Banding Report – August 18th & 21st, 2007

August 21st, 2007  – Pictures to be added to this post soon. 

The great migration is on. We had a very interesting morning banding 22 species, 10 of which were warblers. The overcast skies, easterly winds and occasional light drizzle brought birds down and into the nets. For example, we banded 4 Easter Wood Pewees, a bird of the sub-canopy. All of the warblers were “HY” or hatch year birds (i.e., birds that were hatched this Spring/Summer). Are the adults ahead of them or are they lagging behind finishing off their complete moult – after fledging their young most species replace ALL their feathers before continuing south. This is a pretty costly exercise from an energy perspective.

The berry/fruit crop at Ruthven looks pretty good and should provide good habitat this Fall for migrants that need to put on fat to fuel their flight. Things are starting to get interesting.

Banded 47:
1 Mourning Dove
4 Eastern Wood Pewees
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 House Wrens
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
7 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Blue-winged Warbler
2 Chestnut-sided Warblers
2 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
2 Black and White Warblers
2 American Redstarts
1 Ovenbird
1 Common Yellowthroat
3 Canada Warbler
1 Savannah Sparrow (first of the year)
6 Song Sparrows
4 American Goldfinches (including the 1st HY bird of the year – with hordes to come)

Retrapped 11:
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Canada Warbler
2 Song Sparrows
1 Purple Finch


August 18th, 2007 

At opening time, before the sun was up, I thought I was living Rachael Carson’s “Silent Spring”  – a book from the 60’s that predicted the loss of song birds if unregulated use of pesticides continued. There were no birds singing. It wasn’t until 5:56 (Daylight Savings Time) that a solitary Northern Cardinal started to call…hesitantly. Several long minutes later I heard a distant Blue Jay and shortly after that a feeble Eastern Wood Pewee followed by a Chickadee. But the “dawn chorus” just wasn’t happening. The Summer is over folks….as far as birds are concerned. SoTime to finish moulting and head on out of here.

So I was kind of surprised when I banded 33 birds and retrapped another 14. There didn’t appear to be a lot of activity by birds were slipping by.

Banded 33:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2 Gray Catbirds
4 Warbling Vireos
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush
2 Canada Warblers
2 Song Sparrows
2 Common Grackles (out of a flock of ~100 that just missed the net)
2 Baltimore Orioles
2 Purple Finches (an adult pair)
3 House finches
5 American Goldfinches (all adults – the hordes of juveniles will be here any time…..)

Retrapped 14:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Downy Woodpeckers
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
4 Gray Catbirds
2 Song Sparrows
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 American Goldfinch


Leave a Reply