May 12th – Busy Day

The Field Studies building was a happening place. -SAW

I was at Fern Hill’s Burlington campus today. A good time to be there as we’re right into the heart of the migration, on the one hand, and into aggressive territorial defense on the other. So LOTS of bird activity…throughout the day. We are running just 4 mist nets and a couple of ground traps but, even so, we caught good numbers of birds. Faye Socholotiuk in Glancaster experienced the same thing. Before heading out in the morning to her teaching job she opened her 4 nets and was equally successful. [Results below]

Field Studies teacher, Alex Webb, with her first Baltimore Oriole. -DOL

I am very concerned with the proliferation of NDD in young people….well….most people. NDD, or Nature Deficit Disorder is a sad commentary on the disconnect between people and the natural world around them. MOST people can not identify 5 bird species, let alone insects and/or plants. How can we ask them to conserve the natural world if they don’t even know what it consists of!? I’m glad to be associated with a school program that takes this on as part of their curriculum – exposing students and staff to the small but bountiful ecology right around them. Bird studies and banding has become an important part of this.

Elsa, a Grade 7 student, has all the makings of a fine scribe – the first step in becoming a bander. -SAW

Programs that teachers take interest in are more readily endorsed by students. Keily O’Neil, SK teacher at Fern Hill lead her class by taking on (painlessly) a Northern Cardinal. -SAW

The school runs a number of nest boxes. Bluebirds are already emerging – this one (and its siblings) will be on the wing in just a few days. -SAW

Banded 49:
1 Least Flycatcher
5 Blue Jays
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
4 Gray Catbirds
3 Eastern Bluebirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 House Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch
3 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 Orchard Oriole

Male Baltimore Oriole. -SAW

3 Baltimore Orioles
7 Red-winged Blackbirds
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
2 Common Yellowthroats
7 Yellow Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
Species Encountered: 41 spp.

In Glancaster Faye runs 4 nets, 3 of which are located in shrubs bordering a small urban woodlot (fast becoming an endangered space under the relentless pressure of developers…and this provincial government). So it’s good that she’s monitoring what species are there and are using it. It begs the question: what will they do when it’s gone and there’s just houses?
Banded 22:
2 American Goldfinches
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

ASY male American Redstart. -FAS

1 American Redstart

Male Magnolia Warbler -FAS

3 Magnolia Warblers

Male Chestnut-sided Warbler -FAS

2 Chestnut-sided Warblers
2 Yellow Warblers
8 Swamp Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 Common Grackle


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