The Connectedness of Things
February 18th, 2007

It’s funny how things in life are connected. Just think, if Mike and Nancy Furber hadn’t connected, Allison Furber (their daughter and budding bander) would not have been at yesterday’s HBO AGM. She would not then have pulled my bucket raffle ticket which won me the ground trap that guest speaker David Okines had donated (a prize that, from the outset, I felt was predestined for me). If I hadn’t won that trap I wouldn’t have felt compelled to try it out on this beautiful sunny winter day. And thus I wouldn’t be writing this update on the birds I banded today.

It was a bit too windy for the 2 nets that are still up so I set out an array of ground traps – 6 in total, and all caught birds.

Banded 37:
2 American Goldfinches
16 American Tree Sparrows
14 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 House Finches
2 Song Sparrows
1 Mourning Dove

The capture of one of the Song Sparrows was interesting: I found it in the banding lab when I opened up this morning. The only way it could have entered was through the large crack between the door and the floor. The lab is heated – this is a smart bird!

Retrapped 6 [really this is the story of some of the birds that actually live here at Ruthven, at least for part of the year]:

Band #2270-76440: American Tree Sparrow; originally banded at Ruthven on February 27th, 2003. It was not encountered in 2004 but then was caught in February 2005; then again in December of 2005 ( itduring which time it had gone up to the tree line and back again); then again in February 2006 and then today, February 18, 2007. In total we’ve handled this bird 18 times and each time it has been caught around the feeders. This is its winter home.

#2290-95492: American Tree Sparrow; banded March 21, 2004; retrapped in April and October 2005; not seen in 2006; and then caught again today. Another winter resident of long standing.

#2450-39117: Slate-coloured Junco; banded October 14, 2006 and retrapped several times into November. And then again today.

#2450-39376: Slate-coloured Junco; banded November 4, 2006 and then today.

#1831-37023: House Finch; banded September 21, 2006.

#1343-71843: Mourning Dove; banded January 29, 2005; not encountered in 2006.

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