July 14 – Blackie & Berry Shortcake

Another hot, sticky morning. At 7:00 a harried father drove into the parking lot and delivered a box to the banding lab. In it was “Blackie”, a young Common Grackle. The story is that Blackie was hurt by the neighbour’s dog but managed to excape into the next yard where two small girls rescued it and put it in the box with nice soft cloths, water and bird seed. One of the girls had visited Ruthven in the Spring with her Mary Poppins class and figured this was the best place for the bird to be if it was going to have a chance to make it. So…Dad was set upon to deliver it (or incur the wrath of his progeny was our take on the situation). We checked Blackie out pretty carefully. He had a wing injury but it didn’t appear to be broken and we figured he might just have a chance of making it. So we put a band on him so we’d know him if we ever saw him again and released him into the dense juniper where he could try to forage for insects. You just never know.

And the Berry Shortcake? Christine Madliger made it at home and brought it in to celebrate the end of her Tree Swallow data collection for the season. She and Chris were out every day for 70 days, often for 12-14 hours a day. A good thing to celebrate!

We had a couple of interesting retraps this morning:
We banded a female American Goldfinch in April 2007. We aged it as SY or in its second year – meaning that it was hatched in 2006 making it 4 years old. We retrapped it again in April 2008 but not again until today.

We also did a Red-eyed Vireo in May 2004. It was in at least its second year making it 7 years old anyway. We retrapped it again in May 2006 but then not again until today. You wonder where these birds were in the other years and why we didn’t catch them.

Banded 22:
1 Blue Jay
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 House Wrens
3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers
1 Wood Thrush
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
6 Yellow Warblers
1 Ovenbird
1 Common Grackle (“Blackie”)
1 Baltimore Oriole

Retrapped 22:
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 House Wrens
1 American Robin
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
4 Song Sparrows
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 48spp.


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