September 23rd & 24th

September 24th

Again, it was a slow banding day. However, it really wasn’t a bad day for birding at Ruthven. The area in front of the mansion and coach house was fairly active with birds throughout the day. Early in the morning there was a mixed flock of Brown Creepers, White-breasted Nuthatches (more than usual), Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Northern Flickers in this area. Also, throughout the day we observed two male Black-throated Blue Warblers, some Black-throated Green Warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Catbirds, and Bluebirds, all in this area. On the property we also had Pileated Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmouse, lots of Robins (there was an influx in the last week), and a reasonable number of goldfinches! Vireos and Thrushes (except Robins) were oddly absent.

Banded 10:
2 Common Yellowthroat
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Brown Creeper
5 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 4:
1 Brown Creeper
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Song Sparrow
1 Chipping Sparrow (originally banded in 2004, and not seen since Sept 2004)

Estimated totals: 43 species


A hatch-year Brown Creeper, banded yesterday.

The gazebo by the Coach House.

September 23rd – Choices, choices, choices.

It was a slow day banding-wise, no, birding-wise at Ruthven. It was very quiet at net opening time and there was very little activity in the trees/shrubs throughout the morning. I encountered only 39 species and banded only 15 birds. I’ve been trying to figure out why our totals are so low (other than the tremendous drop in American Goldfinch numbers). Maybe the weather is too good. Now I don’t want to be too anthropomorphic about all this, but…..if I were a migrant what would I choose? Give up all this beautiful weather and head for the tropics or would I choose to hang out, enjoy the weather and fine northern cuisine and then make my way when the weather was suggesting that I do so. Being a touch on the lazy side, I think I would opt for the latter option if the weather was good.

We retrapped a Gray-cheeked Thrush that seems to have chosen the second option as well. We first banded it 5 days ago and in the intervening time it has put on 5 grams (mostly of fat) – that’s a gain of a gram per day! That would be like me putting on 31 pounds in five days or 6+ pounds per day. That’s a LOT of sushi and beer!

Banded 15:
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Black & White Warbler
2 Ovenbirds
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow

Retrapped 10:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blackpoll Warbler
2 Chipping Sparrow

ET’s:  39 species


Leave a Reply