July 29th – No Sweat!

With the lack of bird activity in regard to trapping and banding, it was time to redirect our time to other activities. The nets were opened -a beautiful morning without the humidity and only a light breeze – but in between net checks we worked at losing weight, “sweating like fat pigs” (Rick’s terminology). The activities we did to accomplish this were: setting up a new net lane (actually an extension of an extension – we had put up a new chain extending from #8 down across the river flats and we added another double net in order to run it to the river); helping to plant plugs of native wildflowers in the butterfly meadow (this is a major project and, of course, is best done in the heat of the mid-morning sun…), and the never-ending chore of cutting the grass along net lanes by hand and trimming overhanging or intrusive tree branches. These activities helped us to prove the speculation that if you sweat enough you will turn into a raisin….

As mentioneded, we handled a low number of birds at Ruthven, just 15 – 10 birds banded and 5 birds retrapped. Before heading home later in the afternoon some time was spent across the road from Ruthven at the old barn. Two nests of barn swallows had young from a second brood. From the two nests four young barn swallows were banded. This brings the total number of barn swallows banded this summer to sixteen birds. (Barn Swallows will be a major project nest year. We just put up a large number of nesting platforms on the beams to encourage them.)

Banded – 14
1 Eastern Wood Peewee
2 Blue Jays
2 Gray Catbirds
2 Cedar Waxwings
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Song Sparrow
4 Barn Swallows

Retrapped – 5
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows


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