May 29th – Summer is Here!!

Yeah, yeah, I know…the official first day of Summer is June 21st but as far as the birds go it’s here (and for many, has been for some time). The migrants have gone through and what we’re catching now is local breeding birds. I can remember having this sort of discussion with the late John Miles and he would invariably remind me that there will be “late migrants going through for the next two weeks” – but it’s just not worth our while to keep open for that occasional straggler. Plus, I want to shift into MAPS banding (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) which has a different protocol and help Christine with her very involved Tree Swallow project so….Monday the 31st will be our last Spring 2010 Migration Monitoring day.
Monday is also my official last day of work as I’m retiring. Too honour this (I guess that’s the best way to put it), Faye Socholotiuk brought me a tray of delicious cinammon buns still warm from the oven! That obviously jumps her right up there in the Great Ruthven Banding Bake-off! I was giving serious thought to trying to eat them all myself but then remembered that it’s easier to walk rather than roll to the nets….So I shared them with Faye and Gord Armstrong, a student from Earthquest (who not only got cinammon buns but also the opportunity to band a Yellow-billed Cuckoo!).
It was really quite slow today so we had lots of time between net rounds. I wandered around to check out the archaeology dig that is going on on the grounds. If you’re interested in the history of the area in the 19th century it’s a neat thing to watch – and the students (from Laurier) are quite enthusiastic abouit answering any questions you might have…I believe there’s a special archaeology event on Saturday, June 19th. Bring your Indiana Jones hat and bullwhip.
I also rechecked the Eastern Phoebe nest in the Carriageway. There was a brand new hatchling in it and an egg – so getting rid of the cowbird/cowbird eggs may help their nesting success after all.

Banded 7:
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird

Retrapped 19:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Eastern Wood Pewee (originally banded as an AHY in the summer of 2008)
1 Blue Jay
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 House Wren
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Chipping Sparrow
4 Song Sparrows
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 56 spp.


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