Thursday, October 23, 2008


While out banding recently we finally caught what I've been hoping for-a raptor!

A Sharp Shinned Hawk-back when we banded those Bohemians a Coopers went into the net but immediately bounced out-but this time the Sharpie was caught. Richard did an excellent job extracting it-no blood or scratches!

We couldn't band it since we don't have the proper license but of course we took photographs!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'd like your attention please

Do you mind?
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
I would like to announce that Richard Joos has successfully completed the North American Banding Council certification for both Bander and Trainer!

Way to Go Richard-we are very proud of you I know how much hard work it was

Soon I will post some shots of the Sharpie we caught in the net the other day-here's a little preview

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rock Point Banding Station

Last weekend after visiting Ruthven we managed to make it to Rock Point Banding Station just in time for the last net run. Rock Point is on the shores on Lake Erie. Richard broadly hinted that he would like to band the White Eyed Vireo-and Jim graciously allowed him too.

I sent Jim the better photos for his website.

So yesterday we returned for what were hoping would be a good "fall out", but all the way there rain was off and on and we knew it would either be a bust or great! We thought we were going to be very late as we made some wrong turns, but the rain delayed the opening too. It turned out the day was a bust they banded a total of 14 birds-and it had been fifty the day before! It was still fun to be there and help out-I did get to see my first female Blackpoll up close-

and got a really good look at a Yellow Bellied Flycatcher.

We tried our best to turn that Yellow Bellied into an Acadian and the Mourning Warbler into a Connecticut but no such luck-the field markings don't lie! LOL

It was great fun (and educational) to visit-Jim is a lot of fun-and a great teacher-I suggest you check out his website for more info-and that you go visit him too!
Thank you Jim and Roswitha!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ruthven Banding Station

We went to visit another banding station yesterday-and it was great fun. (almost) worth getting up at 3:20-groan!

On the very first net run we caught a Black Billed Cuckoo! Richard extracted and got to band it.

She was quite the beauty-her red eyeliner was quite pretty-but I was quite enamoured with her beautiful long tail!

I actually didn't take that many photos while there-because I was banding. And despite the mistakes I made I think they may have me back ;) (and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the Fudge Brownies I brought-lol)

They have an actual station there-with heat, lights, etc....and a building close by with a washroom-luxury! Ontario Power Generation donated money to build the station and it really looks great. This photo is a little dark but it was early you know!

One of the interesting birds caught while we were there was a retrap Yellow Warbler that was aged as a 2nd Year Bird in 2006-but would have been aged as that now if they hadn't had the previous records. She was quite a revelation to all.

I was happy to see all the Pearl Crescent butterlies hanging around between nets 3-5. I needed a shot of one of them and I got quite a few they were very co-operative!
(for butterlies!)

You can read about Ruthven at their own blog at Ruthven Park's Nature Blog-they update much more regularly than I do!

Thank you very much Rick, Brian, Faye and Phil-it was great meeting you and working with you.

Next the neat bird Richard got to band at Rock Point! And I will try to catch up with some more banding photos this week

Friday, May 23, 2008

Busy Week

We have been busy this week out banding and when the weather doesn't co-operate birding -(under disguise of scoping out new banding sites ;D)

We had an interesting American Redstart male his tail was half orange half red

We had one very busy day with quite a few biters-female Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanager and a male Northern Cardinal. My finger still has the bruising from that crew. Here's the female Grosbeak after we released her-she looks harmless doesn't she?

A lot of Magnolia and Nashville Warblers this week-and a little bit of practically everything else too. Not much time for photos-a Ruby Crowned Kinglet surprised us by still being around the other day as well. One day the Tree and Bank Swallows were having a bug eating party right above one of our nets-we kept hoping one would swoop low enough but no such luck!

Quite a few Yellow Warblers too both new and recaps!

A fair amount of Wilson Warblers as well

Sorry been having some problems
with Blogger more later-hopefully looking better too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Late Afternoon Arrival

A Late Afternoon Arrival
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
Although Saturday was relatively slow we did get several different species-a Brown Thrasher, a House Wren, a Cowbird (ouch!) a Yellow Warbler and a Song Sparrow who really likes us-we've caught it four times this year!

But the highlight was this Blue Winged that arrived shortly before 5 pm. Now that was a treat!

Richard will be banding Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the Whitby area-please email if you are interested in joining him (us)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy International Migratory Bird Day!

We will be banding today if anybody would like to join us

Good Birding Today everyone!
For more information on International Migratory Bird Day go HERE

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Through the Rain

Well we did end up trying to band yesterday we left very late (9:30 a.m.) and got about an hour or two of banding in before the rain thwarted us completely. We kept waiting in case it would stop and it would pretend to stop but then start right back up again!

We caught our first Common Yellowthroat and first Catbird of the year-the weather was so rotten I didn't take any photos but Richard took these Common Yellowthroats with my camera!

Also we recaptured a Song Sparrow for the third time this year-he must really like our nets! And we had a Swamp Sparrow with a five Fat guess he's still got a long way to migrate.

We are planning on banding next Saturday as well-but hope to get there nice and early if the weather is good-will update here

Friday, May 02, 2008

Try, try again Update-we will be talking at 9!

We'd like to try banding again tomorrow but the weather looks even worse than last time.

The Weather Network says rain in the morning, thundershowers in the afternoon-100%!-so far it looks like we are thwarted again-if this changes I will update at 9

Monday, April 28, 2008

Let's try this again!

Originally uploaded by makeupanid
Anyone interested in joining us for a day of banding tomorrow?-maybe we will see one of these guys!

(the weather looks good but possibly too cold!)

meet at William Coffee Pub on Victoria Street off Thickson Rd. South in Whitby! (more complete directions in post below-an invitation)

Hope to see you there-we are planning on meeting at 7:30 there-if it is too cold we might have to stop for coffee first-no hardship...hmmmm?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Banding cancelled for the 28th we will try again on the 29th!

We are cancelling the banding for today-sorry-but the weather is not co-operating! pouring

But there is always tomorrow!

for directions check the below post-thanks!

An Invitation!

I am pretty, oh so pretty
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
We are going to be banding in the Whitby area Monday and Tuesday and would like to invite people to join us.

You can meet us at Williams Coffee Pub on Victoria St. just off Thickson Rd South.

The time will be announced later this evening.

Richard will be wearing a Green Hat with a Canada Goose on it I will be wearing a Navy Blue hat the says MAPS Bird Banding with a Chestnut Sided Warbler on it.

Hope you can join us!

As always birdbanding is weather dependant-heavy rain, high winds, snow! will prevent this experience atm the weather is not looking good for tomorrow-keep checking back here for updates please!

Friday, April 25, 2008

First Warbler of 2008

We banded our first warbler of 2008 the other day-a Western Palm Warbler!

It was the only warbler we got that day we didn't ever hear any others-we did hear a Towhee that I was hoping we would catch-but he did not co-operate. (Oh I saw him too that's how I knew he was a he ;) An Eastern Phoebe was also hanging around but did not oblige us.

We did get a fair amount of Song Sparrows and White Throated Sparrows however including this one.

Hopefully that Palm was the first of many more to come-yay Warbler Season has started!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day is TODAY!

Earth Day is TODAY!
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
Oh I forgot to post this earlier!

I just wanted to say Happy Earth Day everyone-soon I will be posting a banding schedule-Spring Migrants are already arriving.

How many Warblers have you seen so far? I heard a Pine Warbler singing away-and saw some Mrytle's

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bohemian-First Bird for 2008!

Did I keep you waiting long enough?-Sorry I meant to get to this sooner ;D

Sooooooooooo last Friday a birding friend phoned me up and let me know about a flock of Bohemian Waxwings mixed with Cedars demolishing some crabapple trees in the Toronto area. Bohemians!-yes a Life Bird for me-that's one of the good things about only being into birding for a few years-you can still look forward to lifers-in fact since last Friday I have added five Lifers to my list.

It was relatively warm and the Sun was shining too-perhaps we could catch a Bohemian for our first banded bird of 2008? No harm in trying. We gathered our banding, and photography equipment together and headed out.

We knew we were in the right place when we saw photographers with what we laughingly call "bazooka" lenses. (really we are just jealous of them ;D) There were also several birders with binocs watching. And sure enough after we parked and arrived at the trees Bohemians and Cedars were feasting away! Here's a few birds in one of the trees.

Since the temperature was above 0C we decided to try and catch one-it was worth a try at least right? So we set up the net (just one) and before we even had the net completely up the first Bohemian had flown in! While I finished the setting up-a small crowd of birders in tow followed the bird as she was taken away to be banded. Of course I did get there in time to photograph her as the first bird of the year.

It was a second year female. And she was beautiful! As you can see

Another female flew into the net as well and an American Robin too. Although this was excitement enough-it almost got even better-there was a Sharp Shinned Hawk keeping an eye on the flocks feasting and he was chasing an American Robin who ducked under the net-while the Sharpie went right in. He bounced off and according to witnesses fell into the snow and looked very peeved before flying off! Imagine having a Sharpie as the second bird-LOL!

The wind picked up and the birds no longer had any trouble seeing where the net was especially after the Hawk bounced off it. I saw one Bohemian fly up, see it, veer right, still see it-and soar right over it. No more captures for us but we had no complaints. We'd caught a Bohemian as the first bird of the year!

The temperature dropped, the sun was fading and it was no longer a safe temperature to band in.

This Cedar Waxwing was enjoying the fading light-I think Waxwings are such striking birds-and I don't think I'm alone in this thought. I hope reading about this makes you as happy as it made me to experience it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

First Bird for 2008!

The Juggler
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
Can you believe it a Bohemian Waxwing!

I'll come back and tell you more about it later-this is just a tease.

Don't forget about Earth Hour tonight and turn off your lights between 8 and 9 please!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Who was No. 1?

Originally uploaded by makeupanid
not chickadees ;D

Nope the No. 1 bird was the same as last year-The Northern Cardinal

I asked permission to copy this poem for our blog because I like it so much

Submitted by Greg Kratzig. on 15-02-2008 00:10.
My anticipation of counting this weekend

Twas the night before the Bird Count
and all through the house,
the birders were sleeping,
just dreaming of grouse.
They had mapped out their day
to find a Blue Jay,
or perhaps watching owls cathing their prey.
Their scopes were all ready,
their binos were too
don't forget your tripod, your camera, your guide,
or your coffee, a sandwhich or your favorite hot stew.
You can count from your window, our car or on foot,
and if you get lost remember stay put.
What this weekend will bring,
may remind us of spring,
Just remember have fun,
as you are watching a Hun,
and when the weekend has passed,
we will tally our birds,
in the hopes that we have massed,
more species this year than years in the past.

Also there are some wonderful photos of an Ivory Gull counted for the first time in South Dakota HERE
Please scroll down to the bottom as my personal favourite was the last one where he comes up with his catch of the day!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


It's the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend-I hope everyone is counting and submitting-I am :D

Though I haven't found anything terribly exciting.

Lots of these guys

And one day I had the Female Cardinal and the next day the pair-The Northern Cardinal is the Number One bird so far in the count

There are some amazing shots in the GBBC Photo Gallery-I particularly like this one of the Pileated Woodpecker

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fly on Over

Take Out
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
To the Annual General Meeting of the
Toronto Bird Observatory

on Saturday, February 2, 2008
at 2 pm

at 588 Indian Grove
Toronto, Ontario

Google Map

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Did I say the third-it's the second!

Was it something I said?
Originally uploaded by makeupanid
The Annual General Meeting will be held February 2, 2008

I hope I don't have to change this date again! we decided Saturday was better than a Sunday for the meeting-I hope we made the right decision!

Details to follow shortly

An email will be sent out and updates will be posted here!
Hope to see you there

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Thanks Tova!

Yesterday we were going to go out and look for the Pine Grosbeaks everybody keeps talking about in Bowmanville or maybe the Northern Hawk Owl in Stoney Creek, but we were running out of light so instead just decided to see what was hanging around Humber Bay East at the Lake.

We pulled into the parking lot and thought hey those people look familar-it was Tova a Toronto Bird Observatory Member and she told us that there were a pair of Harlequin Ducks immediately south of where we were standing offering good views. And she was right we found them within five minutes (that's the kind of birding I like ;D)

Both the male and the female were quite obliging-too bad I don't have a bigger zoom lens, or maybe a teleconverter but still you get the general idea of what they look like-they also hung around for more than an hour keeping relatively close to shore

By the time we left the Lakeside was feeling very cold and windy so it seems appropriate to end with the Tundra Swans we saw

It may actually be warm enough to band this week! Stay Tuned

The Annual General Meeting is to held February 3-see you there