May 9th – Put Another Log On The Fire!

Male Yellow Warbler seems nonplussed by the conditions as he sings his heart out in the willow just outside the banding lab. -MMG

Wow! What weather we’ve been getting. I could have sworn that it was late November – if it hadn’t been for the migrant bird species all around. I must confess that I’ve been doing some banding but it’s been tough slogging with an ample supply of cold and wind. Hard on me and certainly hard on the birds. But as long as they can find food things will be ok. I banded 2 very different species on May 5th: Western Palm Warbler and Eastern White-crowned Sparrow. I recaptured one of each today and both had increased their weights by over 14%. The sparrow was more understandable for me as it eats seeds and we’ve had a number around the feeders taking advantage of any spillage. But the Warbler was surprise as insects seem (to me at least) to be in short supply. Evidently not that short.

It’s been a LONG time since baked good crossed the banding lab threshold but WOW! Pineapple upside-down cake – thanks Carla!. -MMG

It’s not just birds that benefit from supplemental feeding. There’s been a marked lack of baked goods at the banding lab. But the spell was broken today with this amazing cake. If I was a migrant I should be able to put in another few hundred kilometers…..
A few people have sent me pictures over the past few days and Marnie (who brought the cake and did a census) took some today. I’ll break them up into groups: earlier in the week and today:
This week

Tree blossoms and blue skies – a reminder of what May could be like….. -MMG

Mink are elusive but regular visitors at Ruthven. Last year one specialized in catching chipmunks along Rick’s Rill. -CB

Baltimore (and Orchard) Orioles are back and making their presence felt. Our grape jam feeders need filling twice a day. -DO

White-crowned Sparrows are moving through right now and finding local feeders to fatten up for the long flight to the north. -JG

Baltimore Oriole in flight. -LET

Black-capped Chickadees love black-oil sunflower seeds. -LET

Earliest of the vireos: Blue-headed Vireo. -LET

King of his domain. -LET

Chipping Sparrow. -LET

(Male – black “eyebrows”) Blue-grey Gnatcatcher. -MMG

Trilliums caught in the act – NOT practicing physical distancing. (This pic was taken in the Burlington area; Ruthven’s lone Trillium is more law-abiding.) -MMG

Chipping Sparrow. Reddish cap with black and white eye stripes: an easy sparrow to identify. -MMG

From Today:

The historic mansion obscured by a fierce snow squall. -MMG

Caspian Tern hunting. -MMG

Caspian Tern leaving the water after a miss. -MMG

The local deer have learned NOT to run into the nets – a real plus! -MMG

Eastern Kingbird braving the weather down in the river flats. -MMG

Checking the weather – our resident Eastern Screech Owl -MMG

Mother Killdeer has been benefiting from the Covid-19 shutdown – no traffic around her nest. -MMG

Male Myrtle Warbler putting in time until he can continue north. -MMG

Osprey against a blue sky – which lasted for about 10 seconds before returning to overcast with snow. Funny weather. -MMG

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Is he regretting leaving Colombia? At least at the moment. -MMG

Tree Swallows hunting along the river bank for anything they can find – likely midges. -MMG


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