August 11th & 14th, 2007

August 14th 

Well…they’re gone.

Looked all morning for any sign of Yellow Warblers and couldn’t find any – they’re on their way to Mexico and Central America. We’ll still get the odd straggler from time to time but the large population of locally-breeding Yellow warblers is gone.

The day started off kind of quiet – a couple of Northern Cardinals and Eastern Wood Peewees calling from time to time but not much else…until the sun was well up and began to heat things up. For the day, there was an interesting mix of birds – 51 Species encountered in total. These included some returning shorebirds: Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, and a Least Sandpiper. These birds are taking advantage of the drought by feeding on the exposed gravel bars in the river just upstream from Slink Island. There was also a Green-winged Teal there.

Early on there was a good movement of swallows over the river. Most were either too high or too distant to make a positive identification but there must have been at least several hundred in the course of 2 hours. Most were following the river south.

Banded 29:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
1 Carolina Wren
1 Veery
2 American Robins
1 Gray Catbird
1 Warbling Vireo
2 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
7 Baltimore Orioles (6 caught within a metre of each other in the same net – an adult with 5 young)
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 13:
1 Blue Jay
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Warbling Vireo (origninally banded as a HY bird – September 15, 2005)
1 Red-eyed Vireo (originally banded as an AHY bird – June 5, 2005)
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Indigo Bunting (originally banded as an AHY bird – May 31, 2004)
1 Song Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole


August 11th Cashing In on “Beginners’ Luck”
I’m not sure of the science here but, visitors to Ruthven seem to attract interesting birds. With the “usual personnel” you tend to get the usual birds but bring in a visitor and all hell breaks loose….well, maybe not THAT dramatic but….today was a pretty good day.

The day started off with about-to-be-high school student Alanna Cavers showing up at the crack of dawn with mother Debbie. Alanna has an interest in birds and wanted to see what banding was all about. Debbie…well, maybe not so keen an interest but enough to get her daughter out early (and scribe with exquisite legibility).

The effort certainly paid off as we banded 35 birds of 17 species including some neat ones: an adult Yellow-billed Cuckoo [the colloquial name for this bird is “stinkbird” – I have kept the bird bag it was in so that if you want to find out the derivation of this name….], a young Eastern Tufted Titmouse (with the parent scolding outside the door), an adult female Swainson’s Thrush (the second of the summer – are these birds breeding in the area?), Blue-winged Warbler, Canada Warbler, a young male Scarlet Tanager and a group of 5 mixed adult and young Baltimore Orioles – in the same net. Altogether we encountered 52 species throughout the day.

Banded 35:
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 House Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Wood Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler (it seems our local birds have moved on)
1 American Redstart
1 Northern Waterthrush
1 Canada Warbler
1 Scarlet Tanager
2 Northern Cardinals
13 Song Sparrows
5 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 9:
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Gray Catbird
2 Song Sparrows
2 Baltimore Orioles


Leave a Reply