Migration Monitoring
April 14th and 15th, 2007

Note: McMaster’s Biodiversity class visited on April 14th. Look for pictures of their visit during the next few days.

April 15th

What’s with this weather!? Another cold, blustery day. Due to the high winds and the on again, off agian light drizzle/sleet/snow, I didn’t open any nets but made due with well-baited ground traps and stuck it out for 3 hours….enough time to do a census and catch a few birds.

Banded 3:
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 Brown-headed Cowbirds

Retrapped 15:
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow (1 of these was banded in 2002)
10 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Red-winged Balckbird (banded in 2004)

Estimated Totals: 36 species (including 2 Bonaparte’s Gulls – new for the year)


April 14th


Well….as it turns out….just 6. Yes, it was the annual visit of McMaster’s biodiversity class – a morning’s exposure to bird studies/banding in preparation for the Fall’s more intensive activities and, possibly, to interest a few in projects/theses involving the ecology of Ruthven Park.

Now, we have had outstanding individuals from previous classes: Teegan Docherty and Rhiannon Leshyk come to mind. But today’s group is certainly the best “conglomerate” (if you will) that we’ve seen here so far. It was…almost…..exciting….It’s always neat when a student WANTS to band birds or try to extract them – today, everyone seemed keen to give it a try. Of course the major test is the erection of the #4 net chain. This is what, in my mind, separates the wheat from the chaff. No chaff in this group! We had that sucker up in no time. I’m looking forward to them returning in the Fall!

It was a pretty busy day for this time of year – lots of retraps! In all we handled 69 birds, banding 28 and redoing 41 retraps, a large majority of which were Juncos. These guys have figured out that there’s easy food in the traps. So why head north when the weather’s iffy when we can chow down at Ruthven. Yeah, you have to get handled, have a few measurements taken but what the hey, good food!

It was also a good day to be a bander at Ruthven as it was “Volunteer Appreciation Day”. This involved great muffins and fresh fruit, coffee or tea. Every banding day should be like this. It would certainly go a long way in making ME feel appreciated!

Speaking of appreciatated: Peter Thoem came out to take the students on census. Peter was a regular for several years helping us with the census. But since getting elected to municipal office in Burlington he hasn’t had much time to spare…..or at least that’s the story. He doesn’t seem to have lost his touch.

Banded 28:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Brown Creeper
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet,
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Fox Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
7 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
9 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 41:
3 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
4 American Tree Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
25 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 American Goldfinches

Estimated Totals: 38 species encountered (including a group of 5 Common Loons)

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