September 3rd – Of Knowledge,Visitors and Grackles

It was a day filled with newly acquired knowledge, eager visitors, and Grackles.

 As the Species at Risk Stewardship Coordinator at Ruthven Park, I have the opportunity to work on a whole variety of projects related to our natural landscape, but by far my favourite activity is bird banding. Fall can be a tricky time to identify birds, but I am trying my best to soak up the wealth of knowledge that can be coaxed out of Rick with coffee and tasty snacks.

 We had a lively bus tour of 87 visitors come knocking on the banding lab door today. It was late in the morning, meaning birds were relatively few and far between, but all 87 participants had the chance to see a few birds. We were lucky that one Gray Catbird banded early in the morning decided to re-visit us just as the group arrived. Altruistic behaviour or a low IQ…we may never know.  

 We also had a few notable species on census and through general observations while checking the nets. In total, we saw an estimated 1,00 Common Grackles flying over and around the park! A young Bald Eagle was also seen, a notable sight in itself, but even more interesting was the fact that it was being harassed by a Red-shouldered Hawk (a species we don’t encounter incredibly often). Other noteworthy species included Eastern Tufted Titmice, Scarlet Tanagers, and a solitary Orchard Oriole.

 Banded 23:

1 Black-billed Cuckoo

1 Downy Woodpecker

2 Black-capped Chickadees

1 White-breasted Nuthatch

4 Gray Catbirds

3 Red-eyed Vireos

1 Blue-winged Warbler

3 Magnolia Warblers

1 Ovenbird

1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak

1 Indigo Bunting

2 Song Sparrows

2 American Goldfinches


Retrapped 3:

1 Black- capped Chickadee

1 Gray Catbird

1 Magnolia Warbler


ET’s: 44 spp.



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