September 28th – The Tap Is On…Just In Time For the Bird Festival

Red-bellied Woodpecker - a common breeding species at Ruthven. -B. Fotheringham

This combination of cold, relatively clear nights with light northerly winds has got the migration tap turned on. And, man, it was running again today! I was on the go right from the opening and didn’t get a chance to sit down until 11:30. The first couple of net rounds were very large, especially along the 10-2-4-6 “corridor”. And the new Meadow ‘chain’ had a good first round catch (15 birds) – I think this will be the pattern with this net (known as “Joanne’s net”): good first round and then not much. It is not protected from the wind at all and gets no shade, so is visible as soon as the sun gets up and/or if the wind blows. We are getting a good mix from it though, birds you wouldn’t expect, like a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Young White-crowned Sparrow - first of the season. -B. McCreadie

We had another first for the season: a young White-crowned Sparrow (with a brown- rather than a black-striped head).

A flummoxed Ruby-crowned Kinglet: she thought they were blueberries. -B. Fotheringham

We ended up banding 138 birds. This pushes our September total to 1,676 – this is a new record (with 2 days yet to go!). We set the old mark of 1,662 in 2010.

Male Golden-crowned Kinglet. -B. Fotheringham

Tomorrow is our Annual For the Birds Festival. We have a great slate of speakers that will be going throughout the day and into the evening. I’m pretty excited about it! Check out the format on the Ruthven website and, if you get a chance, come out and join us.

Tennessee Warbler -B. Fotheringham

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -B. Fotheringham

Banded 138:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 Eastern Bluebirds
1 Swainson’s Thrush
2 Hermit Thrushes
7 American Robins
1 Gray Catbird
6 Cedar Waxwings
2 Red-eyed Vireos
7 Tennessee Warblers
8 Nashville Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
18 Myrtle Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
13 Blackpoll Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Scarlet Tanager
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Chipping Sparrow
2 Song Sparrows
20 White-throated Sparrows
1 White-crowned Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 Purple Finches
1 House Finch
24 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 16:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Scarlet Tanager
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Chipping Sparrow
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 51 spp.
Fall Banding Total: 1,676
Year-to-date Banding Total: 4,261

For Comparison – 2 (very) confusing Fall Warblers (Note: 1 has wingbars, the other doesn’t):

Comparison: Tennessee Warbler (left) and Blackpoll Warbler

Comparison: Tennessee Warbler (left) and Blackpoll.

Comparison: Blackpoll (left) and Tennessee Warbler


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