No casualties yet, but I’m up to the 3rd trapped bird of the new year: a Song Sparrow in the northwest alcove. This one was stunned – or exhausted – but before I could get any closer than about 3m it flew away strongly – good sign!
This bird was likely riding a wave of migration that really lit up the radar last night (as linked from Paul Hurtado’s birding page). Check out the big blue blobs in Oklahoma from a little after 11 pm last night:
Keep your eye on that slug of rain and storms (the green, yellow, and red) in the OK Panhandle, though.
Now check out the line of rain and storms that moved in overnight and set up shop on the Kansas border. This is from a bit before 6:00 am, and nobody moving north through our state kept on moving through that! This is a classic setup for a “fallout” of birds. More storms today followed by strong north winds tomorrow will likely keep some staging migrants around for a few more days.
On Sunday, Nov. 27, I found a Song Sparrow at the main north entrance:
Subsequent checks in December (2nd, 5th, 9th, 15th, and 20th) have not revealed any new casualties.
Well, our first decent flight for spring developed overnight, and here’s how the birds looked on radar a little after 2:00 am:
Those signatures suggested to me that there was a high likelihood that some unfortunate traveler had met its end at the Noble Research Center. I was half-right: I found a Song Sparrow at the North Entrance – continuing the odd examples of birds on the “wrong” side of the building for the prevailing direction of migration. This is the first example of any bird seeming in the slightest distress around the building since last October. In this case, however, I can’t even consider the bird to have been trapped. I found it in the vegetation right next to the windows on the east side of the North Entrance, where it was fluttering around and actively chimp!-ing. I even watched it bump into the window before turning tail and perching in a tree at the seating area. I managed just this shot before the bird took off, up and over the building heading southeast.
So we were close to our first casualty for 2015, but I won’t even count this bird as trapped.
I was surprised this morning by a freshly expired Song Sparrow at a location where I’d not yet found a window casualty. This bird was a freshly arriving migrant apparently, with fat = 2.