September 5th & 7th: Fall Is Upon Us

The first Blackpoll Warbler of the Fall. -C. Scholtens

After the heat at the beginning of the month, the cloudy and unsettled weather was certainly a welcome relief. And it got the birds moving…….helped along by northerly winds and cooler temperatures. (I had to take a hurried trip to Cobalt over the afternoon of the 5th and through the 6th and it was quite cool, dropping to around 3 degrees at night. A sure sign to long-distance migrants that they need to get on the move!)

Great Crested Flycatcher. - C. Scholtens

The 5th was especially busy, both in terms of numbers banded (65) and the species observed (52). These included the first Blackpoll Warblers of the season. When they’re in the hand it’s interesting to contemplate the distances they are going to cover (and have covered just getting here!). They are headed for the northeastern states where they will fatten up, sometimes doubling their fat-free weight, before taking off over the Atlantic Ocean on an 84-hour non-stop flight to South America. Amazing!!

Today (the 7th) was a bit slower but with some interesting catches: a female Orchard Oriole, more Blackpolls, and 4 Scarlet Tanagers (all in drab olive ‘basic’ plumage). We managed to band 46 but observed only 42 species.

But there’s no doubt that the ‘big push’ is upon us and will continue non-stop for the next two months (although with daily fluctuations depending on the weather conditions the birds are facing).

Young Eastern Bluebird. - C. Scholtens

September 5th:

Banded 65:
6 Eastern Wood Pewees
2 Black-capped Chickadees
3 House Wrens
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
3 Eastern Bluebirds
2 American Robins
2 Gray Catbirds
3 Cedar Waxwings
1 Warbling Vireo
4 Red-eyed Vireos
2 Blue-winged Warblers
1 Nashville Warbler
4 Magnolia Warblers
7 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Scarlet Tanager
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
8 Chipping Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
9 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 52 spp.

September 7th:

Banded 46:
3 Eastern Wood Pewees
1 Least Flycatcher
11 Cedar Waxwings
4 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Nashville Warbler
3 Magnolia Warblers
3 Blackpoll Warblers
3 American Redstarts
4 Common Yellowthroats
4 Scarlet Tanagers
3 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
1 House Finch
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 42 spp.

An Osprey on his perch on the other side of the river. - C. Scholtens


A Blackpoll Warbler in the net. - C. Scholtens

Magnolia Warbler - one of the most common Fall warblers at Ruthven. - C. Scholtens


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