September 9th – A Significant Movement of….Monarch Butterflies

Cool with variable cloud conditions – clear at opening time, then partially clouding over for census, then clearing again, then heavy cloud moving in around 10:00 AM which stayed for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon. The wind started off light out of the W but veered to the WNW and then NW as it got stronger. These conditions were not conducive to a bird fallout but seemed to appeal to Monarch Butterflies. For the past number of years we have tried to get a rough count of the Monarch Butterflies that we see at Ruthven in the course of banding/birding. Usually we don’t see that many – 6 or so being a “good” day. But this morning we counted at least 36, and this is probably quite conservative. Some were coursing low over the meadow while others were passing at a considerable height. But, invariably, they were all moving south.

Although it felt kind of “slow” today birdwise, we actually banded a respectable 40 birds of 22 species.

Banded 40:
2 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
3 Least Flycatchers
1 House Wren
5 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 Gray Catbird
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
2 Magnolia Warblers
2 Bay-breasted Warblers
4 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Black & White Warbler
1 American Redstart
1 Ovenbird
1 Mourning Warbler
3 Common Yellowthroats
4 Wilson’s Warblers
1 Canada Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 16:
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
3 Magnolia Warblers
1 Blackpoll Warbler
2 Black & White Warblers
1 Mourning Warbler
3 Common Yellowthroats
1 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 53 spp/


Leave a Reply