October 8th – They Continue To Pour Through

Nancy, Ruthven's 'owl lady', returns from a net check with 4(!) Saw-whets.

Nancy had a big night – she banded 9 Northern Saw-whet Owls; she found at least one owl in the nets on every net check.

Their "cute" looks belie a fierce predator. -N. Furber

And then, after 4 hours sleep, she helped us through another big day: we banded 199 birds! (If I had known we were so close to the 200 threshold, I would have kept a net open to catch just one more bird….) And again, we had good variety as well as big numbers, banding 28 species, two of which were firsts for the year: Orange-crowned Warbler and Pine Siskin.

First Orange-crowned Warbler of the year - one of my favourites.

First Pine Siskin banded this year.

We were somewhat hampered by the annual classic car get-together held on the grounds throughout the day. Now don’t get me wrong….I truly admire the abilities of these guys (I don’t think any women have these things) to do the mechanical and body work required to turn these cars into their pristine condition. But…every time I see the exquisite wax jobs and shiny, oil-free motors gleaming in the sun, I can’t help but feel that I’m at the dawn of time when man first learned to kill senselessly. The bottom line though was that I didn’t open all the nets, especially those close to the action. You might say our banding activity was somewhat cartailed.

Alison was pressed into service as a scribe and picked it up amazingly quickly.

We were so busy that we were pulling people in “off the street” to help out. Joanne grabbed her friend Alison Currie, gave her a crash course in scribing, and before you knew it Alison was ensconced in the operation for a solid two and a half hours. I would encourage her to blow off her day job – she could have a future in the banding lab….where the rewards would be considerable, though intrinsic.

One of the nine Saw-whets banded last night by Nancy.

Banded 199:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Brown Creeper
4 Golden-crowned Kinglets
22 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush
5 Hermit Thrushes
18 Cedar Waxwings
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Orange-crowned Warbler (1st of the year)
2 Nashville Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
37 Myrtle Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
10 Chipping Sparrows
11 Song Sparrows
1 Lincoln’s Sparrows
3 Swamp Sparrows
18 White-throated Sparrows
6 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
9 Dark-eyed Juncos
4 Purple finches
1 House Finch
3 Pine Siskin
34 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 50 spp
Fall Banding Total: 3,134
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 5,719


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