October 3rd – Team Play

The Team: Rhiannon and Loretta banding; Carol scribing; Natalie, Chris and Christine reminiscing about Saturday's Big Event.

Rhiannon (left) and Christine working the crowd (of grade 4's).

I’ve coached volleyball for more years than I’d like to remember (or admit to). And in doing so, I’ve become a staunch believer in the effectivess of a “team” versus a collection of individuals. A strong team is what we’ve been trying to develop at Ruthven. And all the time and energy it has taken to expose new people to the various skills and give them opportunities to learn and hone them is paying off. Never before in Ruthven’s banding history have we had such a good group of skilled individuals come out on a regular basis.

Loretta, who makes the VERY BEST bird bags in the world, delivers a new set of 65!

The new red & white bird bags - same colours as my old alma mater, Delta Secondary in Hamilton's East end...ah, the nostalgia of it...

Take this morning: first of all, Loretta shows up with 65(!) brand new bird bags (and she makes the best in the world); and then Peter arrived to do the census (always a big -but very important-chore); and then Rhiannon came to help with extracting and banding; Carol arrived to do the scribing (not an easy task when there’s multiple birds, band sizes, and banders) and last, but not least, Christine and Chris arrived – having nothing better to do on their honeymoon they decided to help out with the school group before heading back to Windsor. Good choice!! (And, oh yes, I almost forgot Natalie who keeps us well supplied with coffee….and students.) I couldn’t get over how smoothly the morning went. All I had to do was walk around, count a few birds, and clear the nets (probably my favourite thing to do as you never know what you might find…..). Not only was the team efficient, they created a positive atmosphere to be in – 25 years from now, you may not remember exactly what birds you encountered but you will remember that it was a good time and a good place to be. That being said, as a coach, I can see the next step: getting the team to the site early enough to open the nets……so I can sleep in…..

Orange-crowned Warbler - an uncommon Fall visitor (and one of my favourites).

Despite the patchy light drizzle (or maybe because of it), at the end of the day we’d processed 78 birds – 56 banded; 22 retrapped. We had some new sightings and/or bandings for the day: Rusty Blackbird, Hermit Thrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: note the white stripe on the wing rather than down the back as in Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers.

Banded 56:
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
1 Yellow-shafted Flicker
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
5 Brown Creepers
5 Golden-crowned Kinglets
4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
3 Myrtle Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Field Sparrows
4 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
13 White-throated Sparrows
8 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows

The first Hermit Thrush of the season.

Eastern White-crowned Sparrows: adult with black & white crown stripes; HY with brown and tan.

Retrapped 22:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Eastern Tufted Titmice
8 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Red-eyed Vireo
5 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow

ET’s: 47 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 46

Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker and young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Chris showing a very quick adjustment to married life.

More pictures from Rhiannon Leshykk:

Brown Creepers seem to be travelling with the Kinglets.

Orange-crowned Warbler

One of three Eastern Tufted Titmice processed today.

Hermit Thrush - note the "wingbars" denoting a young or HY bird.


Leave a Reply