Migration Monitoring
April 9th & 10th, 2007

Pictures have been posted below the April 9th report. Special thanks to John Millman for sending the pictures of the Red-bellied Woodpecker and Tufted Titmouse. I’m still working with how the pictures should be displayed on this website so there may be some changes/additions in the next little while.
After an Easter weekend with miserable weather, and therefore no banding, a few good days of banding have been put in. I have a few pictures from April 9th, but won’t get to post them until tomorrow. Look for them then.

April 10th

Although it was -2 at opening time, there was no wind and as soon as the sun cleared the horizon it began to warm up…..a little, reaching ~+5 by noon. A good number of the juncos that were around yesterday seem to have departed (or at least left the area). Still, they were plentiful – we handled 34 (17 banded and 17 retraps). There was also a small movement of Golden-crowned Kinglets around as well.

We encountered 3 new species for the year: 2 Green-winged Teal, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 1 Purple Finch (which refused to throw itself into a net).

Banded 48:
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
9 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
1 Northern Cardinal
2 American Tree Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
17 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
12 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 32:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch,
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Field Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow (originally banded in 2002)
17 Dark-eyed Juncos
7 American Goldfinches

So, a busy day: handled 90 birds. Saw/heard 42 species in the course of the morning.

April 9th
Bad weather (in either Spring or Fall) tends to bring good banding to Ruthven Park. Birds look for shelter and food sources to tide them over until they can continue on their way. This 6-day cold snap has concentrated a number of birds at Ruthven – especially Dark-eyed Juncos. We estimated that there were at least 90 around the site – most in the vicinity of the 2 feeder “buffets”. During the day we handled a total of 56 (43 banded, 13 retrapped). All of these birds seem to be benefiting from the feeders: all were carrying good fat loads, even those recaptured birds that had been hanging around for the past 6 days. On the other hand, the Golden-crowned Kinglets seemed to be hurting – lower than usual amounts of fat than we’re used to seeing in these birds and some diminution of breast muscle mass, the result being lower weights. These are insect eaters and don’t benefit from the seeds at the feeders.

Although we were busy banding (in total we handled 94 birds), it wan’t a particularly “busy” day migration-wise – not much visible diurnal migration involving Tree Swallows, blackbirds, geese & ducks, etc. and no “new” migrants seen in the area.

We banded 68 birds:
1 Mourning Dove
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Blue Jay
4 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
1 Fox Sparrow
43 Dark-eyed Juncos
13 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 26:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Song Sparrow
13 Dark-eyed Juncos
5 American Juncos


John Millman took a few photos of a retrapped Red-bellied Woodpecker on Monday. Here is one of the bird in the mist net.


This is a happy Allison Furber holding the Red-bellied Woodpecker.



John Millman got these great shots of a tufted titmouse in Cayuga on Monday. It was near a feeder on a property at River Road and Irish Line.


We banded this Fox Sparrow on Monday. Note it has a chipped lower mandible. I bet that hurt.

This White-breasted Nuthatch was retrapped on Monday, and is probably a Ruthven resident.

This Field Sparrow was banded on Monday.

One thought on “Migration Monitoring
April 9th & 10th, 2007

  1. The bill injury sustained by that Fox Sparrow was an old one. It doesn’t seem to be impeding the bird to any degree as it was in good physical condition.

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