April 11th, 2006


A good number of new birds in this morning. However, due to prior commitments the station was closed down after 4 1/2 hours of operation with still a good number of birds moving through the banding area. While not banded, there were several MYWA present high in the trees, a PIWA was very vocal, as well as an ETTI.


MODO 2, BLJA 1, BRCR 1, WIWR 3, GCKI 36, RCKI 2, HETH 6, AMRO 1, ATSP 1, SOSP 4, SWSP 1, SCJU 2, AMGO 1 = 61



A beautiful day, though somewhat slow on the banding front. Rick opened and I closed. Rick had the first 3 COLO’s of the season flying northwards following the river and a small group of WITU near the cemetery. I had…2 Eastern Garter Snakes and calling spring peepers and chorus frogs? Hurrah for herpetiles! The first SAVS of the season also put in an appearance.

Two male TRES were captured together in Net 5, one new and the other a recapture. The recaptured bird was banded at Ruthven in 2002 as a breeding male and has been recaptured here almost every year since. The new TRES had a healthy fat reserve and is probably a recent migrant. Likely the latter bird was attempting to usurp a territory from an old established male. Subsequent recapture records may reveal how this plays out.


Recaptured 10: AMGO 2, BCCH, SCJU 2, TRES, SOSP 3, DOWO

3 thoughts on “April 11th, 2006

  1. For me, Spring is upon us with the passage of the Loons. More than any other bird at Ruthven, I anticipate their migration with keen interest. They conjure up pristine northern lakes far from our ‘civilization’ – wilderness. The flight over Ruthven is interesting. The main flight seems to show up between half an hour and an hour after the sun comes up. I would like to know their strategy. Do they spend the night (or several nights) on the inner bay of Lake Erie and then, with the arrival of the sun, take flight? What is their route from the mid-Atlantic coast/Chesapeake Bay to Lake Erie? Are they using the Grand River as a guide as they head north? At Ruthven, the river runs due north but within a kilometre swings to the northwest and then west as it goes toward Brantford. My sense (from watching them travel on into the distance) is that they are going straight north in which case they would soon hit the west end of Lake Ontario (they certainly would be able to see it from the air). Beyond that, Lake Simcoe or Georgian Bay would be a comfortable flight. When on Lake Erie, do they concentrate in the vicinity of the mouth of the Grand River? Although on a “big flight day” (I’ve counted as many as 75 on a single morning – usually toward the end of April), I’ve seen them winging north on a broad front – a few kilometers to the east or west of the river – for the most part they are within half a kilometre of the river. This wold be an interesting bird to track with radio or, even better, satellite transmitters.

  2. I was wondering what birds these loons were following. The blog states them as WITU but I can’t find that anywhere. Could someone enlightent me? Thanks. Glad to see spring finally enveloping us….jim

  3. I couldn’t find WITU either, so I asked Rick. WITU is for Wild Turkeys.

    One good way to find codes that you don’t know (other than using the link provided on our page) is typing the code into Google and doing an image search. It is necessary to select ‘image search’ using an icon above the bar which the search term is typed into. This search will produce only images, and, in my experience, there is usually an image of whichever bird the code represents.


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