November 6th & 7th – The End

An adult Sharp-shinned Hawk tries to figure out the Potter traps. -KMP

It seems like just a short while ago we were getting into gear – 68 days ago. Today was officially the end of our Fall migration monitoring efforts. Sure, birds will continue to move around for the next couple of weeks but the vast majority of migrants have…..migrated. I strongly believe that one is given only so many migrations; another one has gone by. I must admit that the weather played a large part in how it unfolded – the hot weather extending well into the Fall was extremely interesting. It will take a much more scientific brain than mine to sort out the impact. But it seemed that while long-distance migrants were pretty well on cue, medium- to short-distance migrants were somewhat late, perhaps better able to respond to the weather conditions; not driven so much by genetics. Anyway, it will take some time to just take a look at the results.

The heavy rains made taking down some of the nets precarious…..for Karen. -JNJ

November 6th; Ruthven:
We were just moderately busy which allowed ample time to do a census and take down some nets – always sort of a sad thing – the finality of it all…
We banded 20 birds:
4 Mourning Doves
5 American Tree Sparrows
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 House Finch
8 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 28 spp.

November 6th; Fern Hill Burlington’s Fall banding season has officially wound down and it has been another great season to be outdoors with my students learning and building upon our knowledge of bird migration through Southern Ontario. I’m so grateful to be in the position where I to work with the kind, patient, and extremely knowledgeable Janice Chard , who tirelessly has answered so many of my questions, guided me through the set up and tear down process of our mist nets, and can instill empathy and compassion in my curious and excited students. I’m also so lucky to have watched and helped those students as they grow and build their birding skills.

One of the trends I noticed towards the end of the season after the long distant migrants passed through was the return of our winter birds tough enough to spend the winter in Burlington. In the past few weeks we have recaptured chickadees and juncos banded in Field Study’s early years, as far back as 2013. Today brought the return of two of our school’s older birds-a Downy Woodpecker and another Black Capped Chickadee. Both birds were banded in 2015. One of our older Young Ornithologists was excited to learn she had handled the BCCH back in 2015, a nice surprise for her! I was the original bander back in 2015 and it was nice to pause and think back to my first year of teaching and banding at the school, and all that I have learned since that first Fall migration.

Today we banded 15 birds with 3 recaptures
1 American Goldfinch
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 American Tree Sparrow
5 Slate Coloured Juncos
3 House Finches
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Robin
1 Blue Jay

We have one more day of Fall Migration at the Oakville campus tomorrow, can’t wait!

November 7th; Ruthven – The Last Day
Today marked the last day of fall migration monitoring and we banded the
last few birds to end a successful fall season. Once the clouds cleared,
and the sun’s warmth penetrated the coolness of the early morning it was a
lovely fall day. We saw a small flock of Tundra Swans, an immature Bald
Eagle, and a beautiful adult, female Sharp-shinned Hawk today.

Banded 11
1 American Tree Sparrow
2 Fox Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
6 Slate-coloured Junco
1 American Golfinch

ET’s: 28 species

November 7th; Fern Hill Oakville:
The day that Katherine couldn’t wait for turned out to be pretty special. Before taking down some of the nets we had a nice run of Dark-eyed Juncos that were moving along the edges, looking for habitat to settle into for the Winter.
Banded 26:
2 Mourning Doves
1 American Tree Sparrow
22 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 House Sparrow (that was banded and then moved well down the road)

ET’s: 20 spp.

A quick Ruthven Fall Summary:
We banded 2,869 birds in our “standardized” net array and another 260 from the “non-standard” nets – “Bagger birds” – for a Fall total of 3,129 birds. This was made up of 81 species.

Top Ten:
1/ Cedar Waxwing – 499
2/ Myrtle Warbler – 269
3/ American Goldfinch – 222
4/ White-throated Sparrow – 205
5/ Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 196
6/ Golden-crowned Kinglet – 143
7/ Song Sparrow – 123
8/ Dark-eyed Junco – 122
9/ Blackpoll Warbler – 99
10/ Swainson’s Thrush – 88

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