Stéphane’s Posting for Sept. 21, 2011

Seasonal Shift!

Inexorably, the earth tilting is bringing us towards a different season. In 2 days, everywhere on Earth, the day will be exactly as long as the night, be it at the South Pole, the Equator, or, here, at Cabot Head, right at 45 degrees latitude North. It never ceases to amaze me, these 2 days of perfect division (one in the spring, one in the fall, of course). Yes, it is the equinox!

And with it comes a different suite of birds: Blue Jays and Flickers instead of Swallows and Hummingbirds, Sparrows and Kinglets instead of Warblers and Flycatchers. However, not all the warblers are gone: we captured today a young female American Restarts, as well as a handful of Black-throated Green Warblers. And, of course, there are the short-distance migratory warblers, most prominently among them, the Yellow-rumped Warbler that vacates the northern latitudes en masse but doesn’t go much farther than the southern states of the US of A.

We are joined, at the station, since Saturday, by Norlan, our second intern from Nicaragua. He is enjoying the last few warm days (even though he still thinks it is not that warm). And so far, lucky him, he has already seen (besides the regular banding): a Black Bear, 3 Otters fishing in Wingfield Basin, a Great Horned Owl in full view being mobbed by a murder of crows, an adult Bald Eagle perched way up on a red pine tree (far from the noise of the pestering crows. Yes, crows, owl, and eagle were seen at the same time), 2 Rattlesnakes (!). Not bad in less than 5 days!