29 September 2017 – Lincoln’s Sparrow

It’s sad to realize that the real harbinger of autumn here in Stillwater is the first Lincoln’s Sparrow casualty at the Noble Research Center.

28 September 2017 – Our first Savannah Sparrow, a trapped yellowthroat, and some bonus birds

Since Monday night, we seem to have received at least 5 inches of rain here in Stillwater.  That’s great as I’ve been lamenting the lack of even clouds for a few weeks. The system that brought the rain might have kept birds bottled up to our north because once it cleared last night (Wed.) there was one heck of a flight.

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Of course, attempts to correlate window collision mortality with big radar echoes of migrating birds are fraught with confirmation bias.  There are plenty of big flights that result in no dead birds on my rounds, and I’m a lot more likely to check “last night’s radar” on a morning when I find multiple casualties.  Today was one of those days.

I walked to the Noble Research Center on a route that took me past the long row of windows on the southern side of the Food and Agricultural Products Building, aka, FAPC. This is just across a parking lot from the NRC and I’ve made several incidental finds there.  Today, these “bonus birds” numbered three: an Ovenbird, a Common Yellowthroat (collected) and, around the corner, a female Indigo Bunting that had been there for at least a few days. So before I even made it to the NRC, I encountered 3 window-killed birds.

The yellowthroat was an apparent AHY-male, with fat = 2 and weighing in at 12 g.

 

At the NRC was another surprise.  Surprisingly, after all these years and considering how common these birds are as migrants and wintering residents, I found the project’s first Savannah Sparrow, in the northwest alcove.

 

 

There was also a trapped Common Yellowthroat at the main north entrance and another Savannah sparrow flitting around – through not trapped – just west of the southern portico entrance. The Savannah Sparrow was AHY-U, weighing 18g with a fat score = 2.

27 September 2017 – Wilson’s Warbler

This 9.5 g, fat = 3, AHY-male Wilson’s Warbler met his sad end at the southwest alcove last night.

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22 September 2017 – Mourning Warbler

I’m mourning the loss of another one today – this AHY female I found at the northwest alcove. She was fat (=3) and healthy at 12.5g.

 

This was the unofficial 315th casualty on the project and, for a new sobering record, the 44th this year. The previous annual high was 41. We’ve surpassed that already in 2017 and, for us, migration is really just ramping up.

18 September 2017 – Wilson’s Warbler

The Mourning Dove remained intact this morning. There was also an apparent AHY female Wilson’s Warbler at the southeastern alcove. She was fat (=3) and healthy at 9g.

16 September 2017 – Mourning Dove

I found this hatch-year Mourning Dove in front of the main north entrance today.

8 September 2017 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Moments after completing my survey this morning, ace hummingbird finder Aurora Manley sent me a photo of this headless Ruby-throated Hummingbird from beneath the south portico.

3 September 2017 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The hummingbird onslaught continues . . .

SY-female.

1 September 2017 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Late in the afternoon, OSU grad student Megan Roselli brought me this HY-male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in a cup.  She had just found it at the northeast alcove (where it wasn’t when I had checked this morning).

Hummingbird photos by Megan Roselli.

29 August 2017 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I missed this bird on my 30 August check but was lucky enough to meet the reason why: OSU grad student Aurora Manley found this HY male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the 29th (sometime after my check) and took it in to nurse it back to health. Unfortunately, it did not survive.