Migration Monitoring
April 23rd, 2007

I’m going to be working with the blog template for the next while, so you may notice some weird stuff. Don’t worry about it.


A beautiful sunrise rewarded my early morning efforts, but there were few birds lining up for bands. The strong SW winds billowed the nets and hampered capture rates as well as censused birds. No Dark eyed Juncos, or American tree Sparrows were seen today. These birds have headed north over the past few days whisked along by a steady tail wind. And these same winds have blown in another new species for the season, one of my favourite summer residents at Ruthven, the Blue-grey Gnatcatcher.

The warm weather has pushed forth the flora at Ruthven as well. Blood Roots and Spring Beauty are blooming in the woods. Buds are breaking on the Weeping Willow trees, and a plethora of tiny insects will soon emerge. Can the Warblers be far behind?

Banded 10
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
2 Eastern Bluebirds
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White throated Sparrow
1 Red Winged Blackbird
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 2
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 White Breasted Nuthatch

I was extracting the female Bluebird from the net and the male was dive bombing me. On one of his near misses to my head, he miscalculated and ended up in the net as well. I’m sure that they are a new pair to Ruthven Park as they were unbanded, and I caught the female twice this morning. Birds that are resident on the grounds become aware of the nets, and learn to avoid being caught. Later I saw them checking out would be bluebird nest boxes on the property, but at the 2 boxes I saw them attempt to gain access to the Tree Swallows were putting the boots to them.


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