7 October 2019 – Two House Wrens and still learning new things

The two House Wrens I found this morning (one at the main north entrance and one in the northwestern alcove) were the 3rd and 4th casualties since August. I had only found 3 prior to August 2019.

August 2009–July 2019: 3 House Wrens

August 2019–October 2019: 4 House Wrens

3 October 2019 – Common Yellowthroat

This AHY male Common Yellowthroat got no farther than the main north entrance of the Noble Research Center today.

29 September 2019 – Lincoln’s Sparrow

A sad sign of autumn in Stillwater, Oklahoma: I found the first window-killed Lincoln’s Sparrow of the fall. I did not check yesterday (Sep. 28) but that’s probably when this collision occurred.

27 September 2019 – Another House Wren and Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Today there was a House Wren in the southeastern alcove and an immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the main north entrance.

24 September 2019 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Nashville Warbler; plus bonus birds

Birds on the move captured on Nexrad radar tell an important story on the evening of Sep. 23 to the morning of Sep. 24. First, watch migration blow up after local sunrise in the eastern US, and progress to the west.

As the night wore on, storms began to flare up in Oklahoma. Here in Stillwater those storms hit between 1:30 and 2:00 am on Sep. 24. As the storms expand, migration stalls: Birds put down to avoid the storms and for people on the ground, that’s a fallout.

Was there evidence of this fallout on the ground?

Well, there was a bonus Canada Warbler in that troublesome northeastern alcove of the Food and Agricultural Products Center. (This was in addition to a Mourning Warbler and a Wilson’s Warbler I found there on Sep. 21.)

There was a big flight of Nashville Warbler in Stillwater, too. Twelve were reported from Couch Park. I found one in the southwestern alcove and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the northeastern alcove.

 

23 September 2019 – House Wren and Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This morning there was a House Wren at the main north entrance and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the southwestern alcove.

18 September 2019 – Mourning Warbler

Yet another Mourning Warbler today. This one was in the southwestern alcove. I don’t know if it had been chasing this grasshopper and they both died at the window, but it sure did look unusual to find these two together.

15 September 2019 – Prothonotary Warbler

Proof that even 10 years of monitoring cannot make us immune to surprises, today I found a new species for the study: an AHY male Prothonotary Warbler at the main north entrance of the Noble Research Center. This is the 68th species recorded as a victim there since August 2009.

 

14 September 2019 – two Yellow Warblers

There was a big flight of Yellow Warblers this week, culminating in tow individuals –– one trapped and one dead –– at the Noble Research Center. The collision victim was in a weird spot at the southwestern corner.

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 6.54.46 PM.png

8 September 2019 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The 40th casualty of 2019 indicates another unusually deadly year at the Noble Research Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University here in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. The fact that we’ve hit that benchmark in early September is especially disheartening. This hummingbird at the main north entrance earned the sad distinction of being number 40.

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 1.39.10 PM

6 September 2019 – Mourning Warbler

We lost another Mourning Warbler overnight, this one in the southwest alcove. Note the broken lower mandible on this poor victim.

4 September 2019 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

To clarify, it was indeed 4 September that this Ruby-throated Hummingbird met its end beneath the south portico.

1 September 2019 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird and trapped Painted Bunting

There was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the northwestern alcove and a stunned and trapped Painted Bunting at the south entrance. The Painted Bunting was able to perch on its own and all signs this morning would indicate it recovered and moved on.

30 August 2019 – Mourning Warbler

I found another Mourning Warbler today, this one at the main north entrance.

29 August 2019 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler

Tough morning with three casualties at the Noble Research Center: there was a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the southwestern alcove and flanking Wilson’s and Yellow warblers at the main north entrance.

27 August 2019 – Mourning Dove

I found an immature Mourning Dove at the northwestern alcove this morning.

25 August 2019 – Yellow Warbler

There was a male Yellow Warbler at the southwestern alcove today.

23 August 2019 – Indigo Bunting and Mourning Warbler

As storms rolled through overnight, I assumed I might find a casualty this morning. There were two: a completely rain-soaked female Indigo Bunting in the southwestern alcove and a completely dry and fluffy Mourning Warbler at the south entrance under the rain protection provided by the portico’s overhanging roof. The latter was an AHY male with fat = 3.

18 August 2019 – Painted Bunting

I found another Painted Bunting this morning, this time in the southwestern alcove. This one looked to be a second-year female with a still-evident brood patch.

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 2.29.34 PM

15 August 2019 – Painted Bunting

I did not do a survey yesterday (14th), but this Painted Bunting at the main north entrance looked as if it had been in place since at least yesterday morning. Nonetheless, it will be recorded as a casualty of the 15th.

13 August 2019 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Found a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the main north entrance this morning.

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 2.30.08 PM.png

August 2009–July 2019: Ten Year Milestone

Ahead of the official official ten-year anniversary of window collision monitoring at the Noble Research Center on August 20th, here’s a recap of my very first post from 7 September, 2009.

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 8.29.41 AM.png

Those were heady days, indeed.

Here are some basic things I’ve observed and learned, August 2009–July 2019.

With some occasional help when I’ve been out of town, we surveyed the perimeter of the Noble Research Center for window-collided birds 2,141 times. I’ve generally run surveys every day (usually within about two hours of sunrise) during heavy migration periods in  autumn and spring, scaling back to more like weekly surveys during the dead of winter.

Including 4 unidentified passerine remains, at least 414 individuals of 67 species died in window collisions at the Noble Research Center.

The most frequently encountered casualties were:

  1. Lincoln’s Sparrow 51
  2. Ruby-throated Hummingbird 36
  3. Painted Bunting 26
  4. Indigo Bunting 23
  5. Grasshopper Sparrow 20
  6. Clay-colored Sparrow 18
  7. Mourning Dove 17
  8. Nashville Warbler 16
  9. Mourning Warbler 15

Tenth is a four-way tie with 11 casualties each for Common Yellowthroat, Orange-crowned Warbler, Song Sparrow, and Yellow Warbler.

The spatial distribution of those casualties looks a bit like this:

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 12.08.42 PM.png

Collision casualties at the Noble Research Center, Stillwater, OK, 2017

Window treatments applied to selected panes in 2016 have, evidently, not contributed to a decline in collisions.

I plan to continue my monitoring at the NRC for as long as I can, and in the next 10 years hope to appreciably reduce the mortality here.