October 21st-24th

October 24th

After Loretta’s big day yesterday today was a disappointing dénouement. There were relatively few birds moving around and periods of the day were unusually quiet. To top things off most of the nets were frozen shut and remained that way until the temperature began to rise two hours after dawn. Oh well, someone has to keep the average down. We did manage to capture a non-Ruthven banded American Goldfinch (band # 2440-97114) however.

Banded: 30
American Goldfinch 4
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 1
Slate-Coloured Junco 9
Yellow-Rumped Warbler 1
Swamp Sparrow 1
Hermit Thrush 3
Cedar Waxwing 10
Northern Cardinal 1

Retrapped: 20
American Goldfinch 2
Brown Creeper 1
Slate-Coloured Junco 12 (one banded as a SY in February 2007)
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hermit Thrush 1
Blue Jay 2


October 23rd

With daily totals of 30ish birds for the last week or so, I arrived at the park expecting more of the same. I was thinking…. American Tree Sparrows are arriving; migration is in its final phase. So I was totally caught off guard by the influx of birds. The park was alive with Cedar Waxwings. Not just one flock that took a dive and filled one net, but dispersed throughout the park in just about every net, over a period of several hours. Go figure!

I banded an Orange Crowned Warbler, which was the first one this season.

I had 4 of my favorite sparrow~ Fox Sparrow. I just wish I had had more time to spend on these special birds, but it was a mad rush all day.

Banded 125
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Winter Wren
4 Golden-crowned Kinglets
4 Ruby crowned Kinglets
4 American Robins
60 Cedar Waxwings
19 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 American Tree Sparrow
4 Fox Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
4 White-throated Sparrows
6 Slate Coloured Juncos
2 Purple Finches
12 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 8
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 American Goldfinch

Several (recently banded) retrapped birds were released unprocessed due to lack of time. Retrapped number was probably around 20


October 22nd

Maybe it was the below zero weather pre-dawn, maybe the first American Tree Sparrows of the year, or maybe it was the Killdeer flying around yelling “I’m cold, I’m cold!”–whatever the case, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the coming winter when I was banding today. It was a decent banding day, and there was a good mix of birds around (estimated totals were 37 species). New species for the season were Northern Mockingbird, Northern Harrier, and American Tree Sparrow. A late Blackpoll Warbler also threw itself into the nets.

Banded 31
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Blue Jays
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
1 Cedar Waxwing
8 Myrtle Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
2 American Tree Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
1 Purple Finch
8 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 17
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Brown Creeper
3 Hermit Thrush
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
6 Dark-eyed Junco
1 American Goldfinch

October 21st

Blustery raw winds and grey skies added a November like feel to the park. I only opened the more sheltered nets, with the thought that it was probably a better day to fly a kite than attempt to band birds. So I was surprised at the productivity of the few nets that I had opened.

Juncos were frequenting the ground traps…. like feeding stations with intermittent visits to the weigh in station. Do they think this is a weight watchers program we are running? I had one guy 3 times today.

I was totally stunned to see 9 Tree Swallows over the river on Census. What are they thinking? It must be difficult to find enough insects to sustain themselves. Fly south!!

Banded 33
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
5 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Cedar Waxwing
12 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Song Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
2 Slate Colored Juncos
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 13
1 Blue Jay
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Golden- crowned Kinglet
1 Song Sparrow
9 Slate Colored Juncos


2 thoughts on “October 21st-24th

  1. Ruthven has some very special volunteers. Imagine Loretta banding 125 birds on October 23rd. Talk about dedication and committment.

  2. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the Ruthven Nature Blog this fall. As a beginner, I have learned so much from reading the banders experiences and noting the different breeds that have been banded.
    I was lucky enough to visit Ruthven and see the experts at work a couple of times this fall. I even got to help a little. Thanks so much Rick and Brian.
    Looking forward to the spring blog entries!!

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