Migration Monitoring – April 7th, 2008

Another bright, warm spring day at Ruthven. The flood waters have begun to subside a bit along the river flats (leaving behind amongst the sundry debris a computer monitor) but the Carolinian Trail is still impassible in parts.

While there was little new in the terrestrial bird department – Eastern Meadowlark was new for the season – ducks abounded with an astounding 64 Northern Pintail, and new for the season American Wigeon and Blue-Winged Teal.

A small flock of Bonaparte’s Gulls flew downstream at closing time.

Frogs have finally started calling in the ephemeral pools, with Northern Leopard Frog and Chorus Frog giving voice to their spring urges.

Although this news broke too late for HBO’s AGM on Saturday, a well known member of the Ruthven banding staff has taken the first steps in a career change to author. The individual, who wishes to be known only by their pseudonym of “J.K. Ludkin” has penned the first of what is planned to be a series of books following the adventures of a young bander named Harry Pottertrap. On his eleventh birthday young Harry Pottertrap is mysteriously summoned to Goosepimples Academy of Bird Banding to begin his training in the dark arts of ringing. At Goosepimples Harry will learn to harness his wild identification skills, play “Squeamish” – in which players must ride a net pole in an effort to capture the elusive “Golden Finch”, and battle his nemesis, the evil Professor Snipe.

Published by the renowned Plagiarism Press, look for the first volume – Harry Pottertrap and the Philosopher’s Pliers – at disreputable banding stations everywhere.

Banded: 21
American Goldfinch 4
Slate-Coloured Junco 6
Black-Capped Chickadee 3
Song Sparrow 4
Eastern Tufted Titmouse 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 1
Northern Cardinal 1
American Robin 1

Retrapped: 16
American Goldfinch 1
Slate-Coloured Junco 5
American Tree Sparrow 1
Black-Capped Chickadee 2
White-Breasted Nuthatch 3
Song Sparrow 2
Brown-Headed Cowbird 2 (one was banded as a SY in April 2005 and not encountered since)


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