Stéphane’s Blog for April 24, 2011

On the Move!

Finally, the warmer weather brought lots of birds! It seems that birds need to catch up the lost time, what with all the snowstorms and rainstorms. This Easter morning, an impressive total of 62 species were detected during the 7 hours of monitoring. 12 species were new for the season: Great Blue Heron; 8 male Wood Ducks; Red-shouldered Hawk (one individual; although it was detected on April 14th, before the official start of monitoring); Broad-winged Hawk (with 5 individuals); Blue Jay; one White-breasted Nuthatch (an uncommon species at Cabot Head!); one Pine Warbler; one Eastern Meadowlark; one Swamp Sparrow (caught in our nets); White-throated Sparrow; Purple Finch and American Goldfinch!

There was an almost constant stream of Northern Flickers, with a Detected Total of 73; big flocks of American Crows and Common Grackles. A decent number of Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers were seen as well, with 3 banded.

The diversity of birds of prey was astounding: 11 species (including Turkey Vulture), with, at one point, the 4 species of Buteo seen together (Rough-legged, Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and Broad-winged). One Osprey was seen, but more remarkably, 2 sub-adult Golden Eagles were observed!

A pair of Eastern Phoebes has been inspecting Grebe Lodge all morning, looking for a place to nest. The lone Barn Swallow has found a companion and they are milling over the shipwreck, along with 2 Tree Swallows.

Despite all this activity, it was still relatively slow at the nets, with only 14 birds banded. However, one of them was a young female Pileated Woodpecker: quite a handful!

All in all, a very good April morning!