5 May 2018 – Great Crested Flycatcher

I was out of town for a few days in May, and Corey Riding graciously offered to keep tabs on monitoring in my absence. On his first survey (and with his kids helping out as ace field technicians!), Corey added a new species to the list of unfortunate victims at the Noble Research Center: Great Crested Flycatcher. This is the 63rd species confirmed as a casualty at the NRC since I began this project in August of 2009.

Those most would not recognize it, the Great Crested Flycatcher is an abundant breeding bird of deciduous forests in eastern temperate North America, where its loud, burry “wheeEEP!” call is a characteristic sound of summer. Though they nest in and feed from large trees, Great Crested Flycatchers do not need deep forest cover, and in many places will breed in suburban neighborhoods that are well-treed. That is the case here in Stillwater, and this is one of those species that has been conspicuously absent from the roll of window collision victims at the NRC, given that they can be found nesting within about 1 km of the building.

Corey identified the bird as an AHY-F, given presence of a brood patch. He assigned her a fat score of 3 on the 0–7 scale, which is a 2 on my simpler 0–3 scale. This equates to the furcular hollow about half full. Corey also assessed pectoralis fullness on the 0–5 MAPS scale, and assessed the bird to have maximum pectoralis development of 5, with the muscle bulging outwards and away from the keel. Here again was a fine, healthy bird in its prime that just happened to not recognize a glass barrier for a crucial instant in its life. She was found in the corner of the southwestern alcove.