October 31st – Pileated Woodpecker

It was a reduced effort day. I had to leave early in order to be home by noon or incur the wrath of my wife who was taking me to the theatre. [To see Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband which is based on my life story….] In order to hit this deadline, I did not open the Net 8 complex or Net 9. Further, I started closing early. In a way this was a shame as there were a lot of birds around – especially American Goldfinches which seemed to be driven to the feeders by the cold weather. It was an ideal day for catching as it was cold, overcast, and there was little wind. Despite the reduced effort, I still managed to band 84 birds – 44 of them goldfinches.

The highlight of the day was spotted by semi-regular visitor Dorothy Smith who was visiting from Hamilton. Peter Thoem and I were busily extracting birds from Net 2 when Dorothy noticed and calmly announced that a Pileated Woodpecker had just flown over. And sure enough the large bird was sitting in a tree not more than 50 m away. Peter and I would have missed it completely. This was the first sighting of this species this year. These striking birds nest back in the slough forests in very small numbers but are rarely seen around the banding area.

In the month of October we have banded 2,758 birds (a new record by 64). We banded on 29 days averaging 95 per day.

Banded 84:
7 Golden-crowned Kinglets
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
5 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin
1 Blue-headed Vireo
2 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Tree Sparrow
4 Fox Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrows
7 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Purple Finch
3 House Finches
44 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 7:
2 Hermit Thrushes
1 Fox Sparrow
1 Purple Finch
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 38 spp.

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