April 25th – April Showers

“April showers bring May flowers”, so it goes. There’s a corollary to this snippet of wisdom that runs something like: “April showers mean banders can stay in bed”. However, as there was a possibility that guest bander Audrey Heagy might not know this corollary I got up. Fortunately, when I checked, Audrey had e-mailed me to say she wasn’t going to make the long drive from Port Rowan in these kinds of conditions – good choice! So I went back to bed. However, I like to try to get out daily to note any new birds moving through so I went out about 8:00 to do a census and run the traps (leaving the nets closed because of the rain). I encountered the first White-crowned Sparrow for the season and noted that White-throated Sparrows are starting to move through as well. No warblers or other long-distance migrants yet to speak of though.

There’s an interesting disconnect, based on global warming, playing out now. There are a lot of ‘tents’ full of little catepillars on many of the shrubs. But the birds that would benefit from them – long-distance migrants – haven’t arrived yet to take advantage of them. And these catepillars might inflict a lot of damage on the vegetation before their avian predators do get here.

Banded 6:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds

Retrapped 9:
6 Chipping Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed junco
2 Brown-headed Cowbird

ET’s: 38 spp.


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