Migration Monitoring – September 12th, 2007 & Bar-tailed Godwits

There was a real nip in the air this morning. A mere 9C, combined with a gusty westerly wind. I immediately realized that I had underdressed…which sent me searching through the lost-and-found-stuff in the banding lab looking for more clothes! Beautiful sunshine at dawn soon warmed things up, and the wind actually diminished, so that it turned into a really pleasant day.

It was another busy day with lots more Blackpoll Warblers on the move. We have banded 69 in 3 days which must be a record for Ruthven Banding Station.

Midmorning, the sky was filled with a great kettle of raptors (I counted 48) An hour later at least 80 more, all very high, almost out of sight. And more again after that. Many Turkey Vultures were soaring lower.

I heard the kip…kip…kip of an Osprey outside the banding lab and peeked out just in time to catch him dive about 50 feet, swooping down at an immature Bald Eagle. All so exciting, but with 99 birds to band and a handful of retraps, I could not do the raptor count, or any bird count justice.

Banded 99:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Eastern Wood Pewees
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 White breasted Nuthatches
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 American Robin
2 Grey Catbirds
3 Red-eyed Vireos
2 Tennessee Warblers
9 Nashville Warblers
8 Chestnut-sided Warblers
5 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
19 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Black and White Warbler
2 Wilson’s Warblers
2 Scarlet Tanagers
1 Red-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
4 Purple Finches
29 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 12:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 House Wren
1 Philadelphia Warbler
2 Magnolia Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinches


It has been known for some time that Godwits are real superstars when it comes to non-stop long distance migrations. However, we didn’t know just how far those migrations could be until recently. Go read more about the 11,500kms non-stop trip taken by a Bar-tailed Godwit by clicking here.

2 thoughts on “Migration Monitoring – September 12th, 2007 & Bar-tailed Godwits

  1. No. The current # of Balckpoll Warblers banded so far is NOT a record ….yet. We’re at 69 and the record (2005) is 72. We should surpass that on the weekend.

  2. That means that this Godwit flew 57 kms/hour on her trip from Alaska to New Zealand.
    That is absolutely amazing.

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