May 7th & 8th – A Hectic Couple Of Days

Male Bay-breasted Warbler. -D. Maida


It’s been a hectic couple of days with school groups and visitors. But the most noticeable thing has been the marked influx of migrants into the area (although not necessarily into the nets). On the 7th we encountered 76 species (including a first ever Summer Tanager, found by Mike Furber along the Fox Den Trail) and today we had 81 Species including 13 types of warbler!

Although it’s been hectic for us, this Racoon doesn’t seem to be fazed by the developments. -D. Maida


American Goldfinches continue to pour through. In these 2 days, between new bandings and retraps we’ve handled 81! Some of the retraps have been 4 or more years old and seem to make Ruthven a regular stopover in both the Spring and Fall (we don’t seem to catch them in the Summer months or in the Winter). They are a great “teaching bird”: easy to extract and handle as well as age and sex and a novice can handle a LOT of them.

A pair of Common Terns taking a free ride downstream on a floating log. -D. Maida


May 7th; Banded 32:
2 House Wrens
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 Black & White Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
14 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 76 spp.

May 8th; Banded 55:
1 House Wren
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Veery

Veery. -ECG


1 Wood Thrush
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Warbling Vireo
2 Blue-winged Warblers
2 Western Palm Warblers
1 Northern Waterthrush
6 Common Yellowthroats
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Chipping Sparrows
5 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds
19 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 81 spp.
Photo Gallery:

A pair of Cedar Waxwings have returned and have been checking out the same maple that waxwings (maybe this pair) have been nesting in for the past couple of years. -D. Maida


A Cape May Warbler (from underneath). -KMP


First Ovenbird of the year. -KMP


Blue-headed Vireo. -D. Maida


Rick

May 6th – Green Furze

Work crew (with foreman on the left) doing some work in the Bobolink Meadow, getting ready for an overnight class visit. -KMP


Buds are opening and the surrounding shrubbery (and some trees) are assuming a green furze – a great source of food for emerging insects, food for the long-distance migrants that depend on their being there. We have been busy for the past 2 days, banding on the one hand, and getting ready for the many visitors we will get this week seeking out the migrants that are here or about to be here. This included clearing fallen trees and branches from the trails; rescuing sections of boardwalk that had floated away in the floods; preparing a field to attract Bobolinks in August. And, oh yes, banding….did I mention that. Things are starting to warm up as migrants continue to build in the area. Interestingly, many of the birds we’re catching are “older” birds; i.e., not just in their 2nd year. The youngsters will follow in a week or two.

ASY male Nashville Warbler. -KMP


Banded 41:
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Veery
1 Hermit Thrush
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler

For comparison: male Blue-winged Warbler (left); Female (right). -KMP


2 Nashville Warblers
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Field Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows

Eastern White-crowned Sparrow. -KMP


1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
20 American Goldfinches
1 House Sparrow (now in a new home in Kitchener)

ET’s: 64 spp.

Photo Gallery:

There are several Baltimore Orioles hitting the feeders hard between bouts of vigorous territoriality. -KMP


Attitude…….Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. -KMP


Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -KMP


Acrobatic male Rose-breasted Grosbeak going after a suet ball. -KMP


Male Red-bellied Woodpecker. -KMP


ASY male Baltimore Oriole. -NRF


First banded Gray Catbird of the year. -NRF


ASY Male Myrtle Warbler. -NRF


SY male Myrtle Warbler. -NRF


Female Blue-winged Warbler. -WJA


Female Common Yellowthroat. -WJA


Very drab female Yellow Warbler, in stark contrast to the brilliant males that are around at the moment. -WJA


Rick

May 5th – Still A Trickle

Returning Baltimore Orioles are taking full advantage of the feeders. -KMP


The weather for the past few days has been up and down and probably the reason that the migration has been so slow. Still just a trickle moving through Ruthven and, on Friday, through Fern Hill’s Oakville campus. Although our species totals have been respectable they still are not hitting the 60 mark, indicating that the diversity that we expect to see at this time of year is not here yet.

May 4th – Ruthven Banding Station; Banded 20:
1 House Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
2 Myrtle Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrows
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Baltimore Oriole
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 55 spp.

May 4th – Fern Hill Oakville:
It was Grandparents’s Day at the school – a great idea that brings generations together. Our banding demos were a big hit!
And we had lots of birds to showcase – most of them Icterids but also a few long-distance migrants to spice it up.

Fallon, mother of a kindergarten student, with a cowbird she’s just banded – her first! -KAP


Banded 39:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
4 American Robins
1 Yellow Warbler

First Yellow Warbler of the season at the school. -KAP


1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Savannah Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
14 Red-winged Blackbirds
4 Common Grackles
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 American Goldfinches
2 House Sparrows

ET’s: 39 spp.

Black eyebrow indicates this Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a male. –KMP


May 5th – Ruthven Banding Station:
It was a beautiful day to be outside. We thought that the stiff SW breeze would bring in some migrants in good numbers but, with one exception, it didn’t. The exception was a flight of Common Loons. It started about a half hour after sunrise and lasted for about an hour. Loons, ranging from singles to a group of 5, swept by quartering the wind. In total we saw 41 (and likely missed at least a few more (maybe a lot more – it takes less than 30 seconds for one of them to cross the sky and if you weren’t paying attention……).
Banded 26:
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 House Wrens
4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird

ASY male Yellow Warbler. -AAW


3 Yellow Warblers
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds
8 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 56 spp.
Photo Gallery:

6 Chimney Swifts were around this morning. -KMP


Posy with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. -FAS


Northern Waterthrush. -MMG


Baby American Toad – the Spring may have been cold but it doesn’t seem to have slowed the toads down. -MMG


Spencer, possible future bander, with a kinglet she’s just banded. =FAS


An “older” – ASY – female American Goldfinch.. -AAW


An ASY male American Goldfinch. -AAW

Rick

May 3rd – Trickling Through

Inspired by the banding process, two students from an area school produced this picture for us. -KMP


While our daily species count is pushing 60, migrants were still few and far between and most long-distance migrants that we encountered were either single birds or in small numbers. “New” birds for the year were: Eastern Kingbird, Yellow-throated Vireo, and Northern Waterthrush.

This returning Blue-winged Warbler was banded as an adult in 2015 making it at least 4 years old. -SEF


Banded 40:

What a brilliant bird! Male Tree Swallow. -KMP


1 Least Flycatcher
1 Tree Swallow
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin

Our first banded Blue-headed Vireo of the year. -MMG


1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush

A pair of long-distance fliers: Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.


2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
5 White-throated Sparrows
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
14 American Goldfinches
1 House Sparrow (subsequently transported to downtown Hamilton)

ET’s: 57 spp.
Photo Gallery:

Yesterday’s quote was from this book, available from the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club.


Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak refilling his tank after the long flight from Central/South America.


Spring Beauties are in full bloom…..at last. -KMP


This chipmunk has found his safety nook – up under the piping protecting the feeders from…….him. -KMP


Least Flycatcher.


Logan, a Young Ornithologist from Fern Hill Burlington, visited this morning and banded some birds, including this White-throated Sparrow.


Marnie feeding a Rose-breasted Grosbeak…..on her fingers.


A feisty House Wren. -SEF


Joanne Fleet wanted to see if toads could really be turned into princesses. They can’t……at least by me. -JDF


Rick