September 30th/October 1st – Feast Or Famine

Young Cedar Waxwing in the Hackberry tree. – C. Pintoul

Saturday we were busy, busy, busy. Flocks of Cedar Waxwings seemed to be everywhere but we were also getting a nice mix including the first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the season. We were just finishing off the processing of a round when I asked Morgan to go and check Net 10 – I wasn’t expecting much as it hadn’t been catching all day. She returned quickly to report that there were 35 birds in the net. We were gobsmacked and figured she was just putting us on but….no, by the time we got to the net there were 36 birds in it: 35 Cedar Waxwings and a Tufted Titmouse. For some reason, waxwings do this “misery loves company” thing: when one flies into the net its alarm call often causes its companions to throw themselves into it as well. They are a great bird for students to learn on: they don’t bite; they don’t very often get tangled, they’re easy to handle; and they’re easy to age and sex. We ended up banding 55 of them and 76 birds altogether.

Nancy got the first Hermit Thrush of the season Saturday night. -NRF

In the evening, Nancy, who was providing the “Ruthven presence” (i.e., the muscle) for a wedding event, opened a few nets to see if there were any Northern Saw-whet Owls around. There weren’t but…….she got the first Hermit Thrush of the season and an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk – nice compensation.

She also picked up this adult Sharp-shinned Hawk. -NRF

Today was completely different: just a few flocks of waxwings buzzing about and very little else. We banded just 13 birds and NO waxwings!?

Cedar Waxwing numbers dropped precipitously from Saturday to Sunday. -KMP

September 1st; Banded 76:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Young male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

1 Tufted Titmouse
2 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Swainson’s Thrushes
2 American Robins
55 Cedar Waxwings
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat

Song Sparrow. -KMP

2 Song Sparrows
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 31 spp.

October 1st; Banded 13:
1 Carolina Wren

Female Golden-crowned Kinglet. -AJB

3 Golden-crowned Kinglets

Male Golden-crowned Kinglet. -AJB

1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Cardinal
2 Song Sparrows
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco

ET’s: 38 spp.

Monarch Butterfly numbers are waning – we only saw one today. -RJY

Our last hummingbird was seen several days ago – and none since. -C. Pintoul

Lauren, the Cowbird Lady from Western, has just started a PhD studying……Song Sparrows. Appropriately, she banded this one – her first. -KMP

Aidan, giving rapt attention to banding a kinglet. -KMP

Aidan’s Ruby-crowned Kinglet. -KMP

Morgan with her sapsucker.


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