September 25th – Things Heat Up!

Audrey Heagy from Bird Studies Canada (BSC) is going to be the “bander in charge” at Ruthven over Thanksgiving. She contacted me last night around making the arrangements and mentioned in passing that BSC was expecting a “big day” today with the passing of this front. And she/they were right. We had our biggest day so far for the Fall, banding 84 and retrapping 19 for a total of 103 birds handled. Things are on the move!

Although there was little cloud at dawn, it moved in quickly and for most of the morning we had heavy (and very threatening) cloud cover. It really looked like it could rain. But by noon the northeasterly winds blew a lot of the cloud away and we were enjoying some sunshine, as were the Turkey Vultures – we estimated 40+ for the morning.

We handled or observed an interesting mix of birds today: long-distance migrants (e.g., Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Ovenbird); short-distance migrants (e.g., Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow); and possible Winter residents (Brown Creeper, Dark-eyed Junco). Overall we banded 25 different species but the most abundant bird was the American Goldfinch of which we banded 31. (This is our “national” bird here – we band more than five hundred of them each year. A number of years ago they found the feeders were well-stocked with niger and it appears that ‘old’ birds either teach new birds about them or -more likely- they are followed by young birds. Either way, we get a whack of them.)

New for the Season: Hermit Thrush, Eastern White-crowned Sparrow, Horned Lark (these latter have been around all year but these were the first we had seen at the banding area.

Banded 84:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
2 Eastern Tufted Titmice
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
1 House Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Wood Thrush
4 Gray Catbirds
2 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Tennessee Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
3 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Western Palm Warbler
6 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Ovenbird
1 Scarlet Tanager
4 Chipping Sparrows
4 Song Sparrows
10 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
31 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 19:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
5 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
5 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 45 spp.


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