October 9th – “It’s a Gift.”

Fence along the Butterfly Meadow in the early sun. -R. Kinzie

Now I don’t want to sound like I’m whinging, it’s really not my style. But….how come when I go out to help with Saw-whet Owl banding I never get any? Last night I wheeled out the sound system at 8:00; and did the next two net checks at 9 and again at 10. Zero. Nada. Bupkiss. Matt arrives and does the later checks and he gets two. And then, to add insult to injury, he pulls one out of net 9A at 9:00 in the morning in bright sunshine. As he says: “It’s a gift”. And so it is – and one that everyone was able to enjoy. Especially the owl this morning. (But you know, it just doesn’t feel right that the co-op students Mack and Nick and long-time volunteer Carol as well as other visitors get to see one without having paid their late night dues.)

Carol got to see a Saw-whet without even having to stay up late.

Nick and Mack with the Northern Saw-whet Owl.

First Fox Sparrow of the year.

It was an interesting day. We banded 9 different species of sparrows (including the 1st Fox Sparrow of the year) but only 7 American Goldfinches and no Golden-crowned Kinglets. We banded 86 birds, which by Spring banding standards would have been great but by our recent experience was kind of low. There were lots of birds around however, but the wind picked up part way through the morning and billowing nets don’t catch many birds (just leaves).

Eastern Bluebird -R. Kinzie

We’re heavily into the short-distance migrants now, most of the long-distance birds having moved on. Still, a good number of these birds will end up in the southern states as far south as Florida. I’m wondering if Florida is up to it…if there is enough good habitat left to accomodate such a large influx. Good old Florida – can it handle birds and old folks?

Banded chickadee checking out the seed in my hand.

This was a very interesting chickadee. After being banded it did not fly away but continued to sit on Nancy’s hand. I got some seed and Nancy shifted the bird over to me and it sat for awhile and even pecked at the food before finally flying off – quite vigorously, it wasn’t hurt or sick….just smart?

Comparison: HY (young) White-crowned Sparrow on left; AHY (adult) on right.

Comparison: adult White-crowned Sparrow (left); young bird (right).

Banded 86:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Northern Saw-whet Owl (plus 2 last night)
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Brown Creeper
8 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush
6 Hermit Thrushes
1 Magnolia Warbler
22 Myrtle Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Fox Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
3 Swamp Sparrows
16 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Purple Finch
7 American Goldfinches

Bill Read, here seen sucking in his stomach, paid us a visit today - mistook us for Tim Horton's.

Retrapped 31:
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
8 Hermit Thrushes
5 Myrtle Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers (1 had gained 5 g since banding)
2 Song Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow (gained 7 g since banding)
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 60 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 3,222
Year-to-Date Banding Total: 5,807

Some neat pictures sent to me by Fred Smith of his trip out West:

Osprey nest made largely with bailing twine. -F. Smith

Tree top Osprey nest. -F. Smith

Idyllic spot for a nest platform. -F. Smith

Clark's Nutcracker. -F. Smith

Pine Siskin (at Ruthven). -F. Smith


2 thoughts on “October 9th – “It’s a Gift.”

  1. Thanks Jeff 🙂
    The early morning sun adds perfect light.
    Add me to the people delighted to see the Saw-whet Owl without putting in a night shift.

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