American Tree Sparrows abound in and around the Butterfly Meadow. -T. Stirr
What a difference a day makes!! On the 4th we banded 123 birds (including the 4 Northern Saw-whet Owls that were caught the during the night). And the skies were “busy” with moving birds – especially robins, Cedar Waxwings and blackbirds (Rusty’s and Red-wings). Juncos were spread out along the shoulder of the road up from the highway to the parking lot. We had a couple of “hits” of waxwings and ended up banding 55 pushing our Fall total to the ridiculous number of 1,481!! [Remember, our previous high was 662....and, at the time, we thought that
was ridiculously high. Waxwings make up an astounding 33% of our Fall banding total.]
The wild grapes have attracted a LOT of American Robins this Fall. -T. Stirr
But today? It was almost quiet in comparison. We didn’t band a single Cedar Waxwing and estimated that there were only 30 around the site for the whole time we were there. I wonder where the hordes of waxwings that frequented Ruthven are now. Recoveries of waxwings banded here have been made in Georgia. “Our” birds must be somewhere between here and there…..I just wonder where.
On the day we banded only 35 birds; about 70% fewer than yesterday! There must have been a significant exodus during the night.
American Tree Sparrows have returned to their Wnter home. -T. Stirr
American Tree Swallows and Dark-eyed Juncos have moved in en masse and can be seen along the edges of the meadow and shrubby wood margins. We’ve been catching them regularly for over a week now and today had our first recapture of a junco we had banded in the early Spring – it has come home for the Winter. This is a pretty common event for juncos and tree sparrows that Winter here. Some we’ve caught 3 years in a row. What a marvellous piece of navigation to get back to this location. I wonder how they get by/through the GTA…..
Goldenrod heads also are an excellent food source – now eliminated from many fields where farmers have used Roundup-ready crops. -T. Stirr
Nancy and the owl folks caught 4 owls on the night of the 4th (and 5 the night before that). Their cute, big-eyed presentation masks the deadly killers that they are. If I was a mouse or small bird those intense eyes, staring at me, would scare the daylights out of me. They’re VERY photogenic though – it amazes me how many pictures are taken of them here.
Two night owls…… -J. Lytwyn
Now, if I was a mouse and saw those eyes looking at me…….yikes! -B. Fotheringham
Northern Saw-whet Owls. -B. Fotheringham
It’s funny isn’t it how things within families can change? Years ago Lorenzo Campanelli would drop his two avid birder sons, Giovanni and Ezra, off in the parking lot so they could run around the net lanes while he went back to sleep for a couple fo hours slumped down behind the wheel. Now, the two boys are staying home to catch up on their sleep after busy days while Dad goes off to run around the (owl) net lanes. And in so doing, he goes one up in the banding competition…..
Lorenzo Campanelli went one up on his kids, Ezra and Giovanni, when he banded this one. -N. Furber
And it was great that Dorothy Smith and daughter Dianne finally
got their owl. Dorothy has invested unknown numbers of world-class butter tarts into our banding program. She was due….overdue.
Diane and Dorothy with “their” owl. -B. Fotheringham
November 4th; Banded 123:
Dorothy Smith finally gets her Saw-whet Owl. -B. Fotheringham
4 Northern Saw-whet Owls
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
4 American Robins
55 Cedar Waxwings
3 Northern Cardinals
4 American Tree Sparrows
2 Fox Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
17 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 Red-winged Blackbirds
6 Rusty Blackbirds
20 American Goldfinches
ET’s: 29 spp.
November 5th; Banded 35:
Juncos continue to pour through. -T. Stirr
3 Blue Jays
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Northern Cardinal
11 American Tree Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
7 Dark-eyed Juncos
8 American Goldfinches
ET’s: 33 spp.
Arm fulls indicate a good first round. -J. Syed