Today brought a new surprise – the 64th species casualty at the site, an AHY-male Kentucky Warbler, fat = 0, CP = 2. Note the broken lower mandible.
Though they might have come in yesterday (when I didn’t check), there were two birds in the southwestern alcove today: a Tennessee Warbler (AHY-U, fat = 2) and a Painted Bunting (SY-U <probably female>, fat = 2).
There was also a bonus at the Food and Ag Products Center: a window-killed Yellow-billed Cuckoo and a trapped Black-and-white Warbler. The warbler flew off fine as I approached.
Painted Bunting has been removed, but Yellow Warbler remains.
I found a trapped Clay-colored Sparrow today in the southwestern alcove. Upon release in the relative safety of a nearby shrub, the bird flew off another 5m or so to another shrub, where it perched strongly.
Less lucky was the Magnolia Warbler I found in the northwest alcove. This bird, a female with fat = 3, was just the second of this species documented on this project.
I found just the second-ever Baltimore Oriole on the project today, at the main north entrance. This was a SY female (fat = 2, 33.5 g) showing extreme feather wear and asymmetrical flight feather molt. See especially the difference in the 2nd tertiary (S8, if you prefer) between the left and right wings.
Note – a dull-plumaged female Baltimore Oriole can be difficult to distinguish from Bullock’s Oriole. This bird was easy to discern as Baltimore owing to brightest yellow in the center of the upper breast/throat (instead of higher on the cheek/malar), more brownish rather than grayish upperparts, and dark centers to brownish feather of the scapulars.
The Indigo Bunting has been removed – May 12 – but the Painted Bunting and Yellow Warbler remain.
The odd thing today was that I found a dead Swainson’s Thrush along the northern wall. This might be the first casualty on this side of the building since monitoring began in August 2009. I then found a second – and alive! – Swainson’s Thrush in the southwestern alcove. The bird was feisty in the hand and perched strongly when I placed it in a nearby shrub.
Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting, and Painted Bunting remain.
Lincoln’s Sparrow still there.
I was out of town for a few days in May, and Corey Riding graciously offered to keep tabs on monitoring in my absence. On his first survey (and with his kids helping out as ace field technicians!), Corey added a new species to the list of unfortunate victims at the Noble Research Center: Great Crested Flycatcher. This is the 63rd species confirmed as a casualty at the NRC since I began this project in August of 2009.
Those most would not recognize it, the Great Crested Flycatcher is an abundant breeding bird of deciduous forests in eastern temperate North America, where its loud, burry “wheeEEP!” call is a characteristic sound of summer. Though they nest in and feed from large trees, Great Crested Flycatchers do not need deep forest cover, and in many places will breed in suburban neighborhoods that are well-treed. That is the case here in Stillwater, and this is one of those species that has been conspicuously absent from the roll of window collision victims at the NRC, given that they can be found nesting within about 1 km of the building.
Corey identified the bird as an AHY-F, given presence of a brood patch. He assigned her a fat score of 3 on the 0–7 scale, which is a 2 on my simpler 0–3 scale. This equates to the furcular hollow about half full. Corey also assessed pectoralis fullness on the 0–5 MAPS scale, and assessed the bird to have maximum pectoralis development of 5, with the muscle bulging outwards and away from the keel. Here again was a fine, healthy bird in its prime that just happened to not recognize a glass barrier for a crucial instant in its life. She was found in the corner of the southwestern alcove.
Lincoln’s Sparrow remains.
Indigo Bunting has been removed but the Lincoln’s Sparrow remains.