14 September – Trapped Sora!

First things first – the cheeseburger is gone.  Two days ago it was apparently swiped by a lawnmower but still remained (in two pieces) conspicuous on the sidewalk.  This morning it was gone.  So after about 2 weeks, a delicious-looking, fresh cheeseburger patty has finally been snatched up by something.

Next we had another highly unusual occurrence last night – rain!  Beginning around noon yesterday to just some drizzle this morning at 8 am, we’ve finally had a decent, persistent rain here in Stillwater.  We managed one or two storms this summer, but by my reckoning our last actual rainy day was June 2nd.

One surprise waiting for me this misty morning in the bushes by the north entrance was a Sora, the first for the project.  Soras are long-distance migrants, and they often show up in studies of collision mortality; this one was my first, however.  Here’s where Soras tend to be, year ’round:

Here’s where they’ve been reported recently:

Here’s where one was this morning:

The bird was in great shape.  I steered it away from the building and it flushed off to the left and landed near a nearby exterior wall.  I flushed it again and this time it gained altitude, flew over the top of the NRC and was winging its way south again when it flew out of my line of sight.  Right now, I don’t know if it even made it off campus, but I at least was able to “free” it from the NRC.