October 28th-30th

October 30th

Icy cold on bare fingers this morning….a meager – 4.5 C degrees. There was no wind to start, and not a cloud all day. It must have been a “dry cold” as there was some frost, but only a little, so the nets did open quite nicely. And they did not slide back down the pole as they do when the pole is really frosty. So we got off to a good start.

I did not see one raptor all day. The wind, when it did pick up, was from the SW, no help in propelling them southward.

Banded 70:
1 Orange-crowned Warbler
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Brown Creeper
2 American Robins
4 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
2 American Tree Sparrows
1 Fox Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
7 White-throated Sparrows
9 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Red-winged Blackbird
2 Rusty Blackbirds
1 Purple Finch
35 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 16:
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush (weight has increased 10 g in 18 days)
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 American Tree Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 American Goldfinches

Total species observed today 33


October 29th

A chilly day that started out with a dusting of snow on the ground. Some flurries had fallen overnight and frozen on the nets, keeping them shut until the sun came out a little later in the morning. The ground traps attracted some birds, though, and the nets were opened for a couple hours after 10AM. No really spectacular species were observed today, but there were some Fox Sparrows around, an Eastern White-crowned Sparrow (these have been few and far between this year), and a Northern Mockingbird.

It was a gusty day, so the nets were not particularly effective even once they were opened.

Banded 19:
1 American Robin
2 American Tree Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
10 Slate-colored Junco
5 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 9:
3 Blue Jay
2 White-throated Sparrow
4 Slate-colored Junco

ET’s: 33 species


October 28th

Loretta seems to have all the luck – the two biggest days so far this Fall (125 and 99 birds) were ones that she was covering. The Force is strong in her. My days this season have been pretty….mediocre to say the least. (And I used to be a Jedi Master.) So when Loretta unexpectedly arrived to help out this morning I figured I was in for a Big Day. But then Christine Madliger showed up…..Christine is working on developing a Species at Risk Policy for Ruthven. She is a graduate of Mac’s biodiversity program. Well her karma seemed to overwhelm Loretta’s karma with the result that our banding total for today was much more modest than I had been hoping for (but more in line with what I have been doing this Fall). Is Christine somehow hooked up with the Forces of Evil!?

It’s amazing how the presence or absence of particular people can have such a pronounced effect on global bird migration!? I wonder if I could get a sizeable grant to study this.

Skeptics or science types might point to the high winds as a factor in the reduced numbers…but what do they know?

Banded 27:
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
8 Yellow-rumped Warblers
5 American tree Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
4 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 22:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
1 Cedar Waxwing
4 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
12 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 33 species (including a Pergrine Falcon and our first Rough-legged Hawk of the year)


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