May 6th – A Day of Anticipation and Colour

The month of May, for banding, is always an exciting time because of the spring migration and the anticipation of seeing the influx of warblers and birds returning from wintering grounds. Some birds will stay and nest locally while others will continue to move further north to their breeding grounds.
With the strong/cool SW winds today, the nets were billowing both at the time of being opened and being closed. Yesterday evening there was an extensive band of heavy rain with thunder and lightening. Today, even with the wind gusting out of the SW, the day felt cool unless there was shelter from the wind. Some of the net lanes are sheltered and the wind wasn’t as much of a factor in these areas.

Despite the ‘quiet’ activity in the woods today with only a few warblers or returning migrants, it was still a positive day with some new birds being heard or seen around the Ruthven grounds, and a number of birds being caught in the sheltered nets producing quality birds for banding. Three new birds for the season that were observed included a Scarlet Tanager, an Eastern Kingbird, and a Yellow-throated Vireo. The two new birds banded were a Black-billed Cuckoo (also first for the year)and a Black-and-White Warbler.

There are two pairs of Purple Martins that continue to soar above and around the parking lot area. It’s wonderful to see them each day with the anticipation of a nesting colony being established where there are two ‘apartments’ ready for them to move in.

Banded – 28
Mourning Dove- 1
*Black-billed Cuckoo* – 1
Tree Swallow – 1
House Wren – 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet -1
Nashville Warbler- 2
Yellow Warbler- 6
Black-and-White Warbler- 1
Common Yellowthroat – 3
Chipping Sparrow – 3
Field Sparrow – 1
White-throated Sparrow – 1
Red-winged Blackbird – 2
Orchard Oriole – 1
American Goldfinch – 2

Retrap – 13
Tree Swallow -1
Black-capped Chickadee – 2
House Wren – 1
Yellow Warbler – 1
Chipping Sparrow – 4
Song Sparrow – 1
Red-winged Blackbird – 1
Baltimore Oriole – 2

ET’s – 61 birds!!


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