Migration Monitoring May 17th-19th, 2007

The Ruthven Park mansion is now open for daily tours, every hour on the hour from 11:00am until 4:00pm. Also, it is free to visit the park at anytime to enjoy it’s hiking trails and flora & fauna.

May 19th

A clear, cold evening led to a chilly morning with frost. The first couple of net rounds were fairly busy, but as the day heated up bird activity dropped off markedly.

Its not often that a recaptured bird is the most noteworthy bird of the day, but a banded Great Crested Flycatcher was caught that was originally banded as an adult on July 27th, 1999. The bird is at least 9 years old. His only other recapture record was on April 30th, 2004.

Banded: 39
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
American Goldfinch 2
Magnolia Warbler 4
Yellow Warbler 7
Common Yellowthroat 3
Indigo Bunting 1
Cedar Waxwing 1
Orchard Oriole 3
Grey Catbird 9
Baltimore Oriole 2
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 3
Northern Cardinal 1
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo 1
Common Grackle 1

Retrapped: 20
American Goldfinch 3
Yellow Warbler 2
Black-and-White Warbler 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Cedar Waxwing 1
Orchard Oriole 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Brown-Headed Cowbird 1
White-Breasted Nuthatch 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Grey Catbird 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Baltimore Oriole 2
American Robin 1


May 18th

I WAS ACCOSTED THIS MORNING!! Yes, for the first time this season, I was attacked by a mosquito – the harbinger of the the hordes to come. But I fought it off, much to its chagrin and continued on to enjoy the beauty of the day.

And it was a beautiful day! Lots of sunshine, blue skies and high puffy cumulus clouds. Most migrants, I think, took advantage of the conditions and motored on for places farther north. Although there was good variety around (64 species for Estimated Totals), not many of them were close to the nets. We managed to band only 16 and retrapped 11. However, there were some “new” birds around: Yellow- and Black-billed Cuckoos and Cedar Waxwings.

Banded 16:
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
5 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 Baltimore Oriole

Retrapped 11:
1 Least Flycatcher
1 American Robin
3 Yellow Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Indigo Bunting
3 Baltimore Orioles

Estimated Totals: 64 spp.


May 17th

The overnight rain and drizzle ended at dawn but for most of the day a raw wind was blowing that kept things down. There were fewer species in evidence at Ruthven today, mostly, I suspect, because they were hunkered down in sheltered areas.

The spring onslaught of Orchard Orioles continued unabated however, with four being captured at one time in a single net. One particularly dedicated (or possibly just awash in hormones) ASY male, despite being in the midst of extraction from the net, took powerful exception to another free-flying and singing male and launched into a full song/diatribe which I will refrain from translating for our many sensitive readers. Let’s just say I don’t think what he was saying was very pleasant.

Anyway, any day when the total number of Orchard Orioles handled equals the numbers of handled American Goldfinch is a good day.

Banded: 39
American Goldfinch 3
Blue-Winged Warbler 1
Magnolia Warbler 4
Chestnut-Sided Warbler 2
Tennessee Warbler 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 6
Common Yellowthroat 1
Black-Throated Blue Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 2
House Wren 2
Swainson’s Thrush 2
Song Sparrow 2
Baltimore Oriole 2
Grey Catbird 3
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 3
Blue Jay 1
Common Grackle 1

Retrapped: 27
American Goldfinch 1
Tennessee Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 7
Chipping Sparrow 2
Orchard Oriole 4
Downy Woodpecker 2
Song Sparrow 1
Baltimore Oriole 4 (one was banded as an HY bird on August 16th, 2001)
Northern Cardinal 1 (originally banded as a ASY on April 15th, 2004 – making her at least 5 years old)
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 4


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