September 15th – Raptor Movement

Gorgeous day! Clear and cool early in the morning; cloud moving in when it started to warm up but not to the point of covering the sky. The cloud was carried in by a northwesterly breeze. On the ground it was kind of frustrating as there were lots of birds around but they seemed to stay high in the treetops – well above the nets. However, it was a good day for raptors. Around 11:00 we were watching a young Bald Eagle circling with an Osprey when, well beyond them, just specks in the sky, we saw a kettle of raptors. We rarely see Broad-winged Hawks at Ruthven but there were at least 17 in this group. On the whole our raptor count for the day was: 40 Turkey Vultures, 4 Ospreys, 2 Bald Eagles, 8 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 20 Broad-winged Hawks, 10 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 American Kestrel, 1 Merlin.

While searching the skies for hawks I was very surprised to see Monarch Butterflies going by at great heights, making me wonder how many have slipped by completely unnoticed.

We encountered 4 ‘new’ birds for the season: Merlin, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco.

Banded 35:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
2 House Wrens
6 Swainson’s Thrushes
4 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Magnolia Warbler
3 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Ovenbird
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Purple Finch
1 House Finch
5 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 9:
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 Carolina Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Wood Thrush
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Song Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow

ET’s: 49 spp.


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