I did find raccoon prints on the west side of the building this morning. After ~ 2″ of rain yesterday, there’s more soft mud around than usual. This is the first I’ve found evidence of potential mammalian scavengers at the NRC. The bedraggled Lincoln’s Sparrow carcass from a few days ago is still there, however, as are continued remnants of a Grasshopper Sparrow, Gray Catbird, and Mourning Dove that have been there for weeks. So presence of scavengers does not necessarily equate to a high scavenger removal rate.
Apparently, there are a lot of Lincoln’s moving through this week . . .
Found another Lincoln’s Sparrow today, and a Song Sparrow that was still alive but not looking good (blood from bill). I moved the Song to a more protected location – he perked up when I grabbed him, so he might have a chance, but I’m including him as a casualty.
I did not check the NRC today, but while walking past the Food and Agricultural Products Center, I noticed this Lincoln’s Sparrow on the sidewalk:
Lincoln’s is a common spring and fall migrant here in Stillwater. They’re easy to overlook, unless they’re lying in plain view on a sidewalk.
The bird was limp and seemed fresh, but the ants had already gotten to the head, and I didn’t collect the specimen. Follow this link to learn more about the Orange-crowned Warbler. I couldn’t determine sex of the bird, but it was full of fat – fat score = 3.
Range map below:
In addition to the Orange-crowned, I found a very much alive Grasshopper Sparrow in one of the western alcoves of the NRC this morning. I herded it out to safety.
While there were no victims at the NRC today, a colleague pointed out a dead hawk on a ledge of my own building, Ag Hall. The bird was still limp, but soaked and bedraggled from a few hours in the puddles on the ledge. The unfortunate soul was an immature, female Sharp-shinned Hawk – separable from a Cooper’s Hawk by size (~13″ bill to tail tip), truncated tail shape, no broad white band at the tail tip, an extensively streaked breast and belly, a proportionately small head, and white supercilium.
Our foggy, cool weather over the past week finally cleared out last night, so I was expecting a big push of migrants. We may have had that push, but it didn’t translate into any casualties at the NRC.
Read the story here.
Several days away – days of fog and drizzle – do not appear to have led to any new casualties.
HY male; fat = 2.
the Mourning Dove has been scavenged. Nothing remaining but the primaries. So, as mentioned, scavenging rate can be highly variable.
Female, found in courtyard on east side of the NRC. This is the first time I’ve found anything in this space.