Today I came upon this stunned Carolina Wren at the northwest alcove. It looked pretty out of it but as I approached it perked up, clinging to the bricks. I was never able to catch it and it ended up flying strongly to one of the oaks in the parking lot to the west, so I’ll count it as a survivor.
I found this morning what looked very much like the same Carolina Wren as on June 15, trapped at the “bunting door” on the south side of the NRC. Again, the bird was panting but when I picked it up it screamed and when released it flew strongly away. I guess I need to start banding these trapped birds. (Mourning Dove carcass from 6/10 remains evident.)
On this Father’s Day 2014, I was surprised to find a mother Carolina Wren trapped at the NRC. This is a common species in Stillwater, of course, but rarely seen on campus. In 5 years, I’ve found one dead and had two trapped.
This bird was in a shallow corner by the main north entrance. She was tired – panting – but I think she was just exhausted rather than injured. Certainly when I took hold of her (sexed by brood patch, btw), she screamed incessantly, drawing the attention of every robin, mockingbird, and starling within about 200 m. Here’s how I first found her:
Her disposition certainly illustrates that it doesn’t take much “depth” to trap a bird.
This is right before I grabbed her (the first time):
So I carried her away from the corner and to some trees in the courtyard. I figured it was an open enough vista to the north that she’d either take off away from the NRC immediately, or at least perch for a while first in the trees. Nope. She flew directly back across my left shoulder to end up here:
Now that was a first for me!
Okay, no more fooling around. I next picked her up and took her well away from the NRC, over near Cordell Hall. From there she flew strongly away from me and perched in a tree amid some scolding robins.
Humor at her predicament aside, this is a bird that would probably have died today – from exhaustion or predation in her vulnerable state – had I not been there poking around.