As the Indigo Bunting persists, today there was another AHY-M Ruby-throated Hummingbird – this one at the south entrance portico – and an AHY-F Yellow Warbler at the southeastern alcove.
As I’m about to head out for a conference this week, spring and summer monitoring comes to a close. I’ll begin August 2017 the 9th consecutive year of (mostly) daily monitoring for window casualties at the Noble Research Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA.
It’s been a busy spring.
Beginning Mar 1st, here’s what has turned up at the Noble Research Center.
- Indigo Bunting – 5
- Painted Bunting – 5
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 3
- Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2
- Mourning Dove – 2
- Nashville Warbler – 2
- Orange-crowned Warbler – 2
- Baltimore Oriole – 1
- Chipping Sparrow – 1
- Eastern Meadowlark – 1
- House Wren – 1
- Northern Parula – 1
- Tennessee Warbler – 1
- Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 1
That’s 28 individuals of 14 species, and damn, that is disheartening.
On the plus side, my commitment to checking almost every day has put me in position to save a few birds by getting them safely away from the building and taking them someplace secure to rest and recuperate for a bit. I can’t guarantee that all 6 of these survived the ordeal, but they seemed to be in good shape when I last saw them:
- Northern Cardinal
- Common Yellowthroat
- Mourning Dove
- Song Sparrow
- Yellow Warbler
- Carolina Wren
With special guest stars James O’Connell and David Mallen, today’s survey turned up a male Indigo Bunting and a trapped Yellow Warbler at the main north entrance. (No photo of the warbler; it was a male.)
Let’s take a closer look at that Indigo Bunting:
The multiple obvious molt limits on this bird illustrate two generations of feathers on the same individual, some of which grew in last summer and some which have come in quite recently. This confirms the age of the bird as second year (SY).
We’ve been experienced severe heat and drought in Oklahoma this summer. As of yesterday, Oklahoma City has logged 45 days with temperatures in excess of 100 F, and daily high temperature records have been dropping left and right – usually by several degrees. Yesterday we reached 108, but finally we had a cold front move through the region, spurring strong storms. The gust front from these storms apparently exceeded 90 mph in various places, and many neighborhoods in Stillwater have sustained more damage than we’ve seen in our recent tornadoes.
Given that we’ve now entered the second week of August and there was a decent tailwind following the storms, I wasn’t that surprised to find an unfortunate migrant at the Noble Research Center this morning. This is a Yellow Warbler, apparently an AHY female. Fat = 2.