Stéphane’s Blog for April 29, 2011

From Bust to Boom!

Yesterday (Thursday, April 28th) was another rainy day! No banding and barely any observation were done, as rain and strong wind made it impossible.

But today, the weather cleared and bird activity returned in full force. In spring, birds are really eager to move to their breeding grounds and take advantage of every single break in the weather. As a consequence, we got a lot of birds at Cabot Head, in and around the nets. We ended the morning with 104 birds banded (exactly like  Wednesday) of 13 species. Kinglets of both species were again the stars. There are still a lot of Brown Creepers migrating through, as shown by the 8 individuals captured. Warblers are starting too: quite a few Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) and Palm Warblers were detected (the latter having 8 individuals banded!).

Surprisingly, we got our first Black-throated Blue Warbler of the season, an early date. It was an adult male, caught in the nets. It was beautiful! And interesting,as it showed some black tips on its back feathers.

Today, two immature Golden Eagles were seen soaring over the bluff, one of them perching ever so briefly on Middle Bluff. It is the third time this spring that 2 Golden Eagles are seen, always together (more or less). For example, today, one Eagle was detected and was soaring by itself before it wen to West Bluff where the other one was. On the 17th, the 24th, or today (the 29th), no particular differences in plumage were obvious. It is thus possible that they are the same individuals. But at the same time, Golden Eagles don’t show a lot of plumage variation. We thus have no way to tell for sure. However, it would be quite remarkable to have 6 young Golden Eagles moving through Cabot Head, when the entire population in Ontario was estimated at 10 to 20 pairs! No matter what, it is always a treat and a privilege to observe this magnificent bird of prey.

In the same order, an adult Peregrine Falcon was observed perched on a snag near Middle Bluff. It was actually disturbed by the Golden Eagle and it took off from its perch! A few Broad-winged Hawks were seen, as well as 2 Rough-legged Hawks.