31 August 2018 – yet another Mourning Warbler

This morning I found the fifth dead Mourning Warbler on campus in the past two weeks: Four (including this one on the northwest alcove) at the Noble Research Center and one incidental find just across a small parking lot from the NRC at the Food and Agricultural Products Center.

For a bit of perspective on how unusual this is, i.e., Mourning Warbler is a secretive, migratory transient in Central Oklahoma that is far more likely to be found dead at a window than live on an eBird checklist, this was the 15th Mourning Warbler casualty I’ve found at the NRC since I began surveys in August of 2009. In comparison, I’ve only found 17 casualties over the same time period of the far more abundant and year ’round resident Mourning Dove.

This one was a hatch-year bird – so just a month or two old – with fat = 1.

30 August 2018 – Mourning Warbler

The wave of Mourning Warbler migration continues and the casualties mount. Here is an adult male from the southwestern alcove cut down in his prime with fat = 3 and trauma evident on the tip of the upper mandible.

29 August 2018 – no casualties, but a bonus Mourning Warbler

Both Ag Hall and the Food and Agricultural Products Center, across Monroe St. from the Nobel Research Center – see their fair share of window collisions, too. Today, the latter building claimed this Mourning Warbler, the third I’ve found window-killed on this campus over the past week.

23 August 2018 – Mourning Warbler

There was more mourning for me this morning, as I found a nearly identical bird to the casualty from Tuesday: Hatch-year Mourning Warbler; indeterminate sex; fat = 3. Here is another youngster on its first journey from the boreal forest to perhaps Colombia or Ecuador, cut down in perfect health from a stupid window in the southwest alcove.

 

21 August 2018 – Mourning Warbler

I found a hatch-year Mourning Warbler of indeterminate sex at the southwest corner entrance to the Noble Research Center this morning.  Fat = a rotund 3.

13 August 2018 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Casualty number two of the fall 2018 migration was this waterlogged Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the southeast alcove.

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8 August 2018 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the main north entrance is the first official fall migration casualty of 2018, a dubious honor.

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Note how the window is a triple threat for migrating birds: It reflects vegetation behind, provides a pass-through illusion to the other side, and it contains a naturalistic rock garden inside visible through the glass. Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 11.24.04 AM.png

In other news, the Black-and-white Warbler from 31 July was scavenged overnight, with 2–3 primaries and a single downy tuft all that remains. It lasted 9 days.

31 July 2018: end of season wrap-up

Well, here we go. Today marks the end of my 9th year conducting spring/summer monitoring for window-killed birds at the Noble Research Center. Tomorrow I begin year 10. Ten years of near daily monitoring of window-killed birds. Here’s a quick 9-year wrap-up:

  • 40: average minimum casualties annually
  • 360: total casualties (minimum)
  • 64: species confirmed as fatalities
  • 10: average number of days for birds to be removed/scavenged

 

Top ten (eleven) species most commonly encountered as casualties at this site:

  • Lincoln’s Sparrow (45)
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird (29)
  • Painted Bunting (24)
  • Indigo Bunting (20)    *tie*    Grasshopper Sparrow (20)
  • Mourning Dove (17)
  • Clay-colored Sparrow (16)
  • Nashville Warbler (14)
  • Common Yellowthroat (11)    *tie*   Mourning Warbler (11)  *tie*  Song Sparrow (11)

 

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31 July 2018 – Black-and-white Warbler

To close out spring/summer 2018 monitoring, I found this beautiful Black-and-white Warbler today in the southeastern alcove.

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I think it’s a hatch-year male, i.e., one of this season’s babies on its first journey south. Sadly, this is as far south as it got.

30 July 2018 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

There was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the southwest alcove today.

A sad bonus was this Blue Grosbeak at the Food and Agricultural Products Center.

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