May 29th, 2008

It’s nice when “old” colleagues show up. This morning it was Mike Alkema. Mike was a biodiversity student who did a banding-based project at Ruthven in the Summer of……2005? He also spent a fair amount of time entering a couple years of retrap data. After university he did some serious travelling – a couple months in Australia. I must say that his identification skills have certainly improved and he’s broadened his range to include plants – some even down to the Latin. (And here’s a guy who has problems with English!?) It was good to see him.
And when I got home I found a message from Kristen Niwranski (now Thompson), another “old” bander here. She sent a picture of her daughter Ashley, born in February – no wonder she hasn’t been out to help……
There are still some late migrants moving through but most of the birds around at the moment are pretty busy breeding/nesting. Mike found a Chipping Sparrow nest in a tangle of vines next to one of the rock walls and less than a meter off the ground. Many birds are carrying either nesting material to build their nests with or food for their young. We would like to locate as many nests as possible in order to band the young birds so that if they’re caught again we will know exactly when they were hatched and where they came from.
It was great for me to handle my first Blackpoll Warblers of the year. It always amazes me to hold a bird that makes such a marvellous migration – to South America and back. The flight there being an 84+ hour journey non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean!

Banded 21:
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
2 Gray Catbirds
3 Cedar Waxwings
4 Blackpoll Warblers
2 Wilson’s Warblers
1 Indigo Bunting
2 Field Sparrows
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped: 14
1 Eastern Wood Peewee (HY in 2005)
1 Tree Swallow
1 Blue Jay
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
4 Common Yellowthroats
1 Wilson’s Warbler
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds

ET’s: 61 species


Leave a Reply