October 17th-20th with a few pictures

October 20th

It was “Leaf Appreciation Day” at Ruthven Park this morning and large throngs of eager leaf peepers were anticipated. In order to assist the viewing I came up with a cunning plan. Most leaf appreciation events suffer from the fact that at canopy level leaves can be indistinct. What better way to see the leaves than at eye level !? With this in mind I laboriously festooned the nets with a wide variety of leaves in every shape, colour, and pattern imaginable. In that way our visitors could look in awe at the delicate beauty of the leaves’ veination and scalloped edges, and gain insight into the tenacious grip of their stems. This would end up being the best leaf appreciation event ever!

Sadly the event was cancelled at the last moment so I had to remove all the leaves before closing time. Perhaps next time. I think I’m on to a winner here.

In amongst the leaves in the net I miraculously found several birds that had become oddly tangled. These included the season’s first Eastern Towhee and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Also observed were the season’s first Fox and Vesper Sparrows and a Peregrine Falcon that made a high speed pass over the station.

38 spp. observed.

Banded: 38
American Goldfinch 2
Brown Creeper 3
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Field Sparrow 1
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 2
Slate-Coloured Junco 2
Black-Throated Blue Warbler 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 9
White-Throated Sparrow 10
Brown-Headed Cowbird 2
Hermit Thrush 1
Eastern Towhee 1 (HY-M)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker 1

Retrapped: 19
American Goldfinch 2
Black-Capped Chickadee 4
Slate-Coloured Junco 8 (including 1 SY-M banded this spring – perhaps returning to the area to over-winter)
Swamp Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 2
Hermit Thrush 2


October 19th

It was a foggy, cold early morning – the nets were frozen shut and the poles were slick with ice. I had to wait about 3 hours before I could open any of them and when I could I only opened 4 – pure sloth on my part. (Plus the frost had caused the trees to release their remaining leaves and the were falling like rain and since I had to make a fast getaway this morning I only opened 4.) There was a lot of activity in front of the Mansion again today topped off by an immature Bald Eagle begging/bothering an adult parent. The latter was sitting in one of the big spruces out front.

Banded 14:
1 Blue Jay
5 American Robins
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 Purple Finches
1 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 6:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Hermit Thrush
2 Dark-eyed juncos
2 American Goldfinches

: 36 species


October 18th

It was a very “busy” morning. The Scholtens kids and Campanelli kids arrived at 7:30 and hit the road running. They were followed about an hour later by members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Naturalists Club. Thank goodness the banding lab has been enlarged. Even so, it got a little claustrophobic when everyone crowded around to watch the banding. Fun though and the time sure goes quickly. Although we banded 46 birds there wasn’t much variety around – only 28 species for ET’s.

Banded 46:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Brown Creeper
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
9 Hermit Thrushes
5 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
6 Song Sparrows
11 White-throated Sparrows
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 Purple Finches

Retrapped 13:
1 Downy Woodpecker
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Song Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 28 species


Here are a few pictures taken by Pete Scholtens. (Thanks for sending them, Pete).


A Hermit Thrush.

A Female Northern Cardinal.

A Brown Creeper.


Rick trying hard to look like he knows what he is doing.

A Purple Finch.


October 17th

Beautiful moonshine and moonshadows pre-dawn. There was a flurry of activity at dawn – good first net round – but then pretty quiet. I saw no Yellow-rumped Warblers today. Small flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos seem to be on the increase. Several White-throated Sparrows and Eastern White-crowned Sparrows were calling at net opening but none fouind their way into the nets. The census was quiet. I was catching Juncos pretty effectively with the ground traps set in front of the Mansion.

Banded 35:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
4 Brown Creepers
5 Golden-crowned Kinglets
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
14 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 28 species


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