September 24th – Plugin’ Away

Ruby-throated Hummingbird taking advantage of the Salvia in Carol’s “Hummingbird Garden”. -MMG

Today I got this email from Glenn who runs a great banding program near King City, north of Toronto:

I have been faithfully reading your blog and see your low numbers for birds . It seems the complete opposite here in King City . We have been getting good numbers all week and today as well 75 to 100 a day; we are having so far the best season of the five years in operation and will probably exceed our best total of 3250 . All the birds we are catching have very high fat scores of 4 to 6; that started to happen last week after the north winds that we got last Tuesday. Also there are a lot of insects around our site in the forest. There is a student who has a variety of insect traps on the property; he has been commenting on the varieties and the high numbers of insects he is catching. We have caught over 200 AMRE [American Redstarts] and we got most of them by the end of August with the number climbing every day. NAWA [Nashville Warbler]are high as well also MAWA [Magnolia Warbler]. So I think it was a good year for birds up north. Also we have caught 13 AMWO [American Woodcock]; they seem to be everywhere in the morning as compared to last year when we did not get any because it was so dry . This year it has been a very wet spring at our site – perfect for the AMWO . Also we are seeing and catching AMGO [American Goldfinch] – there seems to be large flocks of them around. We are starting to get RCKI [Ruby-crowned Kinglet], WTSP [White-throated Sparrow] and EWCS [Eastern White-crowned Sparrow] this week, not in big numbers but their numbers are getting higher each day .

So about our lack of birds at Ruthven… sense is that once they take off from north of Lake Ontario the majority are simply “flying over” our site and likely not setting down until they clear the south side of Lake Erie. They have had perfect flight conditions for the past week or so: light winds, clear skies and relatively cool temperatures. Ruthven lies about halfway between Lakes Ontario and Erie. We need unsettled conditions to bring them down from their migratory flights. I think Glenn’s birds are fattening up in his area, getting ready to make a big jump across both lakes.

Banded 21:
1 House Wren

The first male Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the migration.

1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Gray-cheeked thrush
3 Swainson’s Thrushes
4 Gray Catbirds
3 Cedar Waxwings

Blue-headed Vireo. -MMG

1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Magnolia Warbler

Two American Redstarts: female on the left and a young male on the right.

2 American Redstarts
2 Ovenbirds
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Song Sparrow

ET’s: 39 spp.


Male Black-throated Green Warbler. -RC

Cedar Waxwings, especially juvenile ones (like this bird), are plentiful around the site now. -RC

Tennessee Warbler. -RC

Black-throated Green Warbler. -RC


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