September 17th – Migrants Don’t Seem To Be In A Hurry

Philadelphia Vireo. -KMP

The ‘dog days of summer’ continue to impact our weather and subsequently, the activity of banding dries up pretty quick by mid-morning. The early morning hours are pleasant, and the first couple net rounds are the most productive. A nice mix of species today, but the banding totals continue to be low.

Banded 23:
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
6 Swainson’s Thrushes

One way to determine the age of a Gray Catbird is by checking the eye colour. If it is gray (as above) it is a young bird (hatched this Summer); if it is deep maroon it is an older bird. -KMP

2 Gray Catbirds

Philadelphia Vireo. -KMP

1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Magnolia Warblers
2 Bay-breasted Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Ovenbird
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 40 spp.

Young male Indigo Bunting starting to moult. -KMP

The same Indigo Bunting. -KMP

In the Fall Bay-breasted Warblers and Blackpoll Warblers look very similar. One way to tell them apart is by foot colour. The Bay-breasted (left) has gray feet and legs while the Blackpoll (right) has yellow. -KMP

Another way is to look at the undertail coverts. The Bay-breasted (left) has cream-coloured coverts which are comparatively short while the Blackpoll’s coverts are white and considerably longer. -KMP

This colour-banded chickadee was an escapee in the Spring when a predator (racoon?) tried to get into Josh’s enclosure. It has decided to remain in the area. -NRF

An anomaly: white feathers moulting in on “Josh’s Chickadee”. -NRF


Fern Hill Oakville:
As at Ruthven – a hot sultry day. There were a few long-distance migrants around that we caught but they were few and far between. The weather isn’t conducive to getting them to push on en masse (which produces the large banding numbers we sometimes see in the Fall). The important thing for me is that we had good birds to show to the 3 classes we had today, to get them thinking about the natural world around them and about the phenomenal physical feats some of these little birds make.

Banded 15:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker (also had a retrap from 2016)
2 Blue Jays
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Song Sparrows
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 26 spp.

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