May 9th, 2008

As its been a week and a half since I last adorned the banding station it was with some curiosity that I pulled up the laneway before dawn. What wonders awaited, and which migrants have returned?

In a scant 10 days the character of Ruthven had changed dramatically. Trees have leafed out, some plants are in bloom, and a vicious cold wind cut through me like a knife. OK, so the latter is perhaps more reminiscent of March and early April, but it was definitely a wonder – if only in the I wonder what I’m doing out here so early in the cold and dark sense.

The dawn chorus was rewarding however, with many voices that were not there my last time banding.

A Ruthvenian Ode to Spring

Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz (it has since been mowed for the Open House)
I wonder where the net lanes is?

The cold wind likely restricted some bird movement so only 53 species were recorded on the day, but banding totals were the highest yet with a total of 83 birds being handled. Two new species were recorded, Veery (which of course was veery nice), and Chimney Swift.

Two of the retrapped Yellow Warblers were noteworthy. One was banded as an AHY-F in July 2000 (making her at least 9 years old) and the other was banded as an AHY-F in July 2002 (making her at least 7 years old).

Banded: 62
American Goldfinch 20
House Wren 3
Yellow Warbler 3
Western Palm Warbler 2
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 2
Tree Swallow 1
Indigo Bunting 3
Northern Waterthrush 1
Eastern White-Crowned Sparrow 3
White-Throated Sparrow 3
Orchard Oriole 2
Veery 1
Wood Thrush 2
Grey Catbird 4
Baltimore Oriole 1
Red-Winged Blackbird 2
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 6 (ouch!!)
Blue Jay 3

Retrapped: 21
American Goldfinch 2
Yellow Warbler 5
Chipping Sparrow 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Field Sparrow 1
Black-Capped Chickadee 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Tree Swallow 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 4
Orchard Oriole 1
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 1
Blue Jay 1


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