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 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.
Flight calls abounded last night as I walked the dog at least thrice. Those calls – little tsips! and tseeps! sounded to me like sparrows flowing from the north after three straight days of strong winds blowing from the south. A quick check of Paul Hurtado’s Nexrad radar birds page confirmed a big push in Midwest and the Plains:
Sadly, with that push came two casualties at the Noble Research Center: a Lincoln’s Sparrow (AHY-U with fat = 2) at the southwest alcove and a Common Yellowthroat (AHY-M with fat = 2) at the northwest alcove. (Apologies for the shaky portrait on the Yellowthroat – it looked clear on my phone.)
Although casualties continue to pile up in the west alcoves where I’ve treated several windows with ABC Bird Tape, it has so far appeared to be the untreated panes in those alcoves that are claiming the casualties.
Today I found a stunned Lincoln’s Sparrow on the south portico (no photo).
The bird couldn’t fly well, but it could fly. I decided to give it the “perch test” to determine if I should consider it to be a casualty or simply a trapped bird. Once able to catch it, I walked the bird south toward Edmond Low Library and found it a dense and secluded place to perch and rest where it might feel protected – or at least better protected than out in the open of the portico. I was pleased to see that the bird grasped a branch strongly and seemed to perch well. This one had me on the fence a bit, but I ultimately logged it as trapped. Though stunned, it seemed otherwise healthy with fat score = 2.
First things first – the cheeseburger is gone. Two days ago it was apparently swiped by a lawnmower but still remained (in two pieces) conspicuous on the sidewalk. This morning it was gone. So after about 2 weeks, a delicious-looking, fresh cheeseburger patty has finally been snatched up by something.
Next we had another highly unusual occurrence last night – rain! Beginning around noon yesterday to just some drizzle this morning at 8 am, we’ve finally had a decent, persistent rain here in Stillwater. We managed one or two storms this summer, but by my reckoning our last actual rainy day was June 2nd.
One surprise waiting for me this misty morning in the bushes by the north entrance was a Sora, the first for the project. Soras are long-distance migrants, and they often show up in studies of collision mortality; this one was my first, however. Here’s where Soras tend to be, year ’round:
Here’s where they’ve been reported recently:
Here’s where one was this morning:
The bird was in great shape. I steered it away from the building and it flushed off to the left and landed near a nearby exterior wall. I flushed it again and this time it gained altitude, flew over the top of the NRC and was winging its way south again when it flew out of my line of sight. Right now, I don’t know if it even made it off campus, but I at least was able to “free” it from the NRC.