The Arrogant Worms last night provided a wonderful kickoff to this weekend’s event.
Early Saturday morning was cool and partially cloudy and….we had a large group of post-grad students from the University of Windsor and Trent University with us to learn the whole banding thing – including opening the nets. They were very keen and, as the morning wore on, increasingly competent in extracting birds from the nets, identifying them and banding them. And they were great at involving members of the public, from young children to quite mature folks, in the process. This produced a warm and ‘fuzzy’ atmosphere in the banding lab that everyone came away from feeling good about.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the presence of 4 of my 6 sub-permit holders at the lab: Loretta Mousseau, Marylene Boulet (who came from Sherbrook Quebec), Darryl Edwards (down from Sudbury), and Nancy Furber. Plus, Christine Madliger and Chris Harris (who cut their banding teeth at Ruthven), Faye Socholotiuk, who will be a sub-permit holder in the not-too-distant future, and Mike Furber, HBO member and Master Permit holder, were helping out – no wonder the students were doing so well with that sort of supervision.
With an event of this nature, especially a first try at it, you’re always nervous that no one will show up; that the wonderful slate of top-line speakers that you’ve assembled will be speaking to empty rooms; and that the hikes you’ve arranged with knowledgeable leaders will be lonely for the leaders. This was definitely not the case. A conservative estimate put the attendance for Saturday at 175 (personally, I think it was more) and not only were the talks attended but were done so enthusiastically. We had all kinds of positive comments (and if you have any, please pass them on).
The dinner Saturday night was attended by 65 folks who not only enjoyed a great meal but listened attentively to Dr. Bridget Stutchbury’s talk about elements from her new book: The Bird Detective.
Sunday morning the students were just a little slower arriving and most of the nets were open before they made it to the lab (and the Trent students, like yesterday, declined altogether to even try to make it out before the sun rose….). The numbers of visitors – ~125 – were not as high as Saturday but they were just as keen and the day went off without a hitch. By the time 5:00 PM rolled around I was exhausted – like one feels after playing a big game – but feeling very good about it all……and starting to think about what we could do differently next year to make it even better (suggestions welcome).
Bird-wise, it was pretty average – 63 birds handled on Saturday and 71 on Sunday.
Saturday, September 18th Banded 44: Sunday, September 19th, Banded 51:
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Black-capped Chickadee 1 Brown Creeper
1 Brown Creeper 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets 6 Swainson’s Thrushes
2 Gray-cheeked Thrushes 1 Wood Thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush 5 Gray Catbirds
4 Gray Catbirds 5 Cedar Waxwings
4 Cedar Waxwings 1 Warbling Vireo
1 Philadelphia Vireo 1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Red-eyed Vireo 3 Nashville Warblers
4 Nashville Warblers 1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler 1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler 7 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler 1 American Redstart
2 Bay-breasted Warblers 1 Common Yellowthroat
5 Blackpoll Warblers 1 Scarlet Tanager
1 Wilson’s Warbler 3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 Song Sparrow
4 Chipping Sparrows 3 White-throated Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow 4 House Finches
1 White-throated Sparrow 3 American Goldfinches
6 American Goldfinches
September 18th, Retrapped 19: September 19th, Retrapped 20:
2 Black-capped Chickadees 2 Black-capped Chickadees
3 White-breasted Nuthatches 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Swainson’s Thrushes 1 Wood Thrush
1 Gray Catbird 2 Gray Catbirds
2 Magnolia Warblers 1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Scarlet Tanager 2 Magnolia Warblers
4 Chipping Sparrows 3 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Song Sparrow 1 Black & White Warbler
3 American Goldfinches 1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinches
ET’s: 56 spp. ET’s: 52 spp.