Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Feather remains, unknown species (Bldg. 15A).

As I was noting this feather pile on my datasheet I heard a light thud on the window and a rustle in the leaves.  I looked on the ground and in the bushes, but couldn't find anything.  I thought maybe I was hearing things, or maybe someone was tapping the window from the inside.  I chalked it up to me hearing things and was ready to continue with the survey when I saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird rise up from the bushes like a little helicopter and take off.  It must have been its lucky day.

other wildlife found at the office park

Photos: Kara K.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Photos: Kara K.
Male Northern Flicker (Bldg. 2B).

Ovenbird (Bldg. 3C).

Windows Bldg. 3C.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stunned Empidonax (Flycatcher) species.  Too difficult to call to the species level.  Reported at 9:50 this morning (Bldg. 11C).  It eventually was able to fly into the nearby woods.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happy Bird Day!

Help Birds Avoid a Deadly Collision 

The Office’s Kate Flannery explains how your actions can keep birds from window strikes.

AND a reply! Woop Woop!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Photos: Kara K.

Gray Catbird (Bldg. 15G).


Young American Robin (Bldg. 27D).

Yet another terrible day of finds.

It is probably the thing I fear the most, finding a stunned bird. Unfortunately today we found two stunned birds - a Gray Catbird and a young American Robin.  The chances of recovering from such a head trauma are slim. When we find stunned birds sitting upright, we watch from a distance, careful not to scare them, until they hopefully recover enough to fly into a nearby tree. 

Now we know if we find birds on their back, we carefully move them under a bush or in one of our shoe boxes. We make a little nest out of mulch or an old shirt to prop their heads up.  This makes it easier for them to breath and helps increase their chance of survival.

What makes this upsetting is that these deaths are preventable. 

Bird-window collisions in the summer breeding season

Hager SB, Craig ME. (2014) Bird-window collisions in the summer breeding season http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.460

Birds that reside in urban settings face numerous human-related threats to survival, including mortality from bird-window collisions (BWCs). Our current understanding of this issue has largely been driven by data collected during spring and fall migration, and patterns of collision mortality during the summer breeding season remain relatively unexplored. 

The relationship between BWCs and abundance depended on age. For adults, BWCs were highest in the least abundant species, e.g., Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), and lowest in species with high abundance values, e.g., Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina). For juveniles, mortality was greatest for the most abundant species, and the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) accounted for 62% of all juvenile carcasses. Early in the breeding season, collision mortality was restricted to adults of Long-distance Migrants, whereas juveniles of all three migratory guilds (Long-distance and Short-distance Migrants and Permanent Residents) died at windows from late June through early August. Daily mortality for all species was highest between sunrise–1600 h and lowest from 1600 h–sunrise the next day. 

Generally, the species observed as carcasses matched birds considered a ‘high risk’ for BWCs, e.g., Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), and those considered ‘low risk’ were not observed as carcasses, e.g., Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea). Our results suggest that the number of BWCs during the breeding season does not necessarily increase with abundance, but rather appears related to variation among species and age classes, which may have important implications on the population health of affected species. The mechanisms driving these differences are unknown, but may be related reproductive behavior, flight speed, distance movements, and dispersal patterns.