September 21st – Happy Anniversary!

Stunning male Northern Parula

Yes, it’s the Fall Equinox – another year has passed us by and the days will begin to be shorter than the nights for the next 6 months. This ebb and flow of daylight is what drives the bird breeding cycle in the north temperate world. And here on the ebb the birds are heading south en masse. And those that live through the Winter (first year mortality is high, around 80%, in small passerines) will return with the returning sun. It’s an awe-inspiring thing to tap into.
We had a busy day handling 98 birds (70 banded; 28 retraps) of 29 species. The net rounds weren’t overly big, just steady. Interestingly, the trend for birds NOT to travel along the net 8-9-9A corridor continues – only 5 of the 98 birds caught were from those nets. I think this largely reflects the lack of grapes and other wild fruit in this stretch, especially grapes (which, last year, were plentiful in and around all three of these nets).

Cape May Warbler

It was sort of uncanny but we got our two “best” birds in the last net round when we went to close up: a stunning male Northern Parula and a very nondescript Cape May Warbler. You just never know what you’re going to get and when you’re going to get it.

Irene Schmidt hasn't lost her delight in birds - even at 92! -B. Fotheringham

We also had a delightful visit from one of our biggest fans, Irene Schmidt. She usually visits us in May to celebrate her birthday (her 92nd this year) but didn’t make it. We were quite concerned of course so were very relieved to see her pull up in her car (she still drives!!!) and spend an hour and a half with us delighting in each and every bird we brought to her.

Irene Schmidt - always a most welcome visitor.

Female (left) and male Ruby-crowned Kinglets

Banded 70:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Blue Jay
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 Gray Catbird
2 Red-eyed Vireos
5 Nashville Warblers
1 Northern Parula
5 Magnolia Warblers
1 Cape May Warbler
5 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Black and White Warbler
3 Common Yellowthroats
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Scarlet Tanager
3 Song Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows
24 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 54 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 1,001
Year-to-date Banding Total: 3,586

Photo Gallery (thanks to Bob Fotheringham):

Philadelphia Vireo -B. Fotheringham

House Wren -B. Fotheringham

Solitary Sandpiper along the river. -B. Fotheringham

Female Black and White Warbler -B.Fotheringham

Young Red-eyed Vireo (note the brown eye). -B. Fotheringham

We retrapped 5 titmice today. -B. Fotheringham

Bright male Nashville Warbler -B. Fotheringham

Magnolia Warbler showing the large tail 'stripe'.

Lime green back of a Fall Chestnut-sided Warbler -B. Fotheringham


Leave a Reply