October 10th & 11th – Hectic!

The first owl of the season: gray phase Eastern Screech Owl. -MMG

Ruthven Park October 10th; Heavy Fog + Tim Horton’s Coffee = 64

Little did I know that the number 64 on my Tim Horton’s coffee cup was to be the number of birds banded today, despite the fact that I found myself in a fog opening nets in the dark to get a good start. I’m sure the fog had much to do with it as it seems to keep the birds low and allows mist nets to literally act as mist nets.

A late Wood Thrush was calling near net lane # 4, as a male and female Great Horned Owl serenaded one another off to the southeast. A family of coyotes joined in the chorus over by the river to the west.

It was a good day for banding – as it well should be by Thanksgiving!

Leading the wave, it was a “catch 22” for Myrtles. Other warblers – most of which are winding down now – included lovely appearances by 3 Orange-crowns, 2 Nashvilles, and one of my favourites a Black-throated Green.

Juncos are slowly increasing in numbers and the first White-crowned Sparrows are beginning to arrive. Also noted were 4 Pine Siskins; is this a premonition of things to come? Stayed tuned!

Painted Lady. -NRF

Banded 64:
Golden-crowned Kinglet 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 6
Hermit Thrush 4
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Nashville Warbler 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 3

Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers were the catch of the day. -NRF

Myrtle Warbler 22
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Song Sparrow 10
White-throated Sparrow 4
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Slate-coloured Junco 3
American Goldfinch 1

ET’s: 45 spp.

Fern Hill School – Burlington; October 10th:
We were hopping right from the get-go. Using just 4 nets we were able to pull in 54 birds of which 36 consisted of just 3 species: Yellow-rumped Warblers (14), Field Sparrows (7), and Song Sparrows (15). Even though we got a lot of sparrows I was surprised that we didn’t get (didn’t even see or hear) any White-throated Sparrows. Starting the day off with an Orange-crowned Warbler was a treat.

Fern Hill Burlington; Banded 54:
1 Eastern Bluebird
1 American Robin
1 Orange-crowned Warbler

Adult (left) and juvenile (right) Yellow-rumped Warblers. -KAP

14 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
2 Northern Cardinals
7 Field Sparrows
15 Song Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
7 American Goldfinches
4 House Sparrows

ET’s: 30 spp.

The screech owl was a great banding “tick” for Sian. -MMG

October 10th – Owling At Ruthven:
It’s getting to that time when we should be catching Northern Saw-whet Owls. So we went out last night (Tuesday) to try our luck. We didn’t catch any BUT…..on the first round we did get a gray phase Eastern Screech Owl! Under Nancy’s tutelage, Sian got to band her first owl – a nice banding “tick” indeed! When the weather settles we will try again for Saw-whets. We’ll let you know when.

Checking out the age/sex. -MMG

The bird is much more easily handled when it can’t see you…. -MMG

A Nicely applied size ‘5’ lock-on band. -MMG

Ruthven Park; October 11th: Unsettled Weather …. Finally!!
[At Ruthven we define a “big day” as any day on which we band 100+ birds. The strong NE winds, cool temperatures, and rain which hit after the nets were open for about 3 hours all contributed to generating a “fallout” of migrants. Nancy and her team (Lauren and Callie) were VERY busy processing the resulting 106 birds]
.I’ve enjoyed the sunny, warm weather but it was time for a change and
today’s weather brought anticipation for a busy day. It was windy at
opening with the threat of rain but we opened the nets and watched the
skies ready to run out and collapse them. Shortly after opening we were
checking nets and the business had begun. It was non stop banding for a
little over three and half hours. Our total number of birds banded by
this time was around 90 birds but the rain had settled in, bringing our
banding to a halt. We waited for awhile before opening just one net
(there were still intermittent showers), hoping to catch a few more
birds. It paid off, there were enough birds caught to make it the first
100 plus day for the season.

Banded 106
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Blue Jay
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
12 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 Hermit Thrush
1 American Robin
21 Cedar Waxwing
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Nashville Warbler
31 Myrtle Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
4 Song Sparrow
16 White-throated Sparrow
6 Slate-coloured Junco
2 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 34 species
October 11th; Fern Hill School Burlington:
Blustery winds and much cooler with the threat of rain hanging over our heads all morning (it finally came around noon). We opened for a couple of hours until the wind just billowed the nets continuously. It was interesting to watch the sky in the early morning. American Robins, which obviously were migrating high overhead, recognized that morning was about to break and all that lay ahead of them was city habitat so they broke off their southerly flight and came dropping down into the trees and shrubs around the site.

Eastern Phoebe. -KAP

Banded 20:
2 Eastern Phoebes
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
8 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
3 Song Sparrows
1 White-crowned Sparrow

ET’s: 20 spp.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet -KAP

Golden-crowned Kinglet -KAP

Chickadee with a YO. -KAP


Leave a Reply