September 11th – Remembering 9/11

Gabrielle Leiher, Aurora highschool student, learning the ropes. - R. Beaumont

Hard to believe it’s 10 years since the horrific demolition of the Twin Trade Towers in New York. That was an interesting morning for me: it was a clear, sunny day at Ruthven. For several days the banding team members had been talking about all the jet trails that we were seeing overhead. Ruthven lies in-between the Toronto and Buffalo airports and seems to be under a major flypath for jets heading east-west. Some times we would see as many as 13 jets/jet trails in the sky at one time. The morning of 9/11 I was struck by the fact that I didn’t see any. I really thought it odd. When I got home in the early afternoon, my wife Marg called me from work to tell me, with great agitation, to turn on the television news, the Trade Towers had been destroyed. It then all made sense – all airplane traffic had been grounded.

I opened with Orion’s belt high overhead, a Great Horned Owl calling from the woods on the other side of the highway, and an Eastern Screech Owl calling in the valley below net 10. The early morning especially was slow going and picked up only marginally later – thank goodness for goldfinches! We did have a new bird for Ruthven though: a Prairie Warbler! It sort of made the outing worth it.

Rosemary Beaumont, after some coaxing, demonstrates her skills at banding. - R. Beaumont

Again, the slower pace allowed me to be able to teach some visitors that were keen to learn about banding and the process: Bev Trojnar (Grimsby) has caught on to scribing really well; Rosemary Beaumont (Paris) could be quite a capable bander down the road (especially if she got some glasses that allowed her to see up close), and highschool student and bird enthusiast, Gabrielle Leiher (Aurora), is another of the up and coming generation that could take my place in a few years. It’s nice that the pace enabled them to get the chance to learn.

Banded 26:
2 Eastern Wood Pewees
1 House Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
3 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 American Redstart
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Prairie Warbler
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Finch
9 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 12:
1 Gray Catbird
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Northern Cardinals
2 Field Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 48 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 21


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