October 15th – A Leafing Bee

From an evolutionary standpoint, the main thing that separates we humans from the other apes is our ability to co-operate as a team to perform tasks – specifically, to run a banding program (that being the pinnacle of development….). This was clearly demonstrated today when the five of us (myself, Loretta, Nancy, Maggie Ker, and Eric Bauer) teamed up to process 170 birds (143 banded; 27 retraps) while entertaining/educating 46 school kids and their teachers – either one of which can be a monumental task. And we did it with seeming ease. When it came time to close and the effects of the frost 2 days before and the high winds this morning had resulted in nets full of leaves, we worked together to clear the nets quickly. Our “leafing bee” at Net 8R (which took me over 2 ½ hoiurs to clear on my own several days earlier) emptied the net in just 15 minutes. In fact, it was such a pleasurable task that the air was filled with tunes from the Sound of Music rather than my colourful epithets.

The big influx of birds today was most certainly due to their resumption of migration after yesterday’s bad weather. We’ve been catching a lot of Cedar Waxwings of late. Interestingly, they seem to forage in the treetops earlier in the morning (catching the early morning sun?) and lower in the later morning – which is when we get most of them.

Banded 143:
8 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Brown Creepers
2 Winter Wrens
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Eastern Bluebird
2 Hermit Thrushes
4 American Robins
31 Cedar Waxwings
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
14 Myrtle Warblers
2 Chipping Sparrows
2 Fox Sparrows
7 Song Sparrows
3 Swamp Sparrows
28 White-throated Sparrows
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
22 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 Purple Finches
1 House Finch
4 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 27:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Hermit Thrushes
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
4 White-throated Sparrows
8 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 40 spp.


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