Record Breaking Season

‘Tis the season! For breaking records that is! Since our last post we have caught more Blackpoll Warblers, Trail’s Flycatchers, and Black-and-White Warblers than in previous years. Not only that, we actually broke the species record! Our 65th species was a lovely adult male Cape May Warbler.

What a treat! One of our more recent moments of excitement came from a Northern Flicker. It’s always so much fun when a heavy weight hits the net! This Flicker in particular was a female and she had plenty to say. We could barely hear each other over her chatter!


One bird that was very interesting to catch was an adult female American Robin. She was originally banded in 2016 and she was aged as an ‘after second year’ which means she’s at least 4 years old. Pretty impressive especially with the amount of Merlins and hawks around the marsh lately. It’s also so great to have her return here! Just imagine, she’s probably been back every year since, or we hope so. That just goes to show the quality of habitat we have here at Oak Hammock Marsh. We are all pretty lucky!

Only two more weeks to go and I think we can hit 70 species.


Migration Mayhem

The last two weeks have been phenomenal! Migration has been action packed and there’s been barely a moment to take a breather. Which is great! Our 500th bird was banded on August 16th and it happened to be a record breaker. It was our 2nd Sedge Wren of the season and we normally only catch 1. We have been breaking records left and right! We have caught more Cedar Waxwings, Mourning Warblers, Northern Waterthrush, Chestnut-sided Warblers, House Wrens, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and European Starlings than in previous years. It’s bananas!

During the last two weeks we caught some rarities for our station. We had our first ever Purple Finch, Brown Thrasher, and Merlin! We have also been lucky enough to catch the 2nd ever Eastern Towhee and Blackburnian Warbler. Overall it’s been a very exciting time!

Just 12 days after our 500th bird banded, we made it to 1000! We also banded our 50th species, a Lincoln’s Sparrow, and we are well on our way to break that record too! Just waiting on some of our later migrants to make their way through the province.

Every day we have lots of volunteers come out bright and early and we are so thankful! It’s great to have help that early in the morning and we are so glad that everyone is so excited! Kelsey has been doing a great job and her passion and excitement for each new bird is infectious.

In other news, we’ve had a very curious Short-tailed Weasel hanging around. When there are predators in the area we always make sure that the birds are safe. Therefore we have had to close the nets quite a few times because this Weasel is the most confident Weasel out there! Another cool wildlife sighting lately was River Otters! Clayton, one of our volunteers, was lucky enough to spot them and get some great photos!

With one month left of banding, we have lots of time to break more records and see some more interesting wildlife. Looking forward to the next couple of weeks!