22, 24, 29, & 31 January 2018 – no casualties

Here’s a bit of a retrospective on the past year, though. I arbitrarily divide the calendar year into spring (Mar–Jul) and fall (Aug–Feb) monitoring. We’ve still got February to go, but my data aren’t likely to change much before the end of this next month.

The irony of having marked some windows in 2016 and seeing a new high count of dead birds in 2017 is not lost on me. I’m not sure what to think of that other than a standard admonition against drawing conclusions from just a year of data. Either way, 2017 was startling. My previous high count of 41 casualties occurred in 2010. The ensuing 5 years accrued fewer than 30; last year we were back up to 40. The 2010–2016 average was 37. Thus, the 61 casualties I found in 2017 was fairly shocking.

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28 November 2017 – two Dark-eyed Juncos

Both on the west side; one north and one south. Both evidently adult males, too.  I left both in place for a removal trial.

5 October 2017 – Ovenbird

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Regular readers might recall that I encountered this broken window on Labor Day.  I reported it that day, and it took three weeks for anyone to even apply caution tape. This week I encountered two window fellas replacing it with a bright new window.

Unfortunately, the new one was a little too clean for this Ovenbird, only the second I’ve had at the NRC.

This was an AHY-U bird, bulging with fat (coded to a 3) and tipping the scale at 23.5g.

 

28 September 2017 – Our first Savannah Sparrow, a trapped yellowthroat, and some bonus birds

Since Monday night, we seem to have received at least 5 inches of rain here in Stillwater.  That’s great as I’ve been lamenting the lack of even clouds for a few weeks. The system that brought the rain might have kept birds bottled up to our north because once it cleared last night (Wed.) there was one heck of a flight.

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Of course, attempts to correlate window collision mortality with big radar echoes of migrating birds are fraught with confirmation bias.  There are plenty of big flights that result in no dead birds on my rounds, and I’m a lot more likely to check “last night’s radar” on a morning when I find multiple casualties.  Today was one of those days.

I walked to the Noble Research Center on a route that took me past the long row of windows on the southern side of the Food and Agricultural Products Building, aka, FAPC. This is just across a parking lot from the NRC and I’ve made several incidental finds there.  Today, these “bonus birds” numbered three: an Ovenbird, a Common Yellowthroat (collected) and, around the corner, a female Indigo Bunting that had been there for at least a few days. So before I even made it to the NRC, I encountered 3 window-killed birds.

The yellowthroat was an apparent AHY-male, with fat = 2 and weighing in at 12 g.

 

At the NRC was another surprise.  Surprisingly, after all these years and considering how common these birds are as migrants and wintering residents, I found the project’s first Savannah Sparrow, in the northwest alcove.

 

 

There was also a trapped Common Yellowthroat at the main north entrance and another Savannah sparrow flitting around – through not trapped – just west of the southern portico entrance. The Savannah Sparrow was AHY-U, weighing 18g with a fat score = 2.

27 September 2017 – Wilson’s Warbler

This 9.5 g, fat = 3, AHY-male Wilson’s Warbler met his sad end at the southwest alcove last night.

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22 September 2017 – Mourning Warbler

I’m mourning the loss of another one today – this AHY female I found at the northwest alcove. She was fat (=3) and healthy at 12.5g.

 

This was the unofficial 315th casualty on the project and, for a new sobering record, the 44th this year. The previous annual high was 41. We’ve surpassed that already in 2017 and, for us, migration is really just ramping up.

18 September 2017 – Wilson’s Warbler

The Mourning Dove remained intact this morning. There was also an apparent AHY female Wilson’s Warbler at the southeastern alcove. She was fat (=3) and healthy at 9g.