April 2nd – A Shortened Day and the HBO AGM

Christine Madliger describing the stress physiology of Tree Swallows

Christie Macdonald discussing the winter behaviour and connectivity of Snow Buntings

Although the nets and poles were a little frozen at dawn, it warmed up quickly and was very pleasant thoughout the morning. We weren’t able to take much advantage of this, however, as the Haldimand Bird Observatory (HBO) held its AGM at Ruthven. So the nets and traps were open for only a couple of hours – but there was enough time to do a census. Of particular interest was the arrival of the first Golden-crowned Kinglet of the year, which we banded. Also, on census, Peter Scholtens and I picked up 2 Common Loons flying over…..heading SW. This is quite early for them – we usually don’t begin to see them until the middle of April.

The AGM was quite successful with well over 50 people in attendance, most coming to see our two guest speakers: Christine Madliger and Christie Macdonald. Christine outlined her research involving stress physiology in Tree Swallows. She carried out (and will carry out again this Spring) this research at Ruthven Park. Christie co-ordinates the study of Snow Bunting wintering behaviour that involves the efforts of a number of banders in southern Ontario including the Ruthven Group (this year the group banded over 12,000 buntings!). Both are Master’s candidates at the University of Windsor.

It was wonderful to have so many interested ‘bird people’ out to Ruthven! This is what we hoped would happen when we started the banding program over 15 years ago. We’d like to thank the Ruthven Park board and staff for both accomodating and encouraging our efforts.

Banded 11:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Song Sparrow
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
3 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 7:
1 Downy Woodpecker
6 American Tree Sparrows

ET’s: 35 spp.


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