April 21st – A Mix Of News & Pictures

A pair of Wood Ducks. Soon the hen will be hard to find as she will be spending most of her time incubating eggs….usually in a tree cavity. -DO

Cross-country (SNBU) Check-up Addenda:
Hi Rick,
I’ve seen groups of Snow Buntings April 10 and April 13 in the Western Newfoundland region along the TransCanada Highway between the turnoffs to the communities of Gallants and Stephenville. At least 2-3 groups of 10-20 birds as I was driving through, but unfortunately I did not have the time to stop and look for banded individuals, or do any banding. If I hear birds are still in the area this coming weekend, I will try to take a drive out that way.
Bruce Rodrigues
Western Newfoundland

And…..somehow I forgot to add Nancy Furber’s and my Snow Bunting results:
We had lousy snow bunting conditions for most of the season – we need snow on the ground and cold temperatures or we just don’t see them. We got a few small windows of opportunity: 2 days in early February and 3 days toward the end of February during which time we banded 121 Snow Buntings, 18 Horned Larks, and 2 Lapland Longspurs. For perspective, in a ‘good year’ we will band that many birds in a day….
Rick Ludkin
Hagersville Area, far southern Ontario

News from Fern Hill School Oakville Campus – where everything is virtual:

Devika giving her presentation on the (plastics) plight of the Flesh-footed Shearwater – this Young Ornithologist (she’s only in grade 4!) could well become an Old Ornithologist. -KAP

Hi Rick!
I wanted to share that last week during our online Field Studies class one of my amazing students, Devika, surprised me with several pages of her own research about the Flesh-footed Shearwater. All on her own, she researched how this sea bird has been severely affected by consuming plastic waste. I suggested we share her learning with the school. This week is Earth Week and Devika created an excellent video that shone a spotlight on the plight of the Flesh-footed Shearwater, and thus raised awareness about all birds who are severely impacted by human plastic waste. Her video was featured in the morning announcements along with several classmates who are encouraging and challenging our school community to track and reduce our plastic. Devika is a regular of our Young Ornithologist group and her passion for the environment is truly inspiring. I am so proud to be the teacher of so many amazing students!

People have been sending me photos from their walks/homes and I’ve been holding onto them for the last week:

Bloodroot – a common early wildflower. -KMP

Two female Common Mergansers winging their way up the river. -KMP

Eastern Towhee – the photographer says she’s very proud of this picture, she’s not lying. Justin saw one in Georgetown as well – he’s not lying either. -KMP

Cryptic Hermit Thrush – an earlier returnee but I’ve yet to see one this season. -KMP

Myrtle Warbler – another early migrant I’ve yet to see….. -MMG

Killdeer – probably wondering why it left the balmy southern beaches for our current weather. -KMP

Juvenile Bald Eagle. -KMP

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker checking to see if the coast is clear. -KMP

Song Sparrow – one of the commonest birds in our area. -KMP

Tree Swallow taking ownership of a nesting box. -KMP

Tree Swallows with feathers fluffed out to conserve heat. -MMG

Just can’t get used to seeing ducks sitting in trees….even Wood Ducks. -KMP

Wood Duck eggs in a nesting box. -KMP

Justin turned up this early Brown Thrasher in the Georgetown area. -KV

A good look at a Cooper’s Hawk. -KV

A bird in the hand….Male Sharp-shinned Hawk. -MMG

A bird in the tree…..Sharp-shinned Hawk. -MMG

American Robin collecting nesting material. Some robins in my area have the nest built already and are sitting on eggs. -MMG

Black-crowned Night-heron. -MMG

Double-crested Cormorant flying over the river. -MMG

Mourning Dove – likely a female. -MMG

Check out rural fence posts for these guys: Savannah Sparrow. -WF

Ruthven’s “signature” bird: Tufted Titmouse. -MMG


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