Chalk up another second-year male Indigo Bunting as a window-kill victim at the Noble Research Center. This bird had fat = 1 and CP = 2.
Today was one of those “just when I think I have this figured out” days.
As I was rounding the west perimeter of the Noble Research Center between the southwest and northwest alcoves, some feathers caught my eye up against the brick side of the building. This is the first time (in nearly 8 years) I found a bird at this spot and it was also pretty clearly one new to the study: a bright orange and black Baltimore Oriole, or at least a nice pile of feather remnants from what had lately been an adult male (ASY) Baltimore Oriole.
Though for consistency’s sake I’ll record that spot on the building as the location of collision, I in fact don’t know where the bird hit. All I know is that a predator (and very likely a cat based on the neatly sheared primaries) appears to have eaten said oriole at that spot.
Around the corner and into the northwest alcove, I found the remnants of a scavenged adult Mourning Dove. Here again was a bird in a very odd location. Strangely enough, the bird was in the exact location (beneath an ornamental buttonbush) where collaborator and OSU PhD student Corey Riding had the week before left a Cedar Waxwing carcass for a scavenging trial. Corey, however, had left neither a dove, an oriole, nor anything else at that spot since the waxwing. Puzzling for sure . . .
Finally, there was another bird at the end of the alcove in front of one of the untreated panes. Here was another oddity – a House Wren.
Sad to think that this spectacular specimen of an ASY male (fat = 2) Indigo Bunting safely crossed the Gulf of Mexico a few days ago but could not safely navigate the Noble Research Center.
Indigo Buntings, of course, have no blue pigment. Blue is produced by birds through light reflectance – it’s structural color, not pigment.
You might think, then, that Indigo Buntings would look really cool in UV light. They don’t, unless you think charcoal looks cool!
The Mourning Dove was still there this morning, but it has been disturbed a bit and is now on its back.
New this morning was an unfortunate Lincoln’s Sparrow at the main north entrance to the NRC. As is so often puzzling, this was a bird that had to have been traveling south to hit the glass there even though the net movement of Lincoln’s Sparrows in April in Oklahoma is north.
This bird had 0 fat, was of indeterminate sex, and looks to be a SY. Note trauma to the bill tip indicating the point of collision.
I did not get a chance to check the Noble Research Center until 4:00 pm today but when I did there was a sad surprise at the northeastern alcove. It looks for all the world like these two were traveling together, although I certainly cannot establish that to be the case:
AHY-F Dark-eyed Junco, fat = 0.
AHY-U Fox Sparrow, fat = 1.
This is just the second Fox Sparrow I’ve found on this project.
It felt like a big flight overnight, with migrant flight calls every time I walked outside. At least one of those migrants was this unfortunate little Orange-crowned Warbler:
This was an AHY-U bird with fat = 2. As evident from the photo, this bird in the southwestern alcove appears not to have been saved by ABC Bird Tape.
I found a trapped Grasshopper Sparrow at the main North entrance to the NRC today, and then a second dead bird at the southeastern alcove. The trapped bird took quite a bit of effort to eventually guide away from the building, but the time was worth it if I was able to keep it from ending up like its comrade.