April 30th and May 1st, with pictures

Pictures have now been added to the April 29th post! (scroll down)

May 1st, 2008
May Day – Workers of the World Unite!

With this sentiment in my heart, driving me onward, I opened the frosted nets and watched them slide back down the poles. This caused me to exclaim a variety of epithets appropriate to the day – most of which didn’t have much to do with uniting workers. Although, I did see red.

It seemed kind of slow – the birds certainly didn’t seem to be aware of how momentous this day should be. We did see 3 “firsts” for the year – Gray Catbird, Bobolink, and Northern (or Baltimore) Oriole – and banded about 4 times more birds than Loretta did yesterday, but it still seemed slow and migrants were just trickling through the site. (Banding an Eastern Tufted Titmouse was a treat though.)

Jeff MacLeod was around this morning and he is trying to handle as many birds as possible with a view to getting a banding subpermit in the not-too-distant future and Gwen French arrived to help out and to perfect her scribing skills. Between the two of them I didn’t have a lot to do other than the census and thinking deep thoughts. And then Marilynn (Ruthven CAO) brought coffee and cake! So, it was a tough day for me. Basically I consulted around aging and sexing (I’m against the former and for the latter), watched birds and gave some thought to how this experience could be made even better with a hot tub…….

Banded 31:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Gray Catbird
2 Western Palm Warblers
7 Chipping Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
10 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 18:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 House Wrens
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
5 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 57 Species


The Eastern Tufted Titmouse
ETTI-1.jpg ETTI-2.jpg

We banded two Western Palm Warblers today.

This Lincoln’s Sparrow threw himself into a net twice today.

This Eastern White Crowned Sparrow was the first banded at Ruthven this year.

Ruthven’s first Gray Catbird of the year.

A Swamp Sparrow, banded today.

Jeff & Gwen processing the White-crowned Sparrow

We’re setting up a second area for processing birds within the banding lab–Loretta added this set of hooks yesterday.

April 30th

Well, if yesterday was “slow” today was “dead”!
It was a very cool -3C pre dawn, and warmed up a tad to 10 C by noon. Quite a pleasant day, really, but no birds!

As I was closing net #7 I looked up to see a Wild Turkey watching me. He was just 10 or 12 feet away and merely stepped off into the “Butterfly Meadow” in no real hurry. I had forgotten how big a bird they are.

Banded 8:
2 Chipping Sparrows
2 Field Sparrows
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
3 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 11:
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field sparrow,
1 Song Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
6 Brown-headed Cowbirds
1 American Goldfinch


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