Stephane’s blog for August 26

The slow days of summer

Despite the variable weather, we have been able to open the nets every
day at least for some hours. Wind, rain, clouds, sun, warm, cold, the
sky has offered us a kaleidoscope of changing conditions. No major
movement has been detected yet: most of the birds seen or captured are
still local birds, with no fat on. Fat is the migration fuel, only to
be deposited when needed, thus, it can serve as an indicator of
whether a bird is migrating or not. Only a handful of the birds
captured have shown some fat.

At this time of year, there is sill a good diversity of warblers:
Nashville, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue &
Green, Myrtle (Yellow-rumped), Pine and Black-and-white Warblers,
American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Ovenbird have all been
observed and/or banded so far. All these species have a breeding
population on the Bruce Peninsula, so it is difficult to tell if the
birds detected are simply moving around as part of the breeding
population or migrants. It is most likely a combination of both:
eventually, they will all migrate. The Pine Warblers observed were
young still begging (and receiving) food from the parents! There is
always at least a pair of Pine Warblers breeding at Cabot Head every

The young Bald Eagles have been seen flying a few times: there are 2
of them. It is so satisfying to see this top predator “lording” over
Cabot Head.

Under dark clouds and strong wind, a Common Nighthawk was seen
yesterday evening at dusk, fighting the wind and flying south. We will
keep an eye on this species in the evenings to come.