30 October 2009 – no casualties

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.

26 October 2009 – two sparrows

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.

21 October 2009 – bonus Lincoln’s Sparrow

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.

19 October 2009 – Orange-crowned Warbler

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.

16 October 2009 -bonus Ag Hall casualty

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.

Video Snapshot