May 26th – What Happened To Spring?!

It seemed to take forever before we got “seasonable” Spring weather. During those few days the long-distance migrants we had so anxiously been awaiting blew through. And here we are: right in the middle of Summer temperatures. What was the high today? 32? 37 with the humidex? Yikes!

Opening the nets before dawn has been pleasant – nice temperatures, stars high overhead and the start-up of the “dawn chorus”. It’s fun to try to pick out (and count) all the various species as they come alive with the coming sun and want to make their presence felt. And then POW! – the sun clears the horizon and all hell breaks out with birds chasing each other to declare who owns what territory and to dominate particular mates. By 8:00 o’clock you can feel the heat. The chasing doesn’t slow down….but the net rounds seem to. By closing time (around 11:00) the heat is hard to bear and you’re sweating like crazy (I was going to say like a fat pig but thought that might be somewhat…..offensive to some).

Most long-distance migrants that are going further north have already done so. There are still a few stragglers but the vast majority is well north of us. But migrants that will breed in the area – or will try to breed in the area are still arriving in good numbers. A lot of these are females; eg., we banded 8 Yellow Warblers this morning – most of them were females (young or SY females at that); the 5 Indigo Buntings we banded this morning were all females. And we’re still getting Baltimore Orioles! The 4 we got this morning pushes our total to 117 – tying the record set last year (one I thought we wouldn’t top).

May 25th; Banded 28:
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 American Robin
4 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
2 Tennessee Warblers
1 Yellow Warblers
2 Magnolia Warblers

Male Magnolia Warbler. -RSG

1 American Redstart
1 Mourning Warbler

One of the last warblers to arrive at Ruthven: Mourning Warbler. This is an ASY male. -DOL

1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
3 Baltimore Orioles
1 Orchard Oriole

A young, or SY (second year) Orchard Oriole. Note the bronze feathers beginning to moult in. -DOL

1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 60 spp.

May 26th; Banded 33:
1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. -RSG

2 Eastern Wood-pewees
2 Traill’s Flycatchers
1 Blue Jay
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
8 Yellow Warblers
1 Mourning Warbler (another ASY-M)
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
5 Indigo Buntings
1 Red-winged Blackbird
4 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 57 spp.
Other Pictures:

Here’s another look at that female Cerulean Warbler we go the other day. Such a beautiful, subtle blue. -RSG

The female Indigo Bunting also shows a subtle blue. -RSG

Female hummer coming into the feeder. -RSG

Quite a nondescript bird: Warbling Vireo. But its song is anything but nondescript. -RSG

Another “late” warbler at Ruthven: Wilson’s Warbler. -RSG


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