May 20th-22nd: Victoria Day Weekend

Three budding naturalists. -LEO

The long weekend has been cool and damp (if not outright wet) most of the time. I had been hoping that these conditions would have resulted in a “fall-out” but, alas, it just wasn’t to be. Well….we didn’t get any bird fall-outs but we did seem to have a fall-out of humans: in the past 3 days a multitude of volunteers contributed 120 “volunteer hours” – much of those hours going to service the 77 visitors that made it to the site. Ironically, we had 1 more visitor than we had banded birds (76)over these 3 days!

Yellow-billed Cuckoos: the male on the left is dwarfed by the female.

May 20th; Banded 24:
1 Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo. -LEO

3 Blue Jays
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing

Red-eyed Vireo. -MMG

1 Red-eyed Vireo
5 Yellow Warblers
3 Common Yellowthroats
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Common Grackle
2 Baltimore Orioles
3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 63 spp.

May 21st; Banded 18:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo. -MMG

1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Eastern Bluebirds

ASY male Eastern Bluebird. -L. Catling

1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
2 Warbling Vireos
4 Yellow Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler

Young male Black-throated Green Warbler. -L. Catling

1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Song Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 55 spp.

May 22nd; Banded 34:
1 Traill’s Flycatcher
1 Least Flycatcher
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush (1st of the year)
7 Gray Catbirds
1 Cedar Waxwing
1 Warbling Vireo
4 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Tennessee Warbler
2 Yellow Warblers
2 Magnolia Warblers
1 American Redstart
1 Ovenbird
5 Common Yellowthroats
2 Indigo Buntings
1 Song Sparrow
1 Baltimore Oriole
1 Orchard Oriole

ET’s: 63 spp.

Photo Gallery (including shots sent over the past week – which explains the sunshine in some of them):

Releasing her first bird. -L. Catling

Lemon underwings – female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -L. Catling

Rosey underwing of a male grosbeak. -LEO

Mottled brown, black and white plumage of a male grosbeak in its 2nd year. -LEO

ASY male Orchard Oriole. -L. Catling

Tufted Titmice nest at Ruthven. -L. Catling

Western Palm Warbler. -L. Catling

Madison with a Red-eyed Vireo…..both have devilish looks.

Thomas with an American Goldfinch he has just banded.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – note the rufous wing panels. -FAS

Two colourful creatures: Anna and a Baltimore Oriole. -LEO

Caleb with a great banding “tick” – Yellow-breasted Chat. -LEO

Staring contest. The chat won, much to Laura’s chagrin. -LEO

Eastern Kingbird. -LEO

Male Indigo Bunting. -LEO

All the brown in this male’s plumage indicate that it is in its second year. -LEO

Hummingbirds (here a female) are wondrous. -LEO

Older female or young male Wilson’s Warbler. -LEO

Brilliant plumage detail of the Yellow-breasted Chat. -LEO

A study in orange (or studying an orange): Baltimore Oriole. -L. Balthazar

Female Indigo Bunting. -L. Balthazar

Drab female Indigo Bunting. -MMG

Brilliant male Indigo Bunting. -L. Balthazar

Mottling of this male Indigo Bunting indicates that it is only in its 2nd year. -MMG

In tandem: Baltimore Oriole and Rose-breasted Grosbeak at an orange feeder. -L. Balthazar

Canada Anemone -MMG

American Toad. -MMG

Male Scarlet Tanager. -L. Balthazar.

Eastern Kingbird – there’s a pair hanging out on the river flats. -R. Barnes

Yellow-billed Cuckoo. -S. Merritt


May 18th & 19th: The Push Is On

Taking the plunge!! -R. Barnes

For the past two days I have been on the road so to speak. Last night I gave a talk in Almonte (just outside Ottawa) to the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist’s Club. It was a great night: wonderful, engaging people and a delicious meal. My talk was slated to start at 8:00 PM; at exactly 7:55 a passing severe thunderstorm knocked out the power. Yikes! Tough to give a power point presentation without power. But not to worry. These are enterprising folks. By 8:15 I was talking away powered by a generator. Today, Marg and I made the long drive back home.

In the meantime, Mike (Ruthven) and Katherine (Fern Hill Burlington) were banding busily. Here are their results:

Adult Bald Eagle soaring over the river. -R. Barnes

Ruthven; May 18th:

Much slower day, but steady enough for just Carol, Kathy and I, so still unable to do census without extra help.

Banded 34:
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Least Flycatcher 1
Swainson’s Thrush 1
Gray Catbird 6
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue-winged Warbler 1

Blue-winged Warbler, a common breeder here. -C. Blott

Tennessee Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 7
Myrtle Warbler 1
Canada Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 4

Another common breeder: Common Yellowthroat. -C. Blott

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 1
Song Sparrow 1
Baltimore Oriole 2
Orchard Oriole 2
American Goldfinch 2

ETs: 51 spp.

Ruthven; May 19th

What a treat!!! Yellow-breasted Chat. -CHS

A Chat with Flycatchers

Catching and banding a Yellow-breasted Chat is an exciting event few birders are lucky to experience and it could very well be the bird of the season, if not the year for Ruthven! This is Ruthven’s third chat, the last one being back in 2009 and the first in 2000.

Laura Oldfield discovered the bird in net#5 and later took some great pictures. Caleb Scholtens was the proud “extracter” and bander of this spectacular species; and it was a new species for him to band! This rare bird certainly doesn’t look like a warbler. I’m impressed how big they are in the hand and they seem to give the impression of a different type of tanager or even a large vireo!

As if that were not enough, it was a day of banding 62 birds of 22 species; a good day, indeed. The flycatchers banded included 1 Eastern Kingbird and 2 Great Crested Flycatchers; these two species are not frequently caught and banded so are always a treat. Four Trail’s Flycatchers (probably Willows) added to the flycatcher “feast.”

There’s a Bald Eagle nest downriver. -R. Barnes

I saw 3 Bald Eagles, 2 of which were clasping talons and rotating – supposedly a courting ritual. The sound of a Common Raven and a quick sighting of it to the south of the banding station was a northern contrast to the southern sounds of several Yellow-throated Vireos singing around the banding lab.

Banded 62:
1 Black-billed Cuckoo
4 Traill’s Flycatchers
2 Great Crested Flycatchers

Great-crested Flycatcher -CHS

1 Eastern Kingbird
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
14 Gray Catbirds
2 Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwing. -CHS

2 Warbling Vireos
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
6 Yellow Warblers
1 Ovenbird
4 Common Yellowthroats
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Yellow-breasted Chat
6 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
2 Field Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
5 Baltimore Orioles
4 Orchard Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 55 spp.
Ruthven Photo Gallery:

ASY male Baltimore Oriole. -CHS

Black-billed Cuckoo -CHS

Seen commonly but not often banded: Eastern Kingbird. -CHS

ASY male Orchard Oriole – much smaller than a Baltimore. -CHS

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. -CHS

Warbling Vireos are plentiful along the river. -CHS

Wilson’s Warbler. -CHS

(Banded) Baltimore Oriole. -D. Ward

House Wren -D. Ward

Male Indigo Bunting. -D. Ward

Furtive Lincoln’s Sparrow. -D. Ward

Purple Martin (female) -D. Ward

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male) -D. Ward

Yellow-billed Cuckoo -D. Ward

Yellow Warbler (female) -D. Ward

Yellow-throated Vireo – a common breeder at Ruthven. -D. Ward

Male Belted Kingfisher. -R. Barnes


Fern Hill – Burlington; May 18th
Today was Grandparent and Special Friends day at the school, which meant that it was busy with curious visitors throughout the morning. The birds did not disapoint and we had a really nice variety of banded, retrapped, and observed birds throughout the day.

Male Magnolia Warbler. -KAP

Fern Hill Firsts of Spring
1 Male Orchard Oriole (observed singing)
2 Spotted Sandpipers (flying over parking lot)
1 Northern Parula (female observed feeding)
1 Northern Mockingbird
1 Cliff Swallow (observed flying with Barn Swallows around school)
1 Magnolia Warbler (banded)
1 Wilson’s Warbler (banded)

Male Wilson’s Warbler. -KAP

In total we banded 14 birds:
1 Trail’s Flycatcher
5 Eastern Bluebirds
2 Gray Catbirds
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Wilson’s Warbler
2 American Goldfinches

Young Ornithologist with a bluebird nestling. -KAP

In the afternoon we banded the Eastern Bluebird nestlings, an opportunity I know will stay with the students forever! All in all a huge success with lots of wonder and excitment from both students and grandparents alike!

May 17th – Birdathon Summary (And Today’s Results)

The Birdathon Baggers: Alessandra, Ezra, Giovanni, and Samuel. -AAW

2017’s birdathon was last Sunday, May the 14th. The day started around 5am as the Baggers woke and began getting ready. This years team was Rick Ludkin, Giovanni and Ezra Campanelli, Alessandra Wilcox and Samuel Strachan who filled in for Ben Oldfield, a long time skilled Bagger who unfortunately was unable to attend as he had been sick on the days leading up to the 14th.

The “Ruthven Ringers” started as usual with a census, the same route done each morning. The census was lead by Matt Timpf, a Ruthven Ringer alumnus. Around a
quarter to 7 the team was ready, and leaving Matt in charge of Ruthven, we headed out.

The Townsend Sewage Lagoons were a disappointment this year but did turn up this Blue-winged Teal and Short-billed Dowitcher. -EJC

We started down River Road, finding a variety of species and then made a brief stop at Loretta Mousseau’s backyard who was nice enough to let us bird there; there we eventually found a bobolink. A quick Tim Hortons Trip and we headed to the Townsend Sewage Lagoons. The Lagoons were much more barren than expected. The team of 2016 found many species of waterfowl, sandpipers, with high numbers of individuals as well. This year we found a only few sandpipers, a small number of ducks and left with a mere 13 species.

We then travelled to a known Clay-coloured Sparrow location (in Simcoe), and within minutes heard it’s distinctive song. With that we headed south to Backus Woods and in search of a Prothonotary Warbler.

Backus hosted a range of new species. After waking a few sleeping Baggers we headed down the main trail. Warblers were plentiful, but diversity was low. We were around 90 species at this point, and steadily approaching 100. As we headed into an old growth section, lined with forested ponds we found the Prothonotary Warbler, or 3 to be exact. Backus is one of the few places remaining in Norfolk where they will breed. Shortly after seeing this Samuel spotted a Black-legged Tick on Rick’s back (pictured _[below, above]]_), it was removed before any harm was done. We are lucky at Ruthven to only have Dog Ticks, a larger species that don’t carry Lyme Disease.

Black-legged Tick found crawling up my shirt. Yikes! -EJC

As we followed the loop back to the parking lot, 99 species in, Giovanni made a wonderful spot – a SY male Summer Tanager, normally found in the west. This was our 100th species, counted at around 11:47 Am.

Rare (for the East) Summer Tanager at Backus Woods. -EJC

This started the part of the day in which we traveled to a range of woodlots, finding a few more species at each stop. One of the more productive woodlots was St. Williams Conservation Reserve, a nice habitat that turned up Ruffed Grouse, Hooded Warbler and others. As Noon came we began to plateau, as we made our way farther into Long Point. We started to realize we needed to pick it up since we only had until 6:30, when our driver (Rick) had to leave.

We decided to head into Old Cut, the site of well maintained trails and a CMMN banding station. This stop was a load of fun. Many species of warbler were seen with relative ease, most were in full breeding plumage. It was a boost of morale for the team and a chance to get many new warbler species, and our first thrushes.

As the day wound down we walked down to the Long Point conservation area, and similar areas until Rick dropped us back at Ruthven where we did a quick observation, and a brief try for owls until we called it a day around 9 PM. It was much fun for all involved, we totalled 128 species. Many thanks to all who donated, to Matt for taking care of banding in our absence, and shout out to Ethan Gosnell, a dedicated Bagger who did his own big day that weekend, totalling a solid 85 species.

But wait there’s more! There is still time to donate to our birdathon, all donations go towards bird conservation efforts in Canada, so any contributions would be greatly appreciated. Simply go to and donate to the Ruthven Ringers.

Species List:
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Short-billed Dowitcher
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Common Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood Pewee
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson’s thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Lawrence’s Warbler
Black and White Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green W.
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-coloured Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
Samuel & Alessandra

May 17th at Ruthven:

1st Black-billed Cuckoo of the year. -CHS

It got HOT quickly, and usually this greatly reduces our catches, but not today. We are bearing the full brunt of the Spring 2017 migration!! Things are moving through in good numbers and great haste – making up for lost time.

The demise of two Dog Ticks. -CHS

Blackburnian Warbler – after second year male

Female Mourning Warbler

American Redstart – after second year male

Banded 68:
1 Black-billed Cuckoo

Head detail of the Black-billed Cuckoo -CHS

1 House Wren
1 Veery
1 Wood Thrush
11 Gray Catbirds
4 Warbling Vireos
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Tennessee Warbler
17 Yellow Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Black-throated blue Warbler
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Blackburnian Warbler
4 American Redstarts
1 Mourning Warbler
7 Common Yellowthroats
5 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Indigo Buntings
1 Chipping Sparrow
4 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 72 spp.

Fern Hill – Burlington:
Today was a scorcher! We banded an interesting variety of birds throughout the day despite the heat. At the end of the day we had a total of 10 birds throughout the day, and an estimated total of 38 species observed throughout.

Tennessee Warbler. -JJC

We banded 10:
1 Trail’s Flycatcher (first of the year!)
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
2 Tennessee Warblers (first of the year!)
2 Baltimore Orioles
2 American Goldfinches

Male Baltimore Oriole. -KAP

We also kept ourselves busy checking the tree swallow and bluebird nest boxes, and observing a small family of Canada Geese wandering about the school yard. All in all, a beautiful Spring Day to be outside!


May 16th – Fallout!

[It took me over 3 hours to get home from Oakville this afternoon/evening so a write-up on the birdathon is beyond my scope for today……sorry.]

Cloud moving in early this morning with light, intermittent showers brought migrants down to earth over much of the western end of Lake Ontario. This “fallout” was witnessed both at Ruthven and Fern Hill Oakville. At Ruthven, Mike (and Jaimie) handled 93 birds – 72 of them newly banded. And at FHS-Oakville we handled 43 with 28 newly banded. But at Oakville the most noticeable thing was a species count for the day of 48 – by far the highest total we’ve had there. This included 7 species of Warblers (Canada Warbler being the highlight!).

Ruthven; Banded 72:
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1
Blue Jay 2
Swainson’s Thrush 2
Gray Catbird 7
Warbling Vireo 3
Tennessee Warbler 4
Nashville Warbler 5
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Northern Parula 1
Yellow Warbler 14
Chestnut-sided Warbler 3
Magnolia Warbler 6
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Myrtle Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Blackpoll Warbler 1
American Redstart 1
Common Yellowthroat 4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Baltimore Oriole 8
American Goldfinch 5

Downy Woodpecker 2
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Gray Catbird 2
Warbling Vireo 1
Blue-winged Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 3
Northern Cardinal 1
Song Sparrow 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Baltimore Oriole 3
Orchard Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 2

ETs: 53 spp.

Fern Hill-Oakville:

Always a treat: male Canada Warbler. -KAP

Banded 28:
3 Downy Woodpeckers
3 Blue Jays
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
1 Blue-headed Vireo

Bentley with a Blue-headed Warbler. -KAP

2 Black & White Warblers

Male (left) and female Black & White Warblers. -KAP

1 Canada Warbler
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Jen Pierce showing the pleasure of holding a Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak…..without suffering a bite. -KAP

1 Song Sparrow
2 White-crowned Sparrows

Han with one of two White-crowned Sparrows banded today. -KAP

5 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Common Grackle

That stern, threatening gaze…..and a Common Grackle too. -KAP

2 Baltimore Orioles

Chris Hincks with a Baltimore Oriole. -KAP

3 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 48 spp.

May 14th & 15th – A Hectic Couple Of Days

The 2017 version of the Ruthven Ringers.

It’s been a hectic two days. Yesterday (the 14th) was both Mother’s Day and the day we chose to do the Great Canadian Birdathon. Our team – the Ruthven Ringers – did very well considering the conditions. I will write about it tomorrow but below you will find some great pictures of the experience taken by Ezra Campanelli.

Matt Timpf held the fort at Ruthven while I participated with the Ringers. He ended up with the biggest banding total so far for the season – 63. (See his write-up below.) We had a reasonably busy time today banding 48 but the exciting thing is that about 90% of the birds banded today were handled by up-and-comers Jaimie and Amy – they’re learning very quickly!

May 14th – Mother’s Day – Ruthven:
It was a busy day of migration monitoring at Ruthven today. Banding was steady. We handled a total of 84 birds, including 63 new ones. They consisted mostly of locally common breeders, but diversity was nice.

Logan brought his mother and here is seen releasing his first banded bird – Warbling Vireo. -M. Timpf

Non-banding highlights included a male Cape May Warbler in the spruce trees in front of the mansion, and up to 8 Chimney Swifts doing courtship displays.

There were 9 visitors today, coming as far away as Toronto. They enjoyed seeing the birds up close and personal, and they helped us out with net runs and releasing the birds. A great experience for them!

The numbers…
Banded birds = 63
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Least Flycatcher – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 6
Veery – 1 (5 ticks were removed)
Gray Catbird – 6
Warbling Vireo – 1
Blue-winged Warbler – 3
Lawrence’s Warbler – 1
Nashville Warbler – 7
Yellow Warbler – 9
Western Palm Warbler – 1
Ovenbird – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 4
White-throated Sparrow – 5
White-crowned Sparrow – 1
Baltimore Oriole – 6
Orchard Oriole – 2

Recaptured birds = 21
Downy Woodpecker -1
Tree Swallow -1
House Wren – 1
Gray Catbird – 3
Blue-winged Warbler – 3
Yellow Warbler – 7
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 3
American Goldfinch – 1 (originally banded in 2011 as a second-year male – 7 years old)

Census = 44 species
Estimated Species Total = 61 spp.

Our Purple Martins are putting up a fight – 5 are still trying to make a go of it. (That’s a Tree Swallow in the top left gourd.) -A. Beach

May 15th: Banded 48:
[Interestingly we saw very few long-distance migrant warblers today – only 4 species. The distance migrant warblers that nest here, e.g., Yellow Warbler, we got in good numbers but the ones that nest further north were nowhere even to be seen – even though we saw lots of them while doing the birdathon yesterday at Long Point. During the night they mush have simply flown over.]
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Blue Jay
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 Veerys
6 Gray Catbirds
12 Yellow Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
3 Song Sparrows
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
6 Baltimore Orioles
3 Orchard Orioles
4 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 54 spp.

Photo Gallery:

Tree Swallows have got their boxes sorted out and have started to build nests busily. -A. Beach

Check out the mottled, brown and black plumage of this second-year Rose-breasted Grosbeak. -F. Smith

A full adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak for comparison. -M. Timpf

Northern Flicker paying his respects. -S. LaFleur

A nest full of young robins. -Caelyn

And another nest full of VERY young robins. -Caelyn

The oriole feeder makes a perfect perch for this Eastern Phoebe at Fred Smith’s place across the river. -F. Smith

Eastern Phoebe at the nest. -F. Smith

And from the Birdathon:

Female Lawrence’s Warbler – a nice way to start off the Birdathon.

Female Lawrence’s Warbler.

The porter carries the gear and searches for birds while the bwanas saunter on ahead. -EJC

Home of Prothonotary Warblers – Backus Woods. -EJC

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. -EJC

Black-legged Tick found crawling up my shirt. Yikes! -EJC

The Townsend Sewage Lagoons were a disappointment this year but did turn up this Blue-winged Teal and Short-billed Dowitcher. -EJC

Male Ruddy Duck at Townsend. -EJC

Savannah Sparrow. -EJC

Stunning male Scarlet Tanager. -EJC

Rare (for the East) Summer Tanager at Backus Woods. -EJC

Hunkered down in the cold N wind – an Eastern Wood Pewee. -EJC

Magnolia Warbler – one of several species that were plentiful at Long Point’s Old Cut Banding Station area. -EJC

Tree Swallow getting low out of the wind. -EJC

Alessandra after a long, hard day. -EJC


May 13th – International Migratory Bird Day

Singing Ovenbird along the Fox Den Trail. -P. Thoem

In keeping with migratory bird day, many of the migrants that we had encountered yesterday took off during the night but weren’t replaced by “new” migrants in any number. Both the number of birds banded and encountered throughout the day were markedly down compared to the last few days. This suggests that current weather conditions have been conducive to birds making time – making up for lost time – and that last night they “flew over”, making as much distance as they can.

As the retrap card shows: this Baltimore Oriole was banded as an ASY (After Second Year) bird on May 18th, 2012. So it is at least 7 years old. It was recaptured on May 12th, 2013 and not seen/recaptured since. -MMG

One of the most interesting things about Spring banding is the recapturing of long-distance migrants that were banded here in previous years and have returned to their Summer home once again… this male Baltimore Oriole which is at least 7 years old.

Banded 35:
1 Blue Jay
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 House Wren
1 Veery
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler

Nashville and Black-throated Blue Warblers – 2 of today’s captures. -MMG

3 Nashville Warblers
7 Yellow Warblers
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler. -MMG

1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
2 Chipping Sparrows
1 Field Sparrow

Blogmeister Jeff MacLeod helping daughter Caelyn with a Field Sparrow.

1 Song Sparrow
5 Baltimore Orioles
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 57 spp.
Photos From Yesterday:

Sian and Dave. -LEO

With little sister Chriss – grade one teacher emeritus. -LEO

Our Virginia Bluebell patches are all doing well. -LEO

Mike giving Anna the lowdown about Yellow Warblers. -LEO

Teaching Grade Ones about the furculum. -LEO

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler. -LEO

Adult male Orchard Oriole on the left; female on the right.

Two adult male Orchard Orioles (bronze) and a young male (black chin). -LEO

May 12th – Moving Into High Gear

Male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher gathering spider webbing for his nest. -R. Barnes

The warblers are upon us….at long last it seems. The first two net rounds this morning were both interesting and bountiful but it tailed off pretty quickly after that (although warblers were seen regularly along the Fox Den Trail all morning).

White-crowned Sparrows have been moving through the area in large numbers. -R. Barnes

Banded 51:
1 House Wren
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Swainson’s Thrush (first of the year)
1 American Robin
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Warbling Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
3 Yellow Warblers
10 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
6 Common Yellowthroats
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Brown-headed Cowbird
3 Baltimore Orioles

Orchard Orioles: ASY (older) males on the outsides; female 2nd from left; SY (younger) male 2nd from right.:

3 Orchard Orioles
7 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 71 spp.

Marnie decided to use her car as a “blind” to sneak up on wildlife. The Savannah Sparrow was curious about what she was doing…… -MMG