May 21st and 22nd, with pictures

May 22nd

Cold and damp this morning with light northwesterly winds. I don’t think there was a lot of movement last night with these conditions. This was sort of confirmed by our catch this morning whereby we got considerably more retraps than we did “new” birds – 27 vs 18. Still, there was good variety around (61 species for ET’s) and, due to the weather, I could still wander peacefully through the forested parts of the census route without swatting at mosquitoes. There were more warblers around than found their way into the nets. Most noteworthy was a pair of Blackburnian Warblers (and maybe a 3rd with them) – the male was just stunning, like the photo from the Mother’s Day entry.

There were still a lot of swallows coursing low over the river. I would love to know exactly what insect(s) they are finding to feed on. Without this food source the swallows would be in a lot of trouble. Tree Swallows that are already nesting in our boxes are having a tough go of it.

Banded 18:
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
2 Yellow Warblers
3 Magnolia Warblers
2 Myrtle Warblers
2 American Redstarts
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
3 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 27:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 House Wren
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo bunting
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
6 Brown-headed Cowbirds
3 Baltimore Orioles
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 61 species


May 21st

Another cold, windy dreary day enlivened by a light shower that commenced after I had opened most of the nets. Thankfully it ended fairly quickly since there were many visitors scheduled to see our new digs and our avian goodies. All in all great weather for November but pretty abysmal for May.

Despite the weather bird activity was fairly constant throughout the day with a mixed flock of warblers being caught right at closing time. There was some excitement as a group of 4 Purple Martins showed interest in the martin house but they left again, likely to get a hot chocolate with midge sprinkles. Sixty-five species were encountered during the day with 12 species of warbler.

Empidonax flycatchers are a fairly drab group of remarkably similar looking species. In the field they are moderately easy to tell apart by call, but in the hand is a different matter. There are a whole series of arcane measurements and obscure formulae to run through, emarginations to look for, oracles to consult, and graphs to plot. Such was the case for the season’s first Acadian Flycatcher. Distinct in the field with an emphatic “peet” sneeze call, in the hand it looked like an Empid, only greener.

Also new for the season was Philadelphia Vireo.

Banded: 39
Blue-Winged Warbler 1
Magnolia Warbler 2
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Wilson’s Warbler 2
Chestnut-Sided Warbler 2
American Redstart 2
Nashville Warbler 1
American Goldfinch 2
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
Common Yellowthroat 3
House Wren 1
Traill’s Flycatcher 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Acadian Flycatcher 1
Canada Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 2
Philadelphia Vireo 1
Swamp Sparrow 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow 1
Swainson’s Thrush 1
Eastern White-Crowned Sparrow 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 3
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Grey Catbird 2
Red-Winged Blackbird 1
Blue Jay 3

Retrapped: 28
American Goldfinch 2
Magnolia Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 3
Chipping Sparrow 1
Northern Waterthrush 1
Indigo Bunting 1
Downy Woodpecker 3
Orchard Oriole 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 7
White-Breasted Nuthatch 1
Baltimore Oriole 2
Grey Catbird 1
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 3


Pictures from May 20th, from Michelle Kenny:

A Male Canada Warbler.

Michelle with the Canada Warbler.

A few shots of a Great Crested Flycatcher.




Photos of the Acadian Flycatcher banded at Ruthven on May 21st.




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