15 June 2014 – trapped Carolina Wren

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.

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