May 2nd – Rampant Discrimination

It was a nice day to be outside – clear, warm, but not hot, and birds singing, trying to outdo the frogs. There were 35 visitors (human) this morning which added to the day. The main bunch was made up of a group of “Sparks” and their mothers. Sparks are the most junior level in the Girl Guiding movement. (What do you call a group of Sparks, anyway? A gaggle? A Fire? A pyjama party? What?)
Anyway, in keeping with the new millenium, which has seen the Boy Scout movement infiltrated by girls, I asked the moms if a boy could join Sparks. Initial dull silence as brows furrowed and hostile glares began to emerge focused on this…this… Well, to make a long story short and to get an uncomfortable situation over with…, they can’t. Seems sort of unfair, don’t it?
Christine, the Ruthven SAR (Species At Risk) girl, was out to help with the Sparks. When she’s doing work with kids she always wears this funky hat with all sorts of natural things on it – feathers, leaves, select droppings, carcasses, etc. She says, “The kids love it.” Maybe…the parents just think it’s nice we give her a place to go on her weekend passes from the funny farm…..
Otherwise, there wasn’t much excitement. It appears that not many ‘new’ birds have moved in but those that are here have stayed – we had 37 retraps vs only 24 banded. Nothing exciting either; those that came to see the Chat were disappointed.

Banded 24:
1 Tree Swallow
1 House Wren
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Nashville Warbler
5 Chipping Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
2 Pine Siskins
9 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 37:
1 Tree Swallow
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
1 Gray Catbird
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
7 Chipping Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
5 White-throated Sparrows
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Brown-headed Cowbird (originally banded as an ASY bird in 2004 making it at least 7 years old)
1 Purple Finch
5 Pine Siskins
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 51 spp


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