Migration Monitoring – May 12th-15th, 2007 – – – – – – A busy few days!

Sorry for the delay in making this post–it’s been a busy week. It’s also been a busy week for the banding station at Ruthven. Look for pictures towards the bottom of this post
May 15th, 2007

Today was one of those days where I debated opening the nets. There were strong West winds, and there was a line of intense thunderstorms to the north of us, moving west to east, so that they looked like they would mostly stay clear of the station. And they did mostly stay clear. There was a short downpour just before 7am, after which the wind picked up. I could only run the three valley nets.

I half thought that there might be a fall out of migrating birds, as sometimes happens when there are thunderstorms at dawn. But this was not the case this morning.

Banded 17
1 Blue Jay
2 Grey Catbirds
2 Blue winged Warblers
2 Tennessee Warblers
1 Nashville Warbler
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 Black and White Warbler
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 6
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Baltimore Oriole
2 American Goldfinches

I did not see the Cerulean Warbler today, but then again, the wind might have been a factor.


May 14th

Rick opened today while I closed. A still, quiet, overcast day for the most part. Except for a brief flurry of activity during the day’s one light rain shower around noon it was fairly quiet on the banding front.

A female Hooded Merganser was observed in the river in front of the Mansion, marking the first record of the spring season for this species. A pair of Hooded Mergansers nested on the property last year in one of the nest boxes.

The Cerulean Warbler was still around the Thompson Family Cemetery this morning. It was actively flitting amongst the tree tops and being very vocal.

Banded: 59
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
American Goldfinch 7
Magnolia Warbler 2
Black-Throated Green Warbler 1
Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher 1
Nashville Warbler 1
American Redstart 1
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 10
Yellow Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 4
House Wren 2
Mourning Warbler 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Indigo Bunting 3
Yellow-Throated Vireo 1
Tree Swallow 1
White-Throated Sparrow 1
Orchard Oriole 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 1
Baltimore Oriole 2
Grey Catbird 4
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 3 (close to a record spring in banded totals for them – kind of a mixed blessing considering)
Red-Winged Blackbird 3

Retrapped: 20
Tree Swallow 1
Baltimore Oriole 5
Yellow Warbler 5
House Wren 1
Blue Jay 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
American Goldfinch 2
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Song Sparrow 1
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 2

Over 1500 birds have been banded at Ruthven Park this year.


May 13th

I was all prepared to write a vaguely self-pitying report about how everyone else was off enjoying Mother’s Day while I was out alone diligently banding the few birds that were found at Ruthven today, but Rick came along mid-morning and promptly found the most amazing Cerulean Warbler in the vicinity of the Thompson Family Cemetery. It by far overshadowed the other two new species found for the season today – Cape May Warbler and Chimney Swift – and is even better than the Sandhill Crane that made a brief appearance early in the morning that, until then, I had thought was pretty special.

Banded: 44
Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher 2
American Goldfinch 5
American Redstart 1
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 2
Nashville Warbler 1
Magnolia Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 4
Yellow Warbler 4
Common Yellowthroat 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Least Flycatcher 2
Western Palm Warbler 1
House Wren 1
Swamp Sparrow 1
Veery 1
Orchard Oriole 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Baltimore Oriole 3
Grey Catbird 6
Wood Thrush 1
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-Bellied Woodpecker 1

Retrapped: 21
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
Song Sparrow 2
Chipping Sparrow 1
Black-Capped Chickadee 2
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
American Robin 1
American Goldfinch 1
Orchard Oriole 1
Grey Catbird 1
Yellow Warbler 3
Warbling Vireo 1
Baltimore Oriole 4
Yellow-Throated Vireo 1


May 12th

A cool, strong NE wind billowed the nets and chilled the banders but did not dampen the enthusiasm of the MANY visitors to the banding lab….of all ages. Interestingly, two of the day’s most knowledgeable birders were kids. Oh to have their enthusiasm – run from net to net and display paroxysms of joy at the sight of a…a…..Song Sparrow or female Red-winged Blackbird. It was great to have so many interested people checking out Ruthven and its birds.

The winds billowed the nets and kept banding numbers down. However, we did band 45 birds of 23 species and retrapped another 22.

Banded 45:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Blue Jay
1 House Wren,
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Wood Thrush
6 Gray Catbirds
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
2 Blue-winged Warblers
4 Nashville Warblers
4 Yellow Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
3 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Bay-breasted Warbler
1 Northern Waterthrush,
4 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Baltimore Oriole
4 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 22:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch,
1 American Robin
1 Yellow-throated Vireo
8 Yellow Warblers
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
3 Orchard Oriole
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 65 species.


Some photos from Saturday:

Rick Ludkin, the head bander, and Irene Schmidt who was celebrating her 88th birthday this past weekend.

Loretta Mousseau, a bander at Ruthven and local beekeeper, gave a presentation on bees on Saturday, and it was quite well attended.

After Loretta’s presentation, there was plenty of scones and honey for everyone. However, it seemed that every time I went to get a scone…

A Red Admiral that was close to the river behind the cemetary on Saturday.

Pete Scholtens visited Ruthven on Saturday and took plenty of nice pictures. Here are a few that he shared with us:

Faye Socholotiuk removing a goldfinch from a net while being observed by some of Saturday’s visitors

Brian, one of Ruthven’s banders, and Irene Schmidt.

Peter Thoem ‘scribing’ at the banding station

Rick Ludkin, bander in charge, trying to impress the kids by pretending he knows something about birds

This guy seems excited to have an Orchard Oriole

And a few more of the day:

One thought on “Migration Monitoring – May 12th-15th, 2007 – – – – – – A busy few days!

  1. Pingback: Migration Monitoring May 16th, 2007 | Ruthven Park Nature Blog

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