Migration Monitoring
April 19th, 2007

A still morning with a clear blue sky today. The overnight ground frost quickly melted and the temperature was pleasant throughout the day.

The red epaulettes of male Red-Winged Blackbirds passing overhead appeared incredibly vibrant against the clear blue sky, a sure sign that the past few days have been perhaps too overcast.

Chorus frogs and Northern Leopard Frogs began calling as the day warmed up, and several Mourning Cloaks and a lone Eastern Garter Snake made appearances.

There seems to have been some movement in the winter resident population overnight as Slate-Coloured Juncos (Ruthven subspecies Junco hyemalis freeloaderii) were not as evident. Even still, a dozen were recaptured.

Few new migrants were in evidence, although the maniacal laughter of several new Northern Flickers was heard ringing throughout the park. A Cooper’s Hawk half-heartedly chased a pair of Brown-Headed Cowbirds down the front drive of the mansion, and a Rusty Blackbird was heard calling as it passed overhead. A couple of Bonaparte’s Gulls were observed flying upriver as well.

Banded 16:
Golden-Crowned Kinglet 2
Brown Creeper 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Slate-Coloured Junco 1
American Goldfinch 8
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 1
Red-Winged Blackbird 1

Retrapped 21:
Golden-Crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
American Goldfinch 3
American Tree Sparrow 1
Slate-Coloured Junco 12
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-Winged Blackbird 1

The Red-Winged Blackbird was banded as an adult female on May 29th, 2005 and has not been recorded since, while one of the American Goldfinch was banded as a second-year bird on April 11th, 2004 and was one of the first birds I ever banded at the Ruthven Park Bird Banding Station.

It is very possible that the first bird Rick banded is still flying around somewhere at Ruthven Park, but unfortunately Archaeopteryx are now only rarely encountered, and then usually after special occasions such Ruthven’s Scotch Tasting Evenings.


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