Stéphane’s Posting for Sept. 14, 2011

Signs of Change

Whether we like it or not, there are clear signs of seasonal change all around us: leaves are starting to change colours, temperatures are dropping at night and cooler in the day… And, of course, a different parade of birds are about to begin, while the remnants of the previous one are still around.

The hummingbirds seem to have gone for good, the last ones being seen last Friday, September 9. Today, we saw the first Ruby-crowned Kinglet and banded the first Brown Creeper, a sure sign that fall is on its way (that’s it, I said its name). But today, we also detected 11 species of warblers, albeit with very few individuals of each. It is a good diversity for this time of year, with the first Orange-crowned Warbler of the season (it is somewhat of a late migrant species).

We also had a very interesting recapture today, of a White-crowned Sparrow that was banded here on August 17, while it was heavily molting. It was a surprise to have this species in the summer. We spotted it during a few days and, then, there was no sign of it for a long time. Yesterday, I thought I heard the feeble note of a White-crowned sparrow song. Today, it was in our nets, with a fresh and clean plumage. It is fascinating to think that this bird has been hanging around for almost a month and escaped detection all that time!