Migration Monitoring – April 24th, 2008

A group of enthusiastic and unsettlingly knowledgeable home school children visited Ruthven today, but sadly the birds mostly played coy. The one exception was our stellar population of Brown-Headed Cowbirds who decided, in the spirit of interspecies cooperation that they believe they are known for, to rush the nets and traps en masse for a chance to elucidate, educate, and nip our visitors.

With the warm weather lately the frost on several of the nets this morning was an unpleasant surprise.

Two species new for the season were recorded – Red-Breasted Nuthatch and Merlin. The latter burned over the lab picnic table with several Tree Swallows in hot pursuit and in the blink of an eye was gone.

The first Northern Brown Snake of the season was observed along the Carolinian Trail. This little brown snake is likely the most numerous snake at Ruthven. It is rather secretive and unobtrusive however so consequently sighted less often than the larger Eastern Garter Snake.

Banded: 14
American Goldfinch 1
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Red-Breasted Nuthatch 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
White-Throated Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 3
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker 1
American Robin 1
Red-Winged Blackbird 1
Blue Jay 1

Retrapped: 7

American Goldfinch 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
White-Throated Sparrow 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 2
American Robin 1

41 species


2 thoughts on “Migration Monitoring – April 24th, 2008

  1. Yesterday Jonathan Scholtens sighted a little brown snake along the side of the west wall of the building (not sure of its name or function) on the way to the picnic area near the river around 12:30 pm.

    Thank you again Brian for your patience with the “unsettlingly knowledgeable home school children”. We greatly appreciate it.

  2. Thank you so much for showing our homeschool group about bird banding. We had a wonderful time at Ruthven. Helping to release the birds was such a highlight.

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