Sunday, May 13, 2012


Sandhill Cranes with a very young colt
My Mothers' Day treat was spending the morning at Ruthven Park at the bird banding station. Spring migration is in full swing and I have had little time for birding in the past few weeks.  I saw many inspiring mothers.

Tree Swallow 
Female Bluebird feeding her newly fledged offspring
Kildeer sitting on her nest
Ruthven Park has a couple of graveyards. I sat on a bench by one of them to eat my lunch and noticed this tombstone erected in honour of a mother who was born the same day as me, but 129 years earlier. Her first name is similar to mine as well and she died on my mother's birthday, 55 years before Mom's birth. Almost 2 centuries after Eliza J. Rogers' started her journey on earth, we are reminded of the respect and affection her children had for their mother.

I had an unspoken wish for today, and that was to see a Scarlet Tanager for the first time. I left home before 5 AM and when I arrived at the park shortly after 6 AM, it was the first bird I spotted with my binoculars. When we did the first round of the mist nets, two beautiful males were caught together and I got to hold both of them!

Happy Mothers' Day to me, to my mother and mothers everywhere!

Photo by Rick Ludkin
55 Species seen today, 1 life bird and 28 FOY birds.

Tennessee Warbler, Myrtle Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Gray-blue Gnatcatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Nashville Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet

White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Common Grackle, Gray Catbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Cedar Waxwing, Veery, Swainson's Thrush, Red-winged Blackbird, Indigo Bunting, American Goldfinch, House Wren, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Flicker, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Robin, American Goldfinch, Bobolink

Tree Swallow, Purple Martin, Rough-winged Swallow, Spotted Sandpiper, Belted Kingfisher, Caspian Tern, Herring Gull, Kildeer, Canada Goose, Mallard Duck, Great Blue Heron

Wild Turkey, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, Sandhill Crane


  1. WOW--that's a busy birding day. Nice you got your wish as a Mother's Day gift.
    Lovely photos, by the way.

  2. I had a slight inkling that you would be blogging these pics soon. :)

  3. Sounds like a magnificent day. Nice when a wish comes true.

  4. Beautiful bird photos. You had a good day!

  5. I like the theme. A colt-really? Great photo of the Scarlet Tanagers-glad you got to see them and you earned it getting out that early! Happy belated Mother's Day.

  6. Thanks for the comments. @Larry- They call it a colt on our local birding forum and I see that is not unusual terminology when I google "Sandhill Crane colt". It is not a term I would have chosen.

  7. What a wonderful Mother's Day gift. You certainly had a good birding day. I've never seen sandhill cranes. They look majestic, somehow.


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