On this Father’s Day 2014, I was surprised to find a mother Carolina Wren trapped at the NRC. This is a common species in Stillwater, of course, but rarely seen on campus. In 5 years, I’ve found one dead and had two trapped.
This bird was in a shallow corner by the main north entrance. She was tired – panting – but I think she was just exhausted rather than injured. Certainly when I took hold of her (sexed by brood patch, btw), she screamed incessantly, drawing the attention of every robin, mockingbird, and starling within about 200 m. Here’s how I first found her:
Her disposition certainly illustrates that it doesn’t take much “depth” to trap a bird.
This is right before I grabbed her (the first time):
So I carried her away from the corner and to some trees in the courtyard. I figured it was an open enough vista to the north that she’d either take off away from the NRC immediately, or at least perch for a while first in the trees. Nope. She flew directly back across my left shoulder to end up here:
Now that was a first for me!
Okay, no more fooling around. I next picked her up and took her well away from the NRC, over near Cordell Hall. From there she flew strongly away from me and perched in a tree amid some scolding robins.
Humor at her predicament aside, this is a bird that would probably have died today – from exhaustion or predation in her vulnerable state – had I not been there poking around.