May 7th – Fog on the River

There is something mystical about fog lying over the river in the thin light of dawn. In reality there was no mystery about it. It was cold this morning, 3C, and the river water temperature must have been warmer than the air, hence the fog.

It was a pleasure to have very little wind to deal with.

Today’s new species were Blackpoll Warbler and Red-eyed Vireo.

Banded 19:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Warbling Vireo
3 Blue-winged Warblers
1Nashville Warbler
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Yellow-rump Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
3 Orchard Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 13:
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
4 Chipping Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
3 Baltimore Orioles

ET’s: 54 spp.

I started to look at the history we have accumulated on one of our retrapped Song Sparrows. In August 2006, our first meeting, this bird was a juvenile, hatch year bird. He has been back to visit our banding lab 4 or more times every year since, for a total of 25 encounters. We know that it’s a male, and in his 5th year. He has had 4 successful migrations south, and back to Ruthven Park to breed. Sometimes it is easy to overlook this rather plain coloured bird for the more vibrantly clad Indigo Buntings, Orioles and Cardinals, but what would our summers be like without the Song Sparrows beautiful song? I feel fortunate and privileged to be able to handle these most delicate of Nature’s creatures, and to gain a small insight into their lives!


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