April 7th – On the Move

Female and male Eastern Bluebirds - probably a breeding pair caught at the same time in the same net

First Hermit Thrush of the year.

It was cold early on and everything was shrouded in a heavy fog – so you could hear birds well enough but seeing them at any distance was difficult. It stayed like this through most of the morning but eventually the sun burned its way through and it warmed up…much to the delight of the Chorus Frogs who began to sing with gusto (or is that lusto?); of the midges that emerged in swarms; and of the Tree Swallows that were eating the midges and checking out the nesting boxes beside the parking lot and on the river flats – they are determined to start nesting before Christine can get here to monitor them (diabolical little cusses!).

Birds had been on the move during the night as we had 4 new species for the year: Winter Wren (singing along the stream below net 2), Hermit Thrush, Field Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow. We had our highest banding total of the season so far – a modest 25 – and the highest species total – 40. Our species count would have been higher if the river had not been so high (a consequence of all the precipitation we’ve had of late). I find that when the river goes up, our count of waterfowl goes down. Of course, it was pretty foggy when I did the census who knows….?

Banded 25:
2 Mourning Doves
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 Hermit Thrush
2 American Robins
2 American Tree Sparrows
8 Song Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 20:
1 Downy Woodpecker
6 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 American Robin
1 American Tree Sparrow
4 Song Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 40 spp.


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