May 31st – The Fat Lady Has Sung

Red-eyed Vireo gleaning the underside of the leaves. -MMG

Yes, her dulcet tones reverberated over the banding area as we took down the nets at the end of the morning. It’s time. Most of the migrants have passed through. Continuing to band would only interfere in nesting – keeping females from their nests/eggs. It’s necessary to let them concentrate on the major job at hand – continuing their gene pool – and for us to rest up and begin to plan for the Fall season. (It might seem a long way off at the moment but it will be upon us before you know it.)

Net-opening time is accompanied by the “dawn chorus”. It’s interesting how the makeup of the birds generating it change as the season progresses. Today there were the usuals (robins, song sparrows, titmice, etc.) but they’ve been joined by the long-distance nesters: cuckoos, wood-pewees, vireos (red-eyed, warbling, and yellow-throated), and Indigo Buntings. It was even so quiet this morning that I heard Blue-winged Warblers! Usually I don’t pick them up – age or something….hardening of the ear drums…..

We ended up banding 1,675 birds of 90 species. Although our April was terrible (over 200 birds below the 10-year average – 489 vs 693), both the May (1,186) and overall total were above the 10-year average (1,120 and 1,622 respectively).

The most noticeable thing that was missing was the camaraderie from the gathering of like-minded individuals enjoying the birds, the migration and each other. I’m not sure this is going to change quickly but it will eventually and I think it’s important to try and keep things going in a limited way until there are improvements.

Banded 18:
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
2 House Wrens
3 Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings continued to move into and around the site – still migrating. -ELO

1 Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo. -ELO

4 Indigo Buntings

Female Indigo Bunting. -MMG

1 Eastern Towhee

A pleasant surprise – a male Eastern Towhee. The 2nd one we’ve banded this Sparing. -DO

1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 57 spp.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo. -MMG

Black-billed Cuckoo. -MMG

The Purple Martin colony seems to be doing well; we’re seeing 16+ birds daily now. -ELO

There are still some hangers-on; in this case a male Chestnut-sided Warbler. -KV

Columbine in Carol’s Garden. -MMG

We’re seeing deer almost every day. The lack of people on site seems to have made them less wary. -MMG

Red Fox patrols the far side of the river. We are seeing them there regularly. -MMG

There’s no question: Purple Martins prefer the “gourds” to the metal boxes. -MMG


1 thought on “May 31st – The Fat Lady Has Sung

  1. We are in the Kawartha Lakes region and have (sadly) noticed significantly fewer red wing black birds. Wondering if Ruthven numbers have reflected this, and if this has been observed in other southern Ontario areas. Thank you.

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