As the night wore on, storms began to flare up in Oklahoma. Here in Stillwater those storms hit between 1:30 and 2:00 am on Sep. 24. As the storms expand, migration stalls: Birds put down to avoid the storms and for people on the ground, that’s a fallout.
11:41 pm CDT, Sep. 23.
1:41 am CDT, Sep. 24.
3:41 am CDT, Sep. 24.
5:41 am CDT, Sep. 24
Was there evidence of this fallout on the ground?
Well, there was a bonus Canada Warbler in that troublesome northeastern alcove of the Food and Agricultural Products Center. (This was in addition to a Mourning Warbler and a Wilson’s Warbler I found there on Sep. 21.)
male Wilson’s Warbler, Sep. 21
female Mourning Warbler, Sep. 21
female Canada Warbler, Sep. 24
female Canada Warbler, Sep. 24
There was a big flight of Nashville Warbler in Stillwater, too. Twelve were reported from Couch Park. I found one in the southwestern alcove and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the northeastern alcove.
Tough week here on campus as the casualties pile up.
Today, the northeast alcove had a Lincoln’s Sparrow and the project’s first Hermit Thrush. This now make casualties confirmed for 65 species at the Noble Research Center. The main north entrance claimed a Nashville Warbler, too.
Sex was undetermined for all three, but the Nashville Warbler was probably a female. The thrush and warbler looked to be after hatch year, while the sparrow was a hatch year bird. Thrush and sparrow had some fat lain down (I marked each a “one”), but I couldn’t find any fat on the warbler.
It was a bit foggy overnight so perhaps that contributed to the casualties I found today: An AHY male Nashville Warbler in the southwestern alcove (fat = 3) and a Clay-colored Sparrow in the south portico (fat = 2).
The one bright spot was the second Nashville Warbler. It was stunned but alive. On my approach it perked up and flew off strongly.
I’ve been behind with stacks of papers to grade, and they’ve kept me from keeping up as often as I’d prefer. During the period from October 7–18, I conducted 8 surveys, skipping Oct. 8, 14, and 15. The data from these last 11 days look a bit like this:
Oct. 7: HOWR
Oct. 9: no casualties
Oct. 10: no casualties
Oct. 11: LISP
Oct. 12: TUTI
Oct. 13: no casualties
Oct. 16: OCWA, SOSP, LISP, and NAWA
Oct. 17: no casualties
Oct. 18: no casualties
Just past mid-October, and we are crushing the annual mortality count right now with 55 dead birds.
Oct. 7 – I found just the third House Wren on the project. This one ended up on a warm air outflow grate from the air conditioning unit and was quickly desiccated.
Oct. 11 – I collected this Lincoln’s Sparrow from the south portico.
Oct. 12 – This Tufted Titmouse was a surprise in the southwestern alcove.
Oct. 16 – This was not a good day for migrants. I found an Orange-crowned Warbler at the northeast alcove, a Song Sparrow at the south portico, and a Lincoln’s Sparrow at the southwestern alcove. Shortly after completing my survey, a Nashville Warbler was turned in from a collision in the southwestern alcove.
The current gap of collisions I’ve enjoyed over the past week or so was interrupted this morning by a beautiful male Nashville Warbler in the northeast alcove. He was an AHY bird with a fat score = 2 on my 3-point scale. This is the 11th Nashville Warbler I’ve found on the project.
That southwestern alcove continues to get a workout this fall, but again, the unfortunate victim was found in front of untreated glass panes.
Today it was a hatch-year (HY) Nashville Warbler; sex undetermined with fat score = 2.
When I found the bird in position on the cement as indicated in the above photo, it had already been heavily scavenged by ants. I moved the carcass to a location on the grass on the north side of this southwestern alcove (see photo, top right) to set up a removal trial.
I found this trapped Nashville Warbler today, chilly in the shade on a cool morning. It didn’t look too strong when I first approached it, but it immediately perked up and flew away when I tried to see if it could perch on a nearby oak branch.
Today I found a window-killed Nashville Warbler in the southwestern alcove. The brownish cast to the upperparts and tapered rectrices suggest a HY bird, sex undetermined. Fat = 2. I have included a radar image of last night’s flight on a rare evening that felt a lot more like October than September.
For the 3rd consecutive day I’ve found a SY Painted Bunting at the Noble Research Center. This one looks to be SY female with fat = 0, and was lying out in the open at the northwest alcove.
Also today there was a SY male Nashville Warbler at the main north entrance. This one was fat (2) and appeared to be in excellent shape, save for the impact marks on its bill that signal a violent, but perhaps mercilessly quick, end to its brief life.
The bright yellow-green rump on this bird suggests the western subspecies to me . . .
Nashville Warblers don’t mess with Painted Buntings.
Although I found no casualties on this survey, the sharp eyes of undergrad Alicia Maple found one for me later in the day, and I’ve decided to include it. Alicia found the bird on the lawn in a spot outside my normal survey area on the south side of the building. It’s a Nashville Warbler, and it is located approximately 18m from the nearest glass pane on the Noble Research Center. As I was walking up to photograph it, I watched a fellow on the landscaping crew run over the carcass with a riding lawnmower.
Given the bird’s poor condition, I’ve decided to leave it in situ for a scavenging trial.
I found a very fresh Nashville Warbler (HY female; fat = 2) at the north entrance and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (HY male) just a few feet from the Painted Bunting carcass. The ants had gotten to the hummingbird, so I decided to leave it in place to see how long it lasts. Here is the warbler:
Here’s the spatial distribution of casualties thusfar: