September 11th – Living Out the Confusions

Our mantra for dealing with "confusing Fall warblers".

The most interesting thing today was the mix of people and their interplay. First of all there’s Joanne who is young and keen and enthusiastic and has been working really hard to become competent. Today, after handling a variety of “confusing Fall warblers”, she had an epiphany. She reached that plateau where she knew that she didn’t know. When she announced this earth-shaking insight to the group, David Brewer, who has been banding around the world for many, many years and does know, made the following quote:
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool; avoid him.
He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a student; teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep; wake him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man; follow him.

[He also added: He that knows not, and knows not that he knows not, and cares not that he knows not; he is George Bush—elect him!]

So you can see, it was beginning to get cerebral. And then he added that “vireo” is Latin for “I am green”. Pretty heady stuff, eh? But maybe he was pulling our collective leg. Fortunately Anne Klause, who was/is a Latin scholar, was helping out and she was able to confirm this. So….you just never know what you might learn here…..

The buffet - hard to decide where to start.

A few days ago, Faye, who helps out on Saturdays, sent me an email noting that nobody brought goodies anymore. I’m not sure what she was talking about. I haven’t missed out since I returned. [Thanks to all!!!]

It was an odd morning bird-wise: the first rounds were unremarkable with very few birds caught. Further, there was not very much noticeable activity along the edges. Still, at the end of the day we finished with 64 birds processed: 49 banded and 15 retraps. I think the repartee, the dabbling in philosophy and obscure languages, and, of course, the ingestion of delectable goodies (sorry Faye), masked the flow of birds through the lab.

An uncommon visitor to Ruthven - a Great Egret. -C. Jones

The most noteworthy sighting was a Great Egret flying upriver during census that Carol was able to capture with her little point and shoot camera.

Carolina Wren (examination showed it to be an adult female).

Carolina Wrens, once a rarity in southern Ontario, is becoming much more common.

The yellow "eyebrows" identify this bird as a female Wilson's Warbler.

One of my favourites. At first glance these drab little yellow females can be confused with Yellow Warblers but note the eyebrow stripes.

Young female Black-throated Blue Warbler

These lovely little warblers spend the winter in the islands of the Caribbean. I often see them in Cuba.

Today's banding crew - Cinderella remains hard at work scribing in the corner.

Banded 49:
1 Mourning Dove
3 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Blue Jay
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Carolina Wren
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
5 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 Wood Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Philadelphia Warbler
7 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Tennessee Warbler
5 Nashville Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Black-throated Blue Warblers
4 Blackpoll Warblers
1 American Redstart
1 Ovenbird
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Finch
6 American Goldfinches
Retrapped 15:
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Gray Catbird
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
3 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Field Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch
ET’s:  55 spp
Fall Banding Total:  507
Year-to-date Banding Total:  3,150

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