September 30th – The McMaster Connection

The first of three Mac biology cohorts to visit the banding lab this season – lots of fun. -DOL


I guess it goes way back to Marylene Boulet (now Doctor Marylene Boulet). Marylene wanted to work on a PhD involving Yellow Warblers but didn’t have any field experience. So she started coming out to Ruthven to learn. This connection lasted for a couple of years and when she put in the “good word” with the faculty there it continued. Dr. Pat Chow-Fraser picked it up and has run with it for many years now, bringing 2nd, 3rd and 4th year biology classes out for exposure to the science and art of bird banding/handling/study. There have been some great success stories come out of the connection (besides Marylene): Dr. Darryl Edwards is now a professor at Laurentian; Dr. Christine Madliger is doing post-doc work at the University of Windsor; Chris Harris runs the biology lab at the University of Windsor; Dr. Teegan Docherty is at a university in England (not sure what she’s doing); and Rhiannon Leshyk is with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Yellowknife.

Usually Pat is able to interest a dozen or so students each year to come out to the lab but this season 62 students signed up! Yikes. So we broke them down into 3 groups with the first one coming this morning. Maybe I’m just getting old….but I find their youthful enthusiasm invigorating and it certainly makes the future somewhat more hopeful.

A plethora of fungi. -EJC


We got a late start to the morning as we had to wait for the rain to peter out before opening. And it was the same pattern that we’ve been experiencing: slow and steady but with nice variety – including the first Golden-crowned Kinglet and Orange-crowned Warbler of the season.

Banded 31:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Red-breasted Nuthatches
1 House Wren

First Golden-crowned Kinglet of the Fall migration for us. -SEF


1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets

Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet. -SEF


1 Gray Catbird
2 Blue-headed Vireos

Another Blue-headed Vireo. -SEF


1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Bay-breasted Warbler
5 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
5 White-throated Sparrows

ET’s: 47 spp.

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