 Swainson’s Thrushes

Wood Thrush – a BIG surprise! -DOL

1 Wood Thrush
2 American Robins
2 Gray Catbirds
7 Cedar Waxwings
1 Philadelphia Vireo
3 Red-eyed Vireos
9 Tennessee Warblers
13 Nashville Warblers
3 Myrtle Warblers
3 Black-throated Green Warblers
1 Blackburnian Warbler
1 Black and White Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats

Female Scarlet Tanager; note that there is no black on the shoulders. -DOL

1 Scarlet Tanager
1 Song Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrows
13 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 53 spp.

October 4th; Fern Hill Burlington:

Chickadee with a Fern Hill history: banded November 2017; retrapped September & October 2018; retrapped April 2019….and today. -KAP

It’s been a rather slow start to our banding season at Fern Hill Burlington. Between the rain and hot temperatures there hasn’t been too much movement near our nets but things are starting to pick up. It has been great to be back with our Young Ornithologists, some familiar, some new birders, and they have been excited to get back to learning about bird migration. To summarize our banding season thus far, we have caught a total of 34 birds of 19 species. My students have been busy planting a new pollinator garden near the Field Station that includes native plants, trees, and shrubs that will attract butterflies, bees, and birds to the area.

Today was a crisp and cool morning and we banded a total of 13 birds of 8 species. We banded:

Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet. -KAP

3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets (season first)
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Common Yellow
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Downy Woodpecker
4 White-throated Sparrow
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Song Sparrow

Nashville Warbler. -KAP

Katherine teaching a class about birds. -JJC

Ready for planting. -JJC


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