• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Acknowledgement
 Bird casualties at a Leon County,...
 Kills as influenced by weather...
 The migration of finches on nights...
 Use of specimens
 Effects of tower losses on song...
 The problem of predation
 List of 149 species and 15,251...
 Summary






Title: Bird casualties at a Leon County, Florida, TV tower, 1955-1961
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000219/00001
 Material Information
Title: Bird casualties at a Leon County, Florida, TV tower, 1955-1961
Series Title: Tall Timbers Research Station. Bulletin
Physical Description: 94 p. : illus., diagrs. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stoddard, Herbert L
Publisher: Tall Timbers Research Station
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Publication Date: 1962
 Subjects
Subject: Birds   ( lcsh )
Television station WCTV-TV -- Tallahassee (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000219
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Holding Location: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 04567845
lccn - 64000456

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Acknowledgement
        Acknowledgement
    Bird casualties at a Leon County, Florida TV tower, 1955-1961
        Page 1
        Page 2-3
        Page 4-5
        Page 6-7
    Kills as influenced by weather patterns
        Page 8-9
        Page 10-11
        Page 12-13
        Page 14-15
        Page 16-17
        Page 18-19
    The migration of finches on nights of heavy rainfall
        Page 20-21
    Use of specimens
        Page 20-21
    Effects of tower losses on song and game birds
        Page 22-23
    The problem of predation
        Page 24-25
        Page 26-27
        Page 28-29
        Page 30-31
        Page 32-33
        Page 34-35
        Page 36-37
        Page 38-39
        Page 40-41
    List of 149 species and 15,251 individuals of birds handled at WCTV tower from October, 1995 to July 1, 1961
        Page 42-43
        Page 44-45
        Page 46-47
        Page 48-49
        Page 50-51
        Page 52-53
        Page 54-55
        Page 56-57
        Page 58-59
        Page 60-61
        Page 62-63
        Page 64-65
        Page 66-67
        Page 68-69
        Page 70-71
        Page 72-73
        Page 74-75
        Page 76-77
        Page 78-79
        Page 80-81
        Page 82-83
        Page 84-85
        Page 86-87
        Page 88-89
        Page 90-91
        Page 92-93
    Summary
        Page 94
Full Text



BIRD CASUALTIES AT A LEON COUNTY,

FLORIDA TV TOWER, 1955-1961








/


by

Herbert L. Stoddard, Sr.
















BULLETIN NO. 1

TALL TIMBERS RESEARCH STATION
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
1962















/ /

,! ,




LIBRARY
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSE
TA1A UA~sp FORI
cIT^


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


In connection with the WCTV bird casualty study the
writer wishes to express his appreciation and indebtedness
to the following persons; H. L. Beadel, owner of Tall Timbers
Plantation upon which the Tower is located; John H. Phipps,
owner of the installation; Leon Neel, Jimmy Greene, E. V.
and Roy Komarek, H. L. Stoddard, Jr., all of whom aided
by searching the grounds on mornings when the writer
could not be present or assisted ifii vario.s- other ways;
Leroy Collins, Superintendent of :TIT Timbers ,W. L. McAtee
who assisted by advice and editorald &wot George Lowery,
Jr. and Robert Newman of Louisiana State University for
reading the manuscript and valuable 'suggestions; Henry
M. Stevenson and Dr. Melvina- Trussell of Florida State
University; various workers of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and National Museum (especially Thomas D. Bur-
leigh, Alexander Wetmore, Herbert Freidman and John
Aldrich) for subspecific identification of difficult bird skins;
the Florida Game Commission through Earle Frye for Scien-
tific Permits; Willie Lurry, who has faithfully mowed and
cared for the grounds and assisted, in finding dead birds at
daybreak in all weathers, and the various workers at the
Tower who have done all they could to expedite the work. Last
but not least, I am grateful to my tolerant wife who has
put up with all sorts of inconveniences in connection with
the freezing and handling of the birds and my nocturnal hours.






LIBRARY
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSIW
TALAHASSEE, FLORIDA


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BIRD CASUALTIES AT A LEON COUNTY,
FLORIDA TV TOWER, 1955-1961

by
HERBERT L. STODDARD, SR.
In early October 1955, a 673-foot TV Tower was activated
on Tall Timbers Plantation in Leon County, Florida, some
20 miles north of Tallahassee, and about a mile south of
the Florida-Georgia Line. The location is on the highest hill
of the section, about 100 feet above the level of nearby
Lake lamonia and approximately 290 feet above sea-level.
The Tower is some three miles airline, and eight miles by
road from the writer's home.
As both the owner of the Plantation, Mr. H. L. Beadel,
and the owner of WCTV, Mr. John H. Phipps, are friends
of nearly forty years standing and are very interested and
helpful, the opportunity seemed ideal for a long-time study
of bird mortality. As is well known, installations of this
nature can cause losses to night-migrating birds that strike
the Tower itself, or the guy-wires that support it. Unfor-
tunately for the birds, there are some 500 TV Towers in the >
United States, and their number and height are fast increas- :
ing. The highest to date are said to be: the "tallest man- g,
made structure in the world-over 1600 feet above the .
ground" at Cape Girardeau, Missouri; and another 1600-
footer at Freeport, Maine. Those of 1000 feet are now
common.
This Report covers the period October 1, 1955, through
June 30, 1961, dealing with the original 673-foot Tower
until April 15, 1960, when it was supplanted by a 1,010-
footer erected only 30 feet distant. After the taller Tower
"took over" in April, the data deal with the larger one only,
as the smaller was immediately taken down. Fortunately
for comparison, both were of the triangular construction
almost universal at the present time and had the usual
combination of large "blinker", and smaller stationary, red-
lighting mandatory for man-made hazards to air navigation.
The new Tower is somewhat rider on the sides of the triangle,
has 18 instead of 21 guy-wires, three sets of the 1,000-
candlepower "blinker lights" instead of two, and a propor-






tionately greater number of the much weaker three-light
installations. The larger Tower is also built of more massive
material. For instance, the three upright main supports are
of about six-inch tubular steel, instead of the much smaller
solid steel of the "pigmy".
It will take several years, in all probability, to determine
conclusively whether "bigger tower-bigger kill" results from
the change, or whether greater height will affect the species
composition of the "kills." No conclusions are warranted at
this time. We hope that four or five years of data from the
big Tower will throw more light on such things. As to weather
influence on the "kills," there is considerable discussion; we
are about as much "up in the air" in figuring this out, as
we were at the start. When data seems to justify it, comment
will be made.
That the "pigmy" was lethal was soon demonstrated, for
only about a week after our study started, the greatest
catastrophe of its four and a half years occurred on the
night of October 8-9, 1955.* The morning of the ninth we
found the ground under the Tower and its guy-wires "cov-
ered" with dead birds wherever the grass and weeds per-
mitted observation. This partially open ground totalled about
an acre or so on the down-wind side, where the dead birds
largely occurred. Some mowing had been done around the
base of the Tower, and the weeds were mashed down under
the three sets of guy wires. The remainder of the ground
where the birds might be expected to fall was in corn, sweet
potatoes, and other row crops, with grasses and weeds so tall
and thick one could not find the largest of dead birds, much
less the small ones. This "kill" was later estimated at from
4,000 to 7,000 birds, although only 1,988 of 62 species were
gathered and identified before the remainder were destroyed
by decomposition, and the many scavengers that quickly
make way with flesh in our warm climate.
We wondered at the time whether such big kills would
be frequent, but we are now glad to say that no others
approaching such magnitude have occurred, and it seems
likely that intervals between really big kills will average
several years.
*Where only one figure is used, it is of the morning the birds were
picked up.

2


As soon as the crops were harvested in November, ap-
proximately 20 acres in the vicinity of the Tower, where
dead birds might be expected to fall, were disked, smoothed,
and sowed to centipede grass. Four years later the grounds
resembled a well-cared for golf course, and most of the dead
birds could be quickly and easily located on the inch-long
grass. In fact, when the grounds are in top condition (i.e.,
free of leaves, bits of bark, and other debris from nearby
trees), search on foot'can be profitably supplemented, or
supplanted by slow, low-gear travel in a Volkswagen with
the top rolled back. We stand up on the seats, or sit on the
- to opof-the-seat-backs, with the upper half of our bodies
protruding through the top opening. Scrutiny with the
binoculars from there has several advantages. Most im-
portant, it brings our eye-level almost up to that of the
crows so pestiferous in "stealing" our specimens. In fact,
the crows forced development of the "Volkswagen method."
We find the dead birds quicker and easier than we possibly
could on foot. We now cover 34 acres in half the time we
formerly devoted to the 20 acres surrounding the "pigmy"
Tower. The saving of both time and energy is tremendous.
With the higher viewpoint, we can make better use of our
binoculars, especially in the Fall of the year. All lawn grasses,
including the centipede, throw up heads thickly and quickly
during the summer and fall months. This hampered our
vision at the lower eye level, and we missed quite a few small
and inconspicuous birds in consequence, even when we made
our walk-strips very narrow.
After the larger Tower "took over," the smaller one was
immediately dismantled. While this was taking place, a land-
clearing job was conducted to extend the improved area
to the previously mentioned 34 acres. First, a sawtimber
and pulpwood operation removed most of the pine, leaving
only enough for the scenic effect. Simultaneously, a crew
of laborers cut down and dismembered dozens of unsalable
hardwoods too large for a bulldozer to handle. Then a medium-
sized bulldozer operated about a week pushing over, piling
for burning, and disposing of smaller trees and brush, and
levelling the ground.
At the same time, and for several weeks following, a labor
crew burned the debris, dug out and piled roots, or carried


*1


ri






them beyond the edge of the improved area. As soon as the
ground had been disked and smoothed several times, centipede
grass was planted. Considerable of the grass caught over
fully three-fourths of the area. However, two or three acres
of very steep slope under and on both sides of the southeast
and southwest guy-wires, where most of the top so1 had


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The writer demonstrates his "Volkswagen technique" in spot-
ting bird casualties on the 34 acres cleared of brush and seeded
to grass at WCTV Tower. One of the six anchor pens is
at the left where three of the 18 guy-wires from the Tower at
the right are anchored.


washed off to hard clay in the row-crop farming of the
pioneer days, presents a problem. The torrential rains fol-
lowing the planting washed the grass seed off the steep slopes
about as fast as we sowed it, and it is evident that it will
take several years to put the worst spots in as good condition
as the remainder. Maybe the ultimate solution will be working
these problem areas down smooth with a bulldozer and
lightly paving them, for a great many dead birds fall directly
under the guy-wires and for a few rods on both sides. For
the present, however, we will find the dead birds as best
we can on these washing slopes by spending more time
searching.
In December, and January 1961, we hired a most remark-
able and recently developed machine that reduced to sawdust
and shavings the approximately 150 stumps remaining on
the improved area. Even very hard and tough live-oak stumps
up to three feet' in diameter were chewed up entirely for a
full ten inches below ground level. The machine made quick
work of pine stumps of all sizes. This not only prevents
much breakage of the mowing equipment, but makes safely
possible the Volkswagen type of search. This was the last
major step in improving the grounds, but it takes a seven-
foot, tractor-drawn, rotary mower at least two days of
steady mowing weekly to maintain the improved area during
Sthe eight-months growing season.
Through the interest of Dr. Eugene P. Odum, University
of Georgia, and because of the several thousand prime bird
specimens furnished his Department for various scientific
S studies, a National Science Foundation grant of $1,500 per
year for three years was made available to us to absorb
a portion of the expense required to improve and maintain
the grounds. As the project may well be carried on by the
Tall Timbers Research Station as long as there is a Tower
present, we feel that the hard work and expense is more
than justified.
That the project can now be conducted indefinitely is prac-
- tically assured, for Mr. Beadel, a keen bird student and
wildlife motion picture expert of long standing and ex-
perience, is leaving his entire 2,800 acre Plantation as the
Tall Timbers Research Station, for biological and ecological
studies and experiments. The "Tower Project," for more






than four years conducted as the writer's personal contri-
bution, was taken over by the Station just before the new
Tower was erected and the expansion of the grounds was
started. It constituted the Station's first intensive research
project.
The Tower is visited and the improved area searched at
daybreak every day in the year with the exception of less
than a dozen mornings in June, a month in which practically
no dead birds have been found. Even in June, we at least
look over the grounds every second day, and in addition on
every morning following a cloudy or stormy night. The full
365 visits were made in 1957, and again in 1961, as a check,
to determine just what to expect when night-migration is
at its lowest ebb. We are as much interested in the total
absence of dead birds of any morning as in the presence of
large numbers; negative evidence can be of as much im-
portance, on occasion, as positive.
We estimate roughly that around 17,000 birds have been
killed by striking the "pigmy" Tower and its guy-wires, for
the latter seem very deadly. The uncertainty as to actual
numbers is of course, due to the necessity of estimating the
numbers of the very large kill of October 8-9th, 1955. We
probably handled considerably less than one-third of the birds
killed or mortally wounded at that time. The record books
show 15,200 plus dead birds satisfactorily identified during
the period October 2, 1955 through June 30, 1961.
We tried hard to devise some system of recording the
hundreds of cripples that occur at the Tower. Of course,
those hopelessly hurt, with no chance of recovery, are hu-
manely killed and carried on the records. But many fly more
or less normally as we approach or touch them. As they may
fly only short distances and alight again and again on the
improved area, we see no possibility of getting even an
approximation of their actual number. Many undoubtedly
survive and go on their way. Many surely die or are killed
by predators before they have time to recover.
We know that we cannot find all the dead birds that come
to ground, and we know also that some are consumed by
predators entire: "sunk without a trace." It is evident that
the birds entered on our records represent a minimum, not a

6


maximum. And we make no claims of absolute accuracy; it
just cannot be.
Only one other kill in excess of 1,000 birds has so far
occurred in the study. This was on the night of October
4-5, 1957, when Mr. Leon Neel and the writer picked up
2,325 fallen birds from 8:00 P.M. the 4th, to 9:00 A.M. the
5th, powerful flashlights being used to locate the birds as
fast as they fell. Final tally shows that 63 plus species were
represented.
Some of the most important observations of the study
were made during this wild night ofLdriving-northeastwinds
and "Scotch mist." Early in the evening, as the deep cloud
started to obscure the top blinker-lights, a halation ring
formed from the shining of the light on the droplets of
water. As far as observing night-migrating birds is con-
cerned, one can see them just as clearly with binoculars and
telescopes on such a halation ring as on the disc of the
moon-a visibility with which all who have had extensive
experience in lunar observations are aware. We first saw U
with unaided eyes hundreds of small birds swarming around
the top blinkers; then with the binoculars and scope we I
studied them for about half an hour; it was evident that
Red-eyed Vireos were especially numerous. The binoculars
were much more useful than the 20 power scope, the field
of the latter being too small. With the binoculars, we could
see clearly some 30 or more feet surrounding the top blinkers.
The same thing was again witnessed, to much better ad-
vantage from directly below the Tower, around three A.M., j
when the base of the cloud mass began to engulf the lower
blinker. We have never witnessed this condition so well
since, though we have often tried. However, we know when-
ever this phenomenon has occurred from the large number
of thoroughly exhausted and sleeping birds, fluffed up and.
with beaks and most of head under the scapulars, that may
be seen on the ground within 50 to 100 yards from the
Tower. They appear to "mill" around the powerful blinker-
lights until exhausted, hit the light itself or nearby frame-
work, and either stunned or with brain injury, come to
earth just as do dead birds. Birds up to about the size of
a tanager (we have seen no larger birds sleeping on the
lawn in the morning, except a few mortally wounded ones)

7






apparently land so lightly on grassy turf as to suffer no
additional injury. When approached closely or touched at
daybreak, those with no injury wake up and fly away. We
have found by dissection that those which fly erratically
have brain injury, probably from hitting a light or nearby
metal framework.
On that October night the birds rained down, dead,
stunned or dying, from dusk to daybreak, the slaughter
being about at its maximum at 3:30 A.M. Some screamed
as they fell, and hundreds bf cripples about the lawn make
a heart-breaking scene. This happened to be "sputnik" night,
and the Tower man came out and told us about the "beeps"
of the Russian satellite, as we listened to the "peeps" from
the swarming birds.
From both our Tower and lunar studies, it is evident that
.night-migrating birds pass over or through the Tallahassee
region in vast numbers only when winds are in large degree
favorable to their direction of flight; not to any considerable
extent otherwise. The birds often seem to be literally driven
along their course by high favorable winds. Major kills
such as the two described, occur only at the peak of the
Fall migration in October, when lethal weather coincides
with tremendous flights. A rare combination of deep, low
clouds with mist and murk and favoring winds, sets the
stage for disaster. Sometimes lack of favoring winds for days
or weeks, apparently causes a buildup or reservoir of birds
ready to migrate in their home range or somewhere along
the migration route. Come favorable weather conditions, the
flyways are flooded with migrants, and kills then may be
huge. Our lunar observations, however, show that vast num-
bers may be passing over at times, but so high that few or
none hit installations such as we are discussing.
On the night of September 19, 1956, before midnight, "Neel
and I observed birds flying across moon with scope on
improved area 100 yards north of Tower. Clear and nearly
full moon. Clouds occasionally noted moving from northerly
to southeast-surface breeze from southerly to westerly. A
great many birds flying, but appeared to be high. They came
too fast to be accurately counted at times, but we were
recording several per minute. Around 600 were recorded
crossing generally in southerly direction before 11:30, when


we ran out of forms and discontinued for the night. Next
morning not a dead bird was found on the ground! This
demonstrates well that great numbers of birds may be in
migration without danger from such obstructions, unless
unfavorable weather combinations develop ."


KILLS AS INFLUENCED BY WEATHER
PATTERNS

We do not know of any better way to illustrate the extreme
importance of weather patterns in relation to bird "kills"
at the WCTV Tower, than to present striking examples taken
from our records. With the weather patterns that show
"safe" or "good" weather, when few or no birds are killed,
through stormy periods of "bad" weather when large numbers
meet death, then back into a "good" weather pattern again.
The examples following present such extremes from both
Spring and Fall migrations. Of course, weather records taken
from our notes, represent surface winds largely, except when
additional data is obtained from the motion of low clouds,
scud, and fog. and such records as we have are not continuous.
They have to be based on observations we make before
retiring for the night around ten P.M., and on arising in
morning at four or five o'clock. As we frequently wake up
between those hours, we have some additional information
on moonlight, rain, and so forth. We also keep informed by
weather reports on TV or radio. The matter presented fol-
lowing is selected from the years and months during the
study that best illustrates the weather-bird-kill relationship.

SPRING


1956 Birds Surface Winds Overcast


April 2nd 4 light southerly
April 3rd 4 light S, SE &
SW.
April 4th 190 SW-6-10 MPH.
April 5th 135 calm to light
SW and S.
April 6th 56 med. strong SW.

April 7th 3 calm, to SW
breeze


partly cloudy
clear & fog

partly cloudy
light & med.
cloudy
fast, high fog

partly cloudy


Tower Temp.
clear 60*
fogged 60'

clear 65"
clear 68*


partly
obscured
?








April 21st 2 calm


April 22nd
April 23rd

April 24th

April 25th

April 26th

April 27th


1957
April 1st 0 up to 30-40
MPH S to SE

April 2nd 131 light SW
airdrift


3 light airdrift
S & SE


calm
calm to light
southerly
calm

calm to SE
breeze
gentle E & SE

clear, airdrift
easterly


Note: April 13th to 30th only 15 birds;
"good."


1958
April 1st 0 airdrift NW

April 2nd 3 faint-north

April 3rd 32 airdrift S, SE,
falling
barometer
April 4th 228 SE breeze


4-10 MPH, E
& SE
8-14 MPH, S
mist & murk
8-10 MPH, W &
NW "front"
passed


clear "front"
passed thru
clear &
moonlight
partly cloudy
nearly full
moon
moonlight,
faintly
thru murk
more murk

heavy
overcast
clear and
moonlight


clear &
moonlight
clear to hazy
largely clear
& moon
some thin cloud,
full moon
light sprinkle
100% overcast
heavily overcast
"thick"
fog came in at
daybreak




stormy not
heavy clouds,
rain early A.M.
low heavy
overcast
clear


clear

clear

clear


partly
obscured

heavy
murk
clear

clear


450

45"

53*


620


660

70*

540


clear 40'

clear 50
clear 52"

clear 58

largely 60"
clear
closed 60"
in top
see only 62"
lower lights


/

clear 66


top closed 62*
in fog
clear 60

weather largely


airdrift N.

faint northerly
calm, southerly


April 18th 59 calm, 2-5 MPH
SE at daybreak
April 19th 26 1-4 MPH, E &
SE & southerly
April 20th 68 surface calm
but fast clouds
SW
April 21st 0 calm, from SW
to W NW and
W even NE and
E "variable"!





1960
March 31st 0 "front" gone
through 0-2
MPH W & NW
April 1st 0 10 P.M. faint W
& NW later E.
April 2nd 73 S & SE 2-20
MPH some
turbulence
April 3rd 66 4-25 S & SE
Gulf storm


11


April 9th 11 E & SE 1-3
MPH
April 10th 2 E & SE high
& "variable"
April 11th 220 fast travelling
high west fog

April 12th 0 airdrift N
"front" gone
through


clear at 10 PM
hazed over later
clear and moon
hazed at 10 PM
heavy over-
cast later
heavy overcast
sprinkle
very dark and
drizzle
heavily
overcast

partly cloudy
& sprinkle


clear


50% overcast
at daybreak
heavy rains,
dark and rainy

clouds racing
from south,
some drizzle


light to heav-
ily clouded
heavy & 1.45
in. rain
some broken
light

clear, now
dominated by
"high"


clear

clear
clear


clear

clear

clear


clear 61"


clear 52*


clear

top
obscured


clear 55*

clear 61*

largely 61*
fogged
out at top
clear 46*


April 3rd


U,


)4



'4


April 5th

April 6th

April 7th


1959
April 15th

April 16th
April 17th







April 4th 71 calm early clouded, drizzle clear 60*
night. and mist
3-5 MPH, SE, S
SW at daybreak
April 5h 25 1-3 MPH cloudy and half clear 03-
southerly inch rain
April 6th 0 calm, the moonlight, clear 41'
"front" passed clear bright
Note: Only 11 birds from April 6th to 19th-8 zeros in
succession 8th to 15th!


Note: H. L. Beadel's gauge only a fourth
registered 4.11 inches of rain the 2nd, .72
1.40 the 4th, a total of 6.23 inches during the


0 airdrift
W to SW
109 NE to E


Aug. 26th 63 airdrift from
E to NE
Aug. 27th 1 light from
easterly


1957
Sept. 26th 4 2-8 MPH. NE,
E, and SE.



Sept. 27th 111 SE to E breeze
2-4 MPH

Sept. 28th 53 7-15 MPH, E
and SE "Wave"
in E. Gulf
Sept. 29th 66 8-12 MPH,
N & NW, some
turbulence
Sept. 30th 146 up to 3-4 MPH,
NE, E & SE.

Oct. 1st 222 0-4 MPH,
E & NE.


partly cloudy

cloud, .42 of
rain to 2-3 AM.
complete & .18
in. of rain
partly cloudy
foggy



few clouds at
10.
rest clear
"Dark of the
moon"
heavily over-
cast, light
sprinkles
heavily over-
cast, rains 3 to
5 AM
very thick


heavily over-
cast, lightning

heavily
overcast


mile distant,
the 3rd, and
storm period.




clear 74*

? 70'

obscured 71'
top
? 72*




clear 63




clear 72*


clear 68*


top 67'
obscured


obscured
above
middle
dimmed


Oct. 2nd 126 "low" continued heavy overcast
in S air move- half in. rain
ment E & SE
calm
Oct. 3rd 61 moving in from low clouds and
NE to SE vapor, rain at
daylight


Oct. 4th


0 calm, vapor
from SE to NE


partly cloudy


partly
obscured


clear


partly
obscured
at times


Oct. 5th 2,323 8-12 MPH heavily over- largely 60*
from N & NE cast, mist off obscured
and on all night
A wild, terrible night for birds. 2nd biggest "kill" here.


Oct. 6th


21 NE to N.


partly clouded, mainly
but later cleared clear
moon showed
thru


After the "big kill" the casualties rapidly lessened. On
October 7th, 1957, there were 13 birds, on October 8th, 6,
and on the 9th there were none. In contrast to this, consider
the same dates in 1959, September 26th none, the 27th,
one dead bird, the 28th one, the 29th, 8, the 30th, 3, October
1st, none, the 2nd, 10, the 3rd, 3, the 4th, 3, the 5th, 8,
and the 6th none. Grand total for the 1957 series was 3,133,
for the 1959 series on same dates, 38 dead birds which
mainly indicates a contrast in "bad," as against "good"
weather!
It will be noted that "big kills" occur on nights of full,
or large moon, as well as in "dark of the moon." So far we
cannot see that the phase of the moon has much bearing on
the numbers of birds migrating, or striking the obstruction.
However, additional figures over the years may show dif-
ferently.
No huge kills have been recorded here during the Spring
migrations, the largest being of 228 on the morning of April
4, 1958. The next largest-220-was only five days later.
One of 201 on the night of April 25-26, 1956, one of 135
on April 4-5, 1956, one of 130 on April 1-2, 1957, and one
of 102 on April 5-6, 1959, were other large kills in this
month. By far the largest we have in March, was one of
160 on the night of the 21-22nd, 1961. We have no really
large kills for May, the largest being one of 46 on the 4-5th,


12


19?
Aig. 24th

Aug. 25th






1957. One of the most interesting series for this month was
24 consecutive "goose eggs" (nothing) following May 7th
of the same year! April is without question the big migration
month of the Spring in our region, just as October is in the
Fall. We can further narrow this down to the statement
that the "peak" of Fall migration comes between October
1st and 15th.
Most of the large kills and many of the smaller ones occur
on nights of favoring winds, usually with partial to complete
overcast, although the vicinity of the Tower itself may be
* perfectly clear. Around the peak of the Fall migration espe-
cially, small kills are frequent even on clear nights of good
visibility, if winds or airdrifts are favorable at such low
altitudes that migrants hit the obstruction. During October
1958, there were 23 consecutive nights on which from one
to many dead birds were recorded; in fact, one or more
were picked up every morning of that month, excepting the
25th and 29th. However, 14 of these "dribble kills" involved
less than a half dozen dead birds. "Highs" dominated the
weather most of the month, but winds were largely favorable
for one or the other of the migrations that occur here.
What we refer to as the "Florida Peninsular-West Indian
Flight" occurs both Spring and Fall, coming through largely
on east, southeast, and southerly winds in Spring and on
westerly and north-west winds in Fall. Our main migration,
several times as large, flows from the southwest to the north-
east in Spring and the reverse in Fall. This is presumably
a Trans-Gulf flight, although a portion of the birds may, of
course, be skirting the Gulf. We plot on maps with many
"reference points" the locations where dead birds are picked
up, which gives much information on the direction of flight,
and to some extent its velocity as well. Both of these migra-
tions are strikingly shown on dozens of maps we have
accumulated. There may at times be considerable mixture
of birds in the two flights of Spring on southerly winds. The
flight from the northwest in Fall is quite clear-cut as it goes
through our "crossing of the ways." A typical one, involving
a large number of birds, is reproduced in this Report. For
comparison maps of the larger Trans-Gulf flight both in
Spring and Fall are included also. It is interesting that
we not infrequently note this flight into or out of the Florida

14


N W SECTOR


AUGUST 20, 1957
I: '
NORTHEAST-SOUTHWEST MIGRATION
NORMAL


TOTAL 141 BIRDS OF 16 SPECIES



I G


I
I l

c. I
/, .: td' I


-e


N E SECTOR


f


* = OAL EAT


-
- -


N. ~ 'N.


a-INROAD I
1


1. "A" RED-EYED VIREO
2. "B" PRAIRIE WARBLER
3. "C" REDSTART
4. "D" PARULA WARBLER
5. "E" RED-EYED VIREO
6. "F" PROTHONOTARY
WARBLER
7. "G" YELLOW-THROATED
WARBLER
8. "H" NO. WATER THRUSH


"I" GOLDEN-WINGED
WARBLER
"J" BLACK & WHITE
WARBLER
"K" YELLOW-THROATED VIREO
"L" CERULEAN WARBLER
"M" KENTUCKY WARBLER
"N" WORM-EATING WARBLER
"0" OVERBIRD
"P" YELLOW-THROAT


SCALE "-50 YDS.
SCALE 1"V 50 YDS.


S W SECTOR~ S E SECTOR


S E SECTOR


S W SECTOI.








N W SECTOR


H
P G
-rJ~


Ai
A A
A AC
A,
A A
A A C A
A a A L -
A_ DAA
A
_, AA


N E SECTOR


A







L.


/ N-
*^<


/
-I


N W SECT


APRIL 21, 1958

SOUTHWEST-NORTHEAST MIGRATION
/NORMAL



TOTAL 70 BIRDS OF 18 SPECIES





S N A


i/B
'WoD
V
0


"A" RED-EYED VIREO
"B" SUMMER TANAGER
"C" REDSTART
"D" PRAIRIE WARBLER
"E" HOODED WARBLER
"F" CATBIRD
"G" NO. WATER THRUSH
"H" COOT
"I" PALM WARBLER


"J" SWAINSON'S WARBLER
"K" INDIGO BUNTING
"L" NIGHTHAWK
"M" KENTUCKY WARBLER
"N" MYRTLE WARBLER
"0" TENNESSEE WARBLER
"P" ORCHARD ORIOLE
"Q" ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER
"R" PROTHONOTARY WARBLER


"A" WOOD THRUSH
"B" SONG SPARROW
"C" OVENBIRD
"D" YELLOW PALM WARBLER
"E" LONG-BILLED MARSH WREN
"F" SAVANNAH SPARROW
"G" HERMIT THRUSH
"H" GRASSHOPPER SPARROW
"1" WHITE-THROATED SPARROW
"J" SWAMP SPARROW
"K" RUFOUS-SIDED TOWHEE
"L" CARDINAL
"M" CHIPPING SPARROW
"N" BAY-BREASTED WARBLER


15. "O" RED-EYED VIREO
16. "P" HENSLOW SPARROW
17. "Q" SCARLET TANAGER
18. "R" BLACK-THROATED BLUE
WARBLER
19. "S" ROSE-BREASTED
GROSBEAK
20. "T" BLACK-THROATED
GREEN WARBLER
21. "U" VESPER SPARROW
22. "V" PINE WARBLER
23. "W" REDSTART
24. "X" TENNESSEE WARBLER
25. "Y" INDIGO BUNTING


SCALE 1"-50 YDS.


SCALE 1"-50 YDS.


S W SECTOR


S W SECTOR E ECTO


OR NOVEMBER 1, 1959 N

"FLORIDA PENINSULAR-WEST INDIAN FLIGHT"
TYPICAL



TOTAL 72 BIRDS OF 25 SPECIES


E SECTOR


N
N N,,
N. N,,


S E SECTOR


t ---~---


I


S E SECTOR


S W SECTOR






peninsula in our lunar observations at Sherwood Plantation
and the Tower, but also along the Gulf shore and barrier
Islands (usually St. George, in Franklin County) below
Tallahassee.
What a boon in forecasting big kills, and in interpreting
our data later, would be a greatly increased amount of weather
data, especially for the deep Southeast; and the Gulf of
Mexico. Let us hope that dozens of weather stations will
be established shortly, well distributed from Yucatan and
Vera Cruz, Mexico to the shares of the Gulf States. The Gulf
is the storm breeder of our region.
As it is, the daily U. S. Weather Maps (which reach us
about two days after events have taken place) have proved
invaluable in the interpretation of Tower data. We now
attach these Weather Reports to our area maps on which
-the location of each casualty is indicated, where five or more
occur in a morning. In the great majority of cases the wind
direction symbols clearly indicate a logical course the birds
could have taken in reaching our area from wherever the
migration originated. And the areas of cloud, the rain areas
and other data contained, are likewise valuable. Unfor-
tunately we have had these maps only for the past two years;
we are trying to locate a set from October 1, 1955, to the
date our subscription started, so far without success. The
probable course of the heavy migration from northeast to
southwest in Fall, to the reverse flight in Spring, is well
shown on these maps, as is the course of what we refer to
as the "Florida Peninsular-West Indian" flight of both
seasons. But from the Gulf shores to the southward there
is largely a blank.
We hope to have, in the not too distant future, self-record-
ing instruments that show wind direction and velocity from
about the 500-foot and the 1000-foot levels on "our" Tower,
as a much-needed supplement to our weather data. So far
we have a fairly satisfactory record of surface winds only.
Quite often, during bird-killing weather, we do have satis-
factory records from "above," for flying fog, scud, and mist,
may clearly indicate both wind direction and speed. This is
recorded both on the maps and in our Day Books. To date
we have 322 of the maps, distributed by months as follows:

18


January 10 July 4
February 8 August 20
March 26 September 49
April 47 October 83
May 11 November 50
June 0 December 14
Total "Spring" 102. Total "Fall" 220. We have not made
a "break-down" of the kills of from 1 to 4 birds. The above
numbers refer to kills of five birds upwards. It clearly shows
the April "peak" of Spring, and the October "peak" of Fall.
While a few bird locations indicated on some of the maps
are mystifying, they usually represent cripples that fly
erratically before coming to earth, or indicate an upper
wind-direction contrary to the prevailing winds lower down,
that blows them to earth elsewhere than in the direction of
flight. We were greatly surprised to find how few such cases
there are. We are beginning to doubt there is much migration
on so-called "variable" winds, or winds that have shallow
layers of differing wind-directions. We have dozens of maps
showing where many birds came to earth in expected areas,
as is the case of samples found in this Report. Most are in
areas down wind from points of collision. The general trends
are often striking. We hope ultimately to have sufficient
data to map all or most species individually that strike in
large numbers. This should give some idea which species
strike high or low, whether they are travelling singly or in
flocks, and so forth.
We believe that Tower studies complement other migration
work, especially the lunar observations. With the latter, we
witness the mass movement of birds, but can recognize
few of the species. The Tower kills give us samples doubtless
of the same species we see crossing the disc of the moon.
We have carefully examined more than 15,200 birds killed
here, in addition to many cripples liberated, but have yet
to find any banded birds. Year-round observations and col-
lections at well-distributed towers over our great country,
might be expected to yield interesting data regarding the
percentages of banded to unbanded birds and many other
things of interest. The present-day attack on the age-old
mystery of night migration from many different angles, may
be expected gradually to clarify some of the unknown factors.

19






THE MIGRATION OF FINCHES ON NIGHTS
OF HEAVY RAINFALL

A most interesting thing appears to be showing up in the
data, especially for the Fall. Heavy showers during the early
night apparently ground the majority of vireos, warblers,
thrushes, and other passerine birds, with the exception of
the finch tribe (Bobolink included). The first three groups
mentioned make up over 75% of the entire mortality, so
their greatly lessened numbers'"in the bag" on mornings
following heavy rainfall is surprising. Early migratory flights
occurring mainly during September and the first days of
October, are made up largely of non-finch passerines. After
October 1st, the finches begin to appear with increasing
frequency, and reach their peak in November. During the
period when both groups are numerous in the kills of dry
nights, there may appear a rainy one. Next morning we
are likely to find largely finches and water birds. Naturally
the latter are not deterred by rainy nights. A few 1958
samples of the kills will illustrate the point, but we have
others just as striking. October 31st. "Started to sprinkle
soon after midnight and continued steadily to 5:30 A.M.,
37 dead birds picked up. Of these 25 were finches and the
remainder, with the exception of a Common Snipe, were
non-finch passerines. This night, however, represented an
intermediate condition, for the early part was dry and there
were dryer birds, which probably fell during that early part.
As a sample of a "normal" night, we quote from October
28th. "A dry night and 67 dead birds were found. Of these
only 22 were finches; the other 45 were warblers, vireos,
kinglets, and a House Wren." Now a very wet night, Novem-
ber 1st "A night of driving mist. A total of 102 dead birds
picked up. There were 94 finches of 11 species. Another was
a Coot. Only 7 were non-finches." November 4-5th. "Skies
heavily overcast and steady rain fell from dusk to daybreak.
Of the 41 dead birds all were finches, except two Lesser
Scaup Ducks and a single Ovenbird.
The fact that finches here are rather late migrants, and
only build up in numbers (with the exception of Bobolinks,
Indigo Buntings, and a few others discussed later) after
October 1st, is largely responsible for the often-expressed

20


belief that finches are rare in tower kills. This is true, how-
ever, only of the spectacular kills of September and early
October, which are most often cited. From such reports orni-
thologists have gained their impressions. November and
December data tell the true story, however, for many finches
are then striking TV towers. But WHY should the vireos,
warblers, and thrushes seek ground cover on the appearance
of heavy rains while finches continue their flight? This has
been experienced so frequently in the Fall that we now take
it as a matter of course, and are surprised when we find
apparent exceptions.
A few figures on the buildup, then builddown, of finches
as the Fall advances and Winter comes on may be of interest
in this connection. For the entire study to June 30, 1961,
finches appearing in the kills in the first half of September
number 43, the last half 50. The first half of October total
359, in the last half 551. Those appearing in the first half
of November 478, and in the last half 214. Finches appearing
in the first half of December totalled 75, in the last half
51. During the September kills, more than half of the finches
killed were Bobolinks, and the majority of the remainder
were Indigo Buntings, with just a sprinkling of Blue Gros-
beaks, Bachman's Sparrows, and an occasional Savannah
Sparrow.


USE OF SPECIMENS

During the Spring migrations especially, we usually make
up many study skins of birds from the sizeable kills and
not infrequently we find a great deal of fat on such birds.
When this happens in the case of some northbound species
we have reason to believe the birds have within a few hours
completed a trans-Gulf crossing, and we postulate that they
crossed with such favorable winds that much of their fat
was not utilized. On the other hand, most of the birds we
prepare from a particular kill may be very thin, even ema-
ciated. In such cases, we feel justified in assuming that the
birds bucked adverse winds and barely made the crossing.
In some flights they apparently make a landfall on the Gulf
shores or within a few miles beyond, not having energy to

21






THE MIGRATION OF FINCHES ON NIGHTS
OF HEAVY RAINFALL

A most interesting thing appears to be showing up in the
data, especially for the Fall. Heavy showers during the early
night apparently ground the majority of vireos, warblers,
thrushes, and other passerine birds, with the exception of
the finch tribe (Bobolink included). The first three groups
mentioned make up over 75% of the entire mortality, so
their greatly lessened numbers'"in the bag" on mornings
following heavy rainfall is surprising. Early migratory flights
occurring mainly during September and the first days of
October, are made up largely of non-finch passerines. After
October 1st, the finches begin to appear with increasing
frequency, and reach their peak in November. During the
period when both groups are numerous in the kills of dry
nights, there may appear a rainy one. Next morning we
are likely to find largely finches and water birds. Naturally
the latter are not deterred by rainy nights. A few 1958
samples of the kills will illustrate the point, but we have
others just as striking. October 31st. "Started to sprinkle
soon after midnight and continued steadily to 5:30 A.M.,
37 dead birds picked up. Of these 25 were finches and the
remainder, with the exception of a Common Snipe, were
non-finch passerines. This night, however, represented an
intermediate condition, for the early part was dry and there
were dryer birds, which probably fell during that early part.
As a sample of a "normal" night, we quote from October
28th. "A dry night and 67 dead birds were found. Of these
only 22 were finches; the other 45 were warblers, vireos,
kinglets, and a House Wren." Now a very wet night, Novem-
ber 1st "A night of driving mist. A total of 102 dead birds
picked up. There were 94 finches of 11 species. Another was
a Coot. Only 7 were non-finches." November 4-5th. "Skies
heavily overcast and steady rain fell from dusk to daybreak.
Of the 41 dead birds all were finches, except two Lesser
Scaup Ducks and a single Ovenbird.
The fact that finches here are rather late migrants, and
only build up in numbers (with the exception of Bobolinks,
Indigo Buntings, and a few others discussed later) after
October 1st, is largely responsible for the often-expressed

20


belief that finches are rare in tower kills. This is true, how-
ever, only of the spectacular kills of September and early
October, which are most often cited. From such reports orni-
thologists have gained their impressions. November and
December data tell the true story, however, for many finches
are then striking TV towers. But WHY should the vireos,
warblers, and thrushes seek ground cover on the appearance
of heavy rains while finches continue their flight? This has
been experienced so frequently in the Fall that we now take
it as a matter of course, and are surprised when we find
apparent exceptions.
A few figures on the buildup, then builddown, of finches
as the Fall advances and Winter comes on may be of interest
in this connection. For the entire study to June 30, 1961,
finches appearing in the kills in the first half of September
number 43, the last half 50. The first half of October total
359, in the last half 551. Those appearing in the first half
of November 478, and in the last half 214. Finches appearing
in the first half of December totalled 75, in the last half
51. During the September kills, more than half of the finches
killed were Bobolinks, and the majority of the remainder
were Indigo Buntings, with just a sprinkling of Blue Gros-
beaks, Bachman's Sparrows, and an occasional Savannah
Sparrow.


USE OF SPECIMENS

During the Spring migrations especially, we usually make
up many study skins of birds from the sizeable kills and
not infrequently we find a great deal of fat on such birds.
When this happens in the case of some northbound species
we have reason to believe the birds have within a few hours
completed a trans-Gulf crossing, and we postulate that they
crossed with such favorable winds that much of their fat
was not utilized. On the other hand, most of the birds we
prepare from a particular kill may be very thin, even ema-
ciated. In such cases, we feel justified in assuming that the
birds bucked adverse winds and barely made the crossing.
In some flights they apparently make a landfall on the Gulf
shores or within a few miles beyond, not having energy to

21





continue to above the "Fall Line," which otherwise could be
their goal.,Perhaps those that we find having good fat reserves
would have continued to the "Fall Line" also, but were flying
at such a low level that they met their death at our Tower.
Until we have more and better weather records, much will
remain shrouded in mystery, as has been the case with
migrational phenomena for ages.
To date we have had neither the time nor facilities to do
much laboratory work on the birds we pick up, before we
ship them by the hundreds or thousands to various university
or museum laboratories for specialized studies. We believe
we could get the weight and sex of most of the specimens,
and the information on whether they are young birds of
the year or older, in Fall at least, before distributing them
to the various research agencies. We hope to work out
techniques of doing this without handicapping later use
by others. Until such time as expensive, difficult, and time-
consuming research and experimentation at TV and radio
towers point out how the slaughter may be reduced or stopped,
it seems likely to continue all over the Continent. We get
much satisfaction in salvaging as many such feathered victims
as possible, and having them put to the best possible scien-
tific use.
Some of the victims are furred, for we have picked up
from a few to several species of bats that not infrequently
strike the obstruction in about the percentage we would
expect from extensive lunar observations. Bats are easily
separated from birds by flight characteristics as they cross
the disc of the moon in true nocturnal migration. These
victims are turned over to our associate, Mr. E. V. Komarek,
who is interested in the mammals of the region, and will
report on them as he sees fit. Even a family of flying squirrels
were killed by colliding with low guy-wires in their nocturnal
frolic. They are also in the hands of the mammalogist.


EFFECTS OF TOWER LOSSES ON SONG
AND GAME BIRDS


,One of the main reasons we have for emphasizing statistical
data in our studies, is to point out as accurately as possible


I.


what happens to night migrants at one apparently typical
TV Tower. Such figures should be of great value to national
organizations formed for the purpose of aiding in the con-
servation of the nation's attractive and valuable wildlife.
It would seem that such organizations would be in the best
position to spearhead any research or experimentation de-
signed to determine just how best to reduce or eliminate
losses at man-made obstructions.
A normal boy with a BB gun or slingshot may shoot one
or a few songbirds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty.
He may then run afoul of the law and create a storm of
public indignation. But a few million birds killed by care-
lessly applied insecticides, man-made towers and high build-
ings, fast travelling cars on our highways, the wholesale
drainage of wet lands, and the drastic reductions of birdlife
by unnecessary exploitation of forests and farms, may bring
scarcely a ripple of comment. Strange but true.
Most game birds are probably under about all the pressure
they can stand from gunfire; it would indeed be disturbing
were they likewise being killed in large numbers by man-
made obstructions. We can give WCTV very nearly a clean
bill of health in this respect. In fact, less than fifty years
ago, a hunter or market gunner might legally in one day
kill as many game birds as this Tower has caused the death
of in five and a half years. For instance, only 43 ducks
of 8 species have been recorded. Of these 19 were Ring-
necked Ducks, by far the most abundant species in the Talla-
hassee region. The Lesser Scaup with 8 came next and the
Blue-winged Teal with 7 ranked third. The remaining 9
represented five species.
Of a total of 54 rails, 37 were Soras, the species most
frequently shot by hunters. The remaining 17 were of three
species, 13 of which were Virginia Rails, a few of which
are shot incidentally by gunners shooting Soras or Clapper
Rails (no Tower casualties here of Clapper Rails).
Only 20 Coots have been picked up and 3 Purple and 4
Common Gallinules, the former frequently and the last two
occasionally shot as game.
Of the 21 shorebirds, only one, the Common Snipe with
15 casualties, is commonly shot as game.


I
I






Twenty Mourning Doves, less than one days limit of thirty
years ago, have so far been found. From the above, it appears
that gamebird casualties at WCTV are nothing to worry
about. However, many more such studies at widely dis-
tributed TV and radio towers will have to be made before
conclusions can be safely drawn. A man who is professionally
engaged in the erection and dismantling of TV towers in-
formed the writer less than a year ago that he had "seen
about forty ducks on the ground at one time under a Gulf-
Coast tower, some 200 miles to the west." "\ -


THE PROBLEM OF PREDATION

Some students of tower kills have seemingly come to the
conclusion that "their" towers cause the death of few birds.
.This belief may be justified in some cases, but the writer
believes to the contrary, however, as a result of careful search
at several TV towers visited for the purpose, and scattered
over the eastern United States. Some may cause the death
of more birds than the casual searcher, and inexperienced
reader of "sign," may think. Even persons with background
and experience as professional trappers or wildlife managers
may be temporarily mislead. Dead birds may be taken at
any time during the night by owls which carry them to
their hungry young, or may themselves, swallow very small
birds feathers and all. Certain mammals may also eat dead
birds of small size without leaving a trace. Even if a few
feathers are left in rough grass or weed cover, they may
quickly be scattered by the wind, or beaten into the ground
by heavy rains. At least in the deep Southeast, -any evidence
of previous heavy kills may disappear with unbelievable
rapidity even on ground carefully smoothed, sodded, and
frequently mowed. The writer was mislead at times early in
S the study, even though experienced in reading "sign" for
some 55 years; through commercial trapping experience in
early life, and later for more than 35 years in wildlife man-
agement.
With respect to predation, the ground around TV towers
may rightly be compared to baited duck-ponds or dove-fields.
Flesh-eating creatures visit and revisit spots where they have


enjoyed a high-protein meal, even though the-majority of
their visits are fruitless.
In connection wtth-predation on TV tower casualties, it
was early recognized ,that meat-eaters would build up in
numbers where many dead birds, and injured ones as well,
accumulated, but that they would decline in numbers when
the fallen birds were promptly removed. Dead birds have been
removed as promptly and completely as possible in our
project; large numbers have.been picked up at night as they
fell, being found by the use of powerful flashlights. We had
visited the Tower less than ten days when the "big kill" of
Oct. 8-9, 1955, occurred. We saved more than 1,900 of the
estimated kill of from 5,000 to 7,000, but the thousands
that rotted in the heavy ground-cover vanished so quickly
(except in the case of a few larger birds) that little evidence
was found when we disked, smoothed, and sodded the area
as soon as the Fall crops (mainly corn and sweet potatoes)
were harvested. Work on the grounds started in late Novem-
ber, and by January 1st, some 20 acres were in good enough
shape so that we felt that a statistical study could start, and
by spending a lot of time searching we hoped to hold error
to 5% or less. This we are still trying to do more than five
years later. The matter quoted in this section is from our
12 semi-annual reports, or from "Day Books," in which
entries are made daily on over 95% of the mornings of
the year.
A simple means of roughly measuring losses of dead birds
through predation Was devised in August 1957, and has been
used with satisfaction since. We have had Red-eyed Vireos
(3,000 to date) at times in excess of what we could dispose
of for scientific studies. We also have some birds so badly
mangled in hie collisions, as to be useless for research. We
accumulate such specimens in our deep-freeze and put out
from six to ten of them on the, Tower lawn about once a
week during migration times. The "test" birds are distributed
over the improved area soofi after dark, the exact spots
being staked or marked on a map. Those not eaten by creatures
prowling the area, are picked up at daybreak; the missing
serve as a measure of the losses from the flesh-eaters, or of
the degree of damage by ants, earwigs, and so forth. When a





third or a half of the "test" birds disappear during the night
hours, it is evident that the investigator has to take control
measures promptly, if his study is to have statistical value.
English Sparrows or Starlings, can be used in the absence
of surplus vireos or mangled birds. A friend in Wisconsin
furnished us with nearly a bushel of frozen English Sparrows
a few months ago-a great help, for during the past two
years we can utilize all the Red-eyed Vireos we can pick
up, so great has been the demand for good, clean, and dry
birds o'f any species for research. Following is a discussion
of mammals, birds, and invertebrates concerned in eating or
seriously damaging bird casualties at WCTV.
DOGS. We have been fortunate to have had no serious
trouble with cur dogs to date. A few dogs have started
to visit the improved area at one time or another, usually
attracted by scraps from lunches in a trash can near the
Tower building. Running them off with sticks, stones, and
strong language, has so far proved effective. Fortunately
it has long been a matter of policy on Tall Timbers Plantation
to limit the number of cats and dogs that tenants may keep,
this in the interest of protecting nests and young of quail
and other helpless wildlife. All dogs are supposed to be kept
tied up during the breeding season of wildlife.
HOUSE CATS. From "sign" seen in the vicinity of several
TV installations the writer has examined, house cats are
probably the most serious mammal competitors of an investi-
gator who wants fresh bird casualties for study. This is
especially true in and near cities, where most TV towers
are located, or in heavily farmed areas, where a great many
house cats occur. Our first visits to the thousand-foot TV
Tower at Doerun, Colquitt County, Georgia, some 50 miles
to the northeast of WCTV were about a year after this Tower
was erected. The formerly cultivated acres surrounding the
Tower had grown up to rank weeds-in the most fertile spots
up to eight feet high, and so dense one could scarcely force
his way through. As it was in the height of the Fall migration,
the weeds harbored many crippled Red-eyed Vireos and some
other small birds. Cat work was much in evidence, but it was
very difficult to see bird remains except those fresh and not
yet rained on. A dense grass several inches high grew
under the tall weeds and increased difficulty in finding the

S26


amputated wings and loose feathers left by the cats, which
have a tendency to take their food to well-protected spots for
leisurely eating. It proved almost impossible to relocate such
spots on subsequent visits, the sign "aged" so rapidly. The
writer has seen evidence of even worse cat inroads on dead
birds in grassy surroundings, where wings and feathers
were in evidence all about.
We do not dispose of more than one or two cats per year
at the WCTV project as only an occasional stray takes up
at our Tower. When they do, they make serious inroads
unless dispatched at once. Eating dead or crippled birds
comes naturally to them.
OTHER DOMESTIC ANIMALS. No livestock of any kind
is permitted at large on Tall Timbers. Occasionally a cow
or two, or a horse or mule will break in, and we will find
them in the morning grazing on the grass. They have caused
no damage, but their droppings scattered here and there
over the terrain, look very much like ducks or grebes in the
half light of breaking day! "March 26, 1958, a family of
hogs found their way into the area. At daybreak they were
found to have eaten a Bobwhite that had collided with a
low guy-wire the evening before. Judging from scattered
feathers, they got perhaps a dozen or two small birds that
were grounded over the area. We shudder to think of how
many dead birds this group could have consumed had a big
kill developed that night! However, the hogs were removed
by the owners, and gave no further trouble." Were such a
project located in "open range," or where wild hogs roam,
a hog-proof fence would have to be erected around the entire
area. A drove of hogs could consume hundreds of dead
birds in a single night!
OPOSSUMS. One or two a year only have frequented the
area long enough to give serious trouble; we quickly note
their telltale "sign" (feces with bird bones embedded in
them), catch them in live traps, and dispatch them. At least
two half-grown ones have been caught and partly consumed
on the lawn by Great Horned Owls. In one instance the
owl left a telltale feather and a splotch of "whitewash" at
the site, but Horned Owl kills, of either mammals or birds,
are easily recognized in most cases. Opossums have large
capacity, usually chew up and swallow small birds entire,

27






and if not promptly removed could cut in deeply on the
casualties.
FOXES. We have dreaded the thought of foxes taking up on
the area, and are at a loss to explain why they have not
done so. We see their tracks in sandy spots, or their feces,
but so infrequently we have about come to the conclusion that
they will not be a serious menace here. Their feces, broken
crosswise, have revealed only mammal bones or fur; in no
case feathers.
SKUNKS. The large striped skunks (Mephitis) have occa-
sionally dug grubs around the perimeter of the area, and
may consume an occasional bird. While common in the general
area, they have given no serious trouble as yet so far as
eating dead birds is concerned. We incline to the belief that
they recognize the danger from Horned Owls, and avoid
open areas.
RACOONS. While we have occasionally seen their tracks
where they cross the improved area, none have "taken up,"
and become dead-bird eaters, we are happy to say. With their
capacity, they could dispose of a lot of dead birds in a single
night with a "big kill." We saw more signs of racoon activity
at the Doerun Tower, where a brushy swamp such as they
frequent, is located nearby.
GREAT HORNED OWLS. We believe that we have lost more
dead birds due to these fierce creatures than to all other
scavengers together. Just how much good they may have done
by keeping other flesh-eaters from the area is unknown.
Every time we ease up on them in our control, after removing
a pair or family, others come in so quickly that we fully
realize there would be few fallen birds left for us except in
the occasional "big kills." During these, all of the flesh-eaters
in the region could eat until sated without making noticeable
difference. But it is the many kills of less than 300 birds that
build up the numbers in our record books in average years,
kills of 10 to 50 making up the majority. Quoting from
Report No. 2 (1956) "Both Great Horned and Screech Owls
soon got several birds each night of a "kill." Work of the
former was easily recognized but almost as many at
first were being eaten by Screech Owls; usually a small pellet
and small dab of "whitewash" made their work likewise
easily recognized. It is of interest, and almost certainly sig-

28


nificant that Screech Owls were present only during the first
few weeks of months of the study; and there was only
occasional evidence of them during the following years.
Several piles of Screech Owl feathers showed that the Horned
Owls quickly eliminated them, as they are well known to
do when the smaller owls venture into open situations. It is
easy to tell, especially during the late Spring, Summer, and
Fall months, when Horned Owls are becoming "regular" in
the area. Two or' three to a dozen or more Horned Owl
feathers are found mornings. Whitewash and pellets are
noted under bare limbs of the pines and liveoaks where the
owls sit on the lookout for falling birds (or for some unwary
rabbit or other small mammal to venture out into the open).
While they can and sometimes do swallow small birds entire,
in most cases they pull out the wing and tail feathers. It
is of special interest that the Horned Owls have continued
to frequent the "improved area" even though few dead birds
may be available for weeks at a time. This has been espe-
cially noticeable for June and the first two weeks of July,
when night migration is at such a low ebb that practically
no birds strike the obstruction.
"By late 1956, it was becoming apparent that Horned
Owls were likely to prove the main obstacle to full success
in our study." I quote from Report No. 3, for the Fall
months of 1956. "No Horned Owls were trapped and re-
moved from the area for the half year being reported upon,
but probably more dead birds would have been handled by
us had the owls been eliminated. However, one was shot
by a negro as it was killing one of his chickens just after
daybreak on Sept. 27th."
As early as the last part of July .... Horned Owl "signs"
started to become noticeable, and there was much nearby
hooting, "food calls" by young owls, and so forth. Frequently
one or more owls flew from the area at daybreak as we
drove in. Owl use intensified during August, and it became
evident that a family (two grown young and their parents)
Swas spending much time nightly on the improved area .
S We thought it likely however, that the presence of the owls
S might be keeping house cats, opossums, skunks from
the area. And maybe the owls were eating crippled birds
S only, so we gave them the benefit of the doubt and took no






measures against them. By the latter part of the Fall migra-
tion, proof was secured that they were eating many dead
birds. However, there was also sign of cripple-catching. Often
closely pressed cripples would dodge through the mesh of
anchor-pen fences with the owl in close pursuit, only to collide
with the wire, with the loss of many feathers. The eating
of dead or crippled birds by Screech Owls has given no trouble
during the present period No Horned Owl control was
attempted, however, until Dec. 31, 1956. Now it is apparent
that this was a mistake. The following is quoted from Report
No. 4 (January 1 to June 30, 1957). "The last Report men-
tioned that Horned Owls were becoming a menace to the
success of the project. First signs of coming trouble was
noted on January 25th, with the finding of a pile of plucked
feathers of a male Red-winged Blackbird. Then followed evi-
dence of picked Robins, a sparrow, a Kildeer, etc. On the
morning of March 7th, three "owl eats" of 8 downed birds
were identified. The owls by this time had growing young
to feed and probably were carrying dead birds to their nests.
The first sizable kill of the Spring migration occurred on
the night of April 1-2, when 130 dead birds of 17 species
were recorded. At least 15 "owl eats" were identified, all
in a very restricted area. This finally convinced us that
these feather piles so close together, could not all be from
cripples; the owls were undoubtedly making away with many
dead birds .... Quoting from field notes of April 15th; "We
flushed a Horned Owl from the cleared area when we drove
in for lunar observation after dark. Young Horned Owls
were giving their weird, frequently repeated food calls in
nearby pinelands. These were the first "food calls" we heard
in 1957; the young owls had probably moved from the nest
to the source of their food supply." Quoting from notes on
May 2nd "must put out padded steel traps with mutilated
small dead birds for bait. Must catch the owls, but hate
to do it." Note on a kill of 46 birds of 14 species on night of
May 4-5th. "Curiously saw no evidence of Horned Owls taking
a single bird. We believe the kill took place just before day-
break. Probably the owls had worked the area thoroughly in
the bright moonlight of the early night and gone elsewhere
before this kill developed. One bird was still very warm and
others not yet in rigor mortis."


"Last night (May 12th) made two owl sets. This morning
had one owl; two others were sitting on a nearby terrace
in the dense fog. The trapped owl was dispatched for exam-
ination and proved to be a young female of the year. The
two onlookers may have been either the parents or other
young birds."
This was the first of a long series of trapped Horned Owls,
over a dozen of which were permanently marked and released
from 200 to 500 miles distant. We wanted to see whether
they had any "homing instinct," and would return to the
Tower area. We are glad to report that no marked birds
have been retrapped, and so far as we know, none have
returned. A total of four were released in the Spring of 1957,
and the others as soon as we could trap them thereafter. At
least 15 more were otherwise disposed of. Two were given
alive to a Children's Museum in North Carolina, one was
used on TV, then kept in captivity. Others were prepared as
scientific skins, or their plumage was presented to South-
western Indians for ceremonial use. The hundreds of "owl
eats" are not a total loss we are glad to state. Over ninety
percent are identified from the feathers left at the site and
become a part of our record. Also the overwhelming majority
are Red-eyed Vireos; when lying on their backs, the white :
breasts make these birds conspicuous on all except the blackest L
nights. Few of those lying on their breasts with the greenish
backs up are eaten by the owls. This is true of white-breasted
birds in general. We recall picking up ten Yellow-billed J
Cuckoos one morning; every one with the dark back upper-
most. The owls had eaten an equal number. The probability
is that all or most found by the owls lay with the white
breasts uppermost. On very dark nights the owls get most
of their dead birds in the illuminated zone near the Tower.
There were electric lights on each of the four corners of
the Tower building, and the tower men leave at 12 midnight.
We occasionally find "sign" even inside the Tower fence.
Presumably there is sufficient illumination from the red
tower lights to assist the owls to some extent on dark nights.
We believe that Horned Owls have only slightly better night-
vision than the human. Observations indicate they do much
hunting on bright moonlight nights; on dark nights they






appear most active in the early dusk of the evening or as
daybreak approaches.
Our Report No. 8 of Spring 1959, gives our latest thoughts
on the Great Horned Owl as a problem of the WCTV project.
"As far as the Horned Owls are concerned we are now
reconciled to the fact that we will have to fight them every
Spring and Fall migration for our share of the frequent kills.
As we remove one owl, another soon appears and rather
quickly learns when and where to look for dead birds. If the
owl is one of a pair with a nest not far distant, dead birds
will be carried to the brooding mate or young. We are com-
pelled quickly to dispose of such a bird in one way or another.
More than likely a mate will then take over the "territory,"
and "learn the ropes" in ten days or two weeks, when we
have the same thing to do over. Usually by late Spring, young
owls are more or less "on their own," and begin to cut in
on the limited bag at the start of the Fall migration in July.
They may get an undue share of the very limited but very
interesting first Fall migrants until we have disposed of
them one after another. This may be quite easy. Then come
other wandering young birds looking for unoccupied "terri-
tories." If we are not "on our toes," they may cut in deeply
on the large kills of September and October, as well as in
the smaller ones that follow. In November and December
the mating and nesting activities get under way. It appears
that mated pairs may frequently hunt the Tower "territory"
harmoniously together. Sometimes, judging from the scat-
tered feathers, there may be desperate territorial battles of
owls not mated or related. In one case we found a great many
feathers from two owls that fought savagely within an anchor-
pen; the enclosure was covered with their feathers.
Horned Owls give us as much trouble now as during the
first years of the study. The main gain we seem to have made,
is that we are now well informed as to what may be taking
place through the "test birds," and we have learned how
to dispose, efficiently and quickly of offending owls as soon
as their pressures become intolerable. Once, just after trap-
ping and disposing of three in a row, there came one of those
mornings when sound carried long distances. Five Horned
Owls were heard hooting at varying distances from the

-32


Tower, at one time! We not infrequently hear two pairs
in different directions.
We are still convinced, however, that the presence of a
Horned Owl visiting the Tower area, helps by keeping small
mammals, wild and domestic, away. Hence we may be gainers
in the long run from having a single owl around. But the
owls are individualists; some may be much more destructive
to our interests than are others. An occasional one goes
berserk in the presence of large numbers of dead birds. One
gorged so that it could swallow no more, but pulled the
tail and wing feathers from an extra dozen or two dead
birds. These were ruined for all scientific use except as
skeletons. Occasionally one or two were ruined even for
this purpose, for the bird had crushed the bones with its
powerful beak (apparently a pre-swallowing habit) till the
carcass was "a bag of bones."
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES. Either individuals, mated pairs,
or families of Loggerhead Shrikes have frequented the area
from the start. During the Winter months, especially, when
insects, small lizards, etc., are not available, they may cut
in on small dead birds gleaned from the area. Or we may
see them killing an occasional cripple preliminary to hanging
it on the twig of some favored "hanging tree" or on the
barbwire enclosing the six anchor-pens. We have accumu-
lated dozens of notes on a wide variety of creatures that
they have caught and impaled. We have not intentionally
killed any shrikes, as it is apparent that others would imme-
diately take up territory. Their capacity is not great enough
to overbalance the good information we get from studying
their most interesting feeding and other habits. A few have
been incidentally killed in crow control, we are sorry to say.
Like the Horned Owls they are more or less individualists,
and an occasional one will cut much deeper on the very
small dead birds, than will others. Such individuals may carry
away and hang up as many as a half dozen birds during
the big kills. There is no question here that they return and
eat the prey they impale; if some other creatures do not get
their game first. We noted a Blue Jay that had acquired
the habit of robbing their caches.
CROWS. Our troubles from crows as eaters of small birds
that are killed or crippled from striking the Tower or guy-

33





wires, are quite recent. Several crows at a time have fre-
quented the "improved area" since the project began. They
have been observed walking over the lawn at all hours of
the day. Wherever there is a heavy crop of liveoak acorns,
which is almost yearly, two or more spend much time under
the two huge liveoaks in the eastern part of the grounds.
It seems likely that the crows frequenting the place occa-
sionally ran across a dead bird, or dispatched a cripple.
Crows were first noted, systematically and obviously search-
ing the grounds in search of dead birds, in the Fall of 1960,
when several Common Crows and Fish Crows developed the
habit. First comes a note in our Daybook under date of
Sept. 15th. "We had long suspected that of the several crows
that frequented the improved area some, sooner or later,
might become eaters of dead birds. This morning we flushed
a Common Crow from a Veery it had just started to eat and
appropriated the slightly damaged specimen. Just a few
moments later we observed the same crow trying to dispatch
a crippled Red-eyed Vireo; again we ran up and took the
specimen. These things happened as we were picking up
and mapping a kill of 42 birds of 15 species." September
16th. "Saw the crow fly away with a small bird in its beak.
Also three "eats" consisting of slightly scattered wing and
tail feathers such as most crows pull out before eating, or
flying away with their prey."
October 9th. "Had put out a 10-bird test night before.
The test birds were left out for an hour or two after daybreak
as we wanted to see whether the crows would take one or
more.. Sure enough a crow picked up a test bird, pulled out
tail and wing feathers and swallowed it." October 12th.
"Crows fly over the area every morning at sunup. We have
to get over as much of the area as quickly as possible before
the crows appear." The above are samples of dozens of
entries dealing with the rapidly developing crow battle.
Several Fish Crows were soon coming in with the Common
Crows. October 16th. "A Fish Crow spent all the time we
were present searching the area, flying fifteen to thirty
feet in the air with beak pointed downward. He acted as
though he resented our activities . He finally found a
small bird, and flew from the area carrying it in his beak."
October 20th. "Common Crows evidently did not know that


we shot a Fish Crow yesterday, as one ate part of a Towhee,
and then was seen to pick up and carry off a smaller bird."
Entries similar to the above were frequent during the
remainder of the Fall and following Winter. We sprinkled
a Fish Crow with a charge of shot, and this crow and
another that witnessed the shooting, gave us no further
trouble. But as Fish Crows largely leave inland range and
move to the vicinity of salt water about this time, this may
not have much significance. Trouble from the Common Crows,
however, continued. November 3rd. ".... as we were walking
about over the area, the crows flew about looking for dead
birds A crow found one before he could pull out
the tail and wing feathers, another began to harass him
and darted at him every time he alighted. They went on
out of sight, still fussing."
It has become evident that there has been a large buildup
in the crow population in our area in recent years. Now
the paved roads are being systematically searched at day-
break and thereafter, by individual crows or families of from
three or four to half a dozen, in the late breeding season
and the Fall of the year especially. This population increase
has coincided with the rapid buildup in the acreage of
improved pastures and the spectacular increase in the amount
of field corn raised. This increase may well be cause and
effect, and has much to do with our recent crow trouble at
the Tower. In a nutshell, the sequence has been about as
follows; a few crows began to find dead birds in the' vicinity
of the Tower and started their systematic searching. Others
saw the success of these "experts" and followed suit. They
not only searched the area at sunrise, but more or less
throughout the day, finding enough tiny, inconspicuous birds
we had overlooked, to keep them interested. We would see
the little piles of feathers when looking over the area with
binoculars at daylight; it is much easier to spot the feathers
than to find a tiny dead bird with protectively colored back
upward, especially if a downpour of rain has soaked the
specimen or spattered it with dirt.
Noting that the searching crows came in just at sunrise,
we made it a point to give the area a rapid once-over by
Volkswagen just before that time. This worked fine for a
week or two, then the crows also started to come in twenty






minutes earlier. Several became bold, flying just in front of
the slow-moving vehicle, and picking up any dead birds
we were headed for. Seems incredible, but it's true!
We followed the recommendations of an old U. S. Fish
and Wildlife Service pamphlet on crow control, and it worked
like magic, and soon we had eliminated all the local crows
that had become addicted to eating the Tower casualties.
Unfortunately, we destroyed several shrikes at the same
time. We believe that researchers, at other TV towers in
the deep Southeast, will be faced with increasing "crow
trouble" as the population of these rascals builds up. The old
saying that "if Man had wings few could qualify as crows"
is all too true. Certainly researchers of the "ten o'clock
scholar" type will lose out to crows, horned owls, and other
creatures that get up early. When thousands of night-migrat-
ing birds fall during a single night, as happens at long
intervals, the loss of a hundred or two to the night prowlers
and the crows, can go unnoticed, for all can feast without
making much inroad on the supply. It is only by eternal
vigilance and hard work, that we can hope to get over
90% of the Tower casualties for our research. We await
future developments in crow behavior with interest.
ANTS. Ants occur in our control-burned pinelands as well
as in fields, pastures, and all open ground in incredible
numbers, for their main foods of seeds, insects, etc. are very
abundant. Also our sandy clay soils make ideal burrowing
conditions for the excavations of several species of mound-
and crater-building ants. It seems safe to say that all species
of ants that eat insects (and are there any that do not?)
will also feed on dead birds and other animal matter they find.
Even with the several thousand dead birds that came to
earth on not more than seven to eight acres downwind from
the "pigmy" WCTV Tower on the night of October 8-9,
1955, there were enough ants living on the ground to eat
around the eyes and nostrils, and even consume much of
the body meat as well, of the great majority of the carcasses
within less than twenty-four hours. The writer, working
feverishly, was only able to pick up, examine, and record
just under two thousand of the birds before the remainder
were made worthless by decomposition, blow flies, and burying


beetles and other creatures that enjoy good protein food,
among which ants ranked first in destructiveness.
And of the ants, the Native Fire Ant (Solenopsis geminata),
with some 20 to 40 mature colonies per acre, and their
thousands of ants per colony, were more destructive than
all of the other species combined. With night temperatures in
the seventies, and those of the daytime in the high eighties
or nineties, the ants were at the peak of their activity, and
the feeding on the dead birds in many cases began just
minutes after they hit the ground.
No attempt to control the antnumbers-on-the-Tower
grounds was made until after the first of the year, for we
could do no land clearing until the crops that occupied much
of the ground were harvested in early November. Then came
the disking, and smoothing, and sowing of centipede grass,
etc. which were not completed until January 1956. By that
time, the cold was keeping the ants largely inactive, and
they gave very little trouble until the first warm spells in
late Winter. We started control experiments on March 4th. )
"Starting some control experiments with 40% Chlordane
powder, putting out a pound mainly on the mounds of the
Native Fire Ants. March 10th, put out two pounds on a
portion of the colonies of smaller crater-building species
being treated as well."
It soon became evident that all of the conspicuous species :
of ants, at least, ate around the eyes and nostrils of dead
birds, and did so much damage that they would have to be
kept in greatly reduced numbers if the birds were to have
much value for scientific specimens. It is of interest that
two species of ants disappeared very soon, .perhaps from
change in the type of environment, as much as from our
control attempts. I refer to what is called the "Florida Bull
Ant" and the equally large Florida Harvester Ant, Pogono-
myrmex badius (Latr.). Neither were ever seen on the
grounds after the first few months. And after the first year
or two we shifted from the Chlordane, to 10% granulated
Heptachlor, which was used entirely thereafter. Both were
applied to disturbed colonies by sprinkling sparingly over
the mound, and from a few inch radius, in the case of the
small crater-building species, to several feet around the
mature colonies of Fire Ants. We soon found out that heavy

37






rainfall followed by hot days and warm nights caused great
ant activity and the freshly rebuilt mounds and craters became
conspicuous and easily found. During chilly weather and
drought periods are poor times to treat ant colonies. And
some species of ants (especially the genus Solenopsis) appar-
ently become quiescent for as much as a year at a time;
we cannot locate and treat them until activities are resumed.
All ants are much more conspicuous and active when tem-
peratures are in the eighties and nineties than in the fifties
and sixties, hence we have very little difficulty with ants
at the Tower during the Winter months.
For the first year (1956), when many mature Fire Ant
colonies were being treated, we poisoned about 100 colonies
per pound of the Heptachlor or Chlordane. Later, after the
Fire Ants were no longer numerous a pound would usually
provide about 130 treatments. During 1956, we used 84 pounds
of Chlordane, and approximately 11,000 colonies were treated.
Some of the very minute colony ants make a series of rather
closely-connected mounds about the size of a dime. These
were counted as one colony, although there may have been
more than a dozen craters.
Some years we have very little ant trouble until after the
Spring migration is practically over, as in 1959. Up to June
7th, we have only three entries dealing with ants in our
Daybooks and we had not put out more than two or three
pounds of Heptachlor since the first of the year. July 28th.
"Treating a few crater-ant colonies, and found a medium-
sized colony of the Native Fire Ants 72 feet in from the
perimeter. This is the longest distance from the perimeter
inward we have found a colony during the past two or three
years; most of the colonies are less than twenty feet from
the surrounding "rough." This interests us very much, for
this species, like most ants, is supposed to spread fast and
far by fertilized queens on their nuptial flights. If they go
high in the air the writer has been unable to follow their
flight even with binoculars more than 40 to 50 feet, usually
nearly straight up, and always in dead calm air after a late
afternoon summer shower. They must, as a general thing
come back to earth within a few feet or yards of their take-
off. It will be of great interest to see during future years
whether a wind ever catches them during the mating flights,


thus spread the new colonies far and wide. With 34 acres
of closely-mowed land, where ants are kept down to a very
low point, we have a "natural" to learn about ants as well
as birds.
We will not follow the year 1959 further, for construction
of the new Tower was getting well under way and it was
a poor time to conduct ant-studies or ant-control. Hence we
will now discuss the ant situation during 1960, after the
improved area was extended to 34 acres.
Ant numbers were about what one would expect during
the Spring bird migration, there being practically no Native
Fire Ants except on the extreme perimeter, and several species
of crater-building ants sparingly distributed over all parts
of the improved area, but slightly more numerous on the
15 plus acres of "new land." It is of interest to observe
that we have never noted any difference in the number and
distribution of the crater-building species on the area where
Heptachlor was broadcast for earwigs and on adjacent areas
where only individual ant colonies had been treated.
Beginning July 15, 1960 with the "new land" and old
improved area, with ants pretty well under control, and
the treatments on a maintenance basis, we will briefly discuss
the conditions up to 1961. Of approximately 5,100 counted
ant-colonies treated, only 87 were Native Fire Ant colonies,
practically all within 20 feet and not more than 30 feet
around the perimeter "rough." We believe this will be about
average for future maintenance control during and through
the Fall migration period. We find it best to carry a supply
of Heptachlor in the car with us, and start treating ant
colonies at favorable times during the months of June and
July, getting the area in top shape to receive the bird casual-
ties of August to November. We expect to conduct the
control energetically during the months of heaviest bird-
mortality to reduce the ant-damage as much as possible. We
find the Volkswagen-method and use of binoculars in locating
dead birds of very great assistance in finding the mound-
building ants as well, also in stopping to treat isolated single
colonies. If we do not do this, we will probably find a group
of colonies only a few days later. "A stitch in time saves
nine" in this case, as with so many others. The "test-bird"
procedure is also helpful in keeping track of ant numbers;





we often find dead birds being damaged by ants, where the
most careful search fails to reveal noticeable mounds. We
assume there are colonies near, lacking fresh earth on the
ground-surface to catch the eye. During the past year (mostly
Fall 1960, but some Spring 1961) we collected samples of
ants that were actually feeding on dead birds, and had already
damaged them as specimens. Our thanks are due to Dr.
Marion R. Smith, U.S.D.A. ant specialist with office in the
U. S. National Museum, for identification of this material.
The list is as follows:
Solenopsis geminata (F.) 2 vials
Prenolepis imparis (Say) 1 vial
Pheidole dentata Mayr 2 vials
Pheidole crassicornis Em. 2 vials
Pheidole metallescens Em. 3 vials
Pheidole sp. 1 vial
Pheidole morrisi For. 1 vial
Paratrechina melanderi arenivaga Whlr. 1 vial
Camponotus rasilis var. pavidus Whlr. 1 vial
There may well be additional very small or rare species
not yet listed: The above all seriously damage dead birds.
EARWIGS (Labidura riparia). We did not recognize any
earwig damage to Tower casualties for the first two years
of the study. Quoting from Report No. 5 of Fall 1957. "As
the sod thickened a new problem appeared. A species of Ear-
wig an insect that burrows into the ears, eyes, and to
some extent other parts of the bodies of dead birds, has
become abundant. It gave much trouble in the Fall of 1957.
There is a possibility, of course, that earwigs are eaten by
ants, and that their buildup may be the result of our reducing
the ant population to a remnant .. a just as bad, or possibly
worse pest may be the result of the ant control. BUT in
a study such as ours the only solution is to control both
ants and earwigs. In neither case can the damage be tolerated.
The earwigs were first noted mutilating dead birds on
September 26th. Two or three birds out of ten mutilated
by earwigs that eat into eyes and ears to interior of
head also eat out neck and throat." Quoting from field
notes on the "big kill" on night of October 4-5, 1957. "Earwigs
were found on birds at times within ten minutes after they

40


hit the ground no birds were seriously damaged by
them, as with our baskets and lights we just about kept up
with the rain of dead birds." November 16th. "There was a
big earwig buried in the throat of a Pine Warbler Tem-
perature was 68 degrees this morning." We had picked up
dozens of dead birds with eyes, ears, throat, etc. eaten into,
but did not realize until September 26th, what was causing
the damage."
August 28, 1958. "Put out another 10-bird predation-test
last night all but one badly damaged by earwigs. At
the suggestion of a U. S. Department of Agriculture friend,
we treated an area of 2-3 acres broadcast with 10% Hepta-
chlor, similar to that used in the Imported Fire Ant campaign.
This proved entirely ineffective. Later controlled experiments
revealed that earwigs thrived in containers with this chemical
in two or three times this dosage They remained in as
good health for weeks, as did the controls in another container
without Heptachlor. Before we found any effective treatment,
the 1958 Fall migration was about over, and no further
control was attempted. We had picked up most of the dead
birds during the night-time as they fell, using powerful
flashlights to find them, thus avoiding earwig damage, and
the losses from other flesh-eating creatures as well.
We knew that we had to do something in the Fall of
1959 about the pestiferous earwigs, however, so we started
early to get together the ingredients for another formula
that was reported to be successful in controlling the European
Earwig in California. September 21st. "Yesterday put out
25 pounds of the bran formula on about one fifth of the
improved area." This was a mixture of bran, fish oil, and
a stomach poison (Siliachloride) that proved to be extremely
effective under favorable conditions. September 22nd. "Glad
to note that not one of the 12 birds picked up this morning,
on area treated yesterday and day before, were damaged
by earwigs." September 23rd. "Yesterday put out the last 25
pounds, making 75 pounds in all." Clear, dry weather followed
the application of the mixture which worked so well that
earwig damage stopped abruptly, and no further trouble from
them ensued until the Fall of 1960.
It is interesting to observe that we have had no loss from
earwigs whatever during the Spring migration, and even






seeing a very small individual is a rarity. May 20, 1959. "A REMARKS
tiny earwig on a vireo's head. Are they just hatching out We feel that we have made a good start in learning how
now?" First Fall note of 1960, Aug. 26th. "One Chimney to combat creatures that would eat most of the Tower casualties
Swift, one Prairie Warbler and one Kentucky Warbler badly if permitted to do so. If similar studies are attempted at TV
eaten by earwigs." August 28th. "Put out 10 Red-eyed Vireo towers located in cities or in practically any other ecological
"test-birds"; one badly damaged by earwigs (a huge one in types, other creatures will have to be combatted by investi-
the ear of one and some damage to three more, but usable gators. Almost certainly Norway Rats would be extremely
for fat studies). Better get material and treat all of destructive. They would carry great numbers of dead birds
old improved areas, as well as under guy-wires of the new." under floors of old buildings or piles of lumber, rock, etc.
The main problem in treating for earwigs with.a stomach Gulls would likely learn to eat Tower casualties in coastal
poison in bran seems to be picking a run of dry weather; sections. There are many other birds, mammals and insects
hard showers wash off the poison. It is hard and slow work that would quickly -make nuisances of themselves at other
preparing and applying this formula, so we kept on waiting places and under other conditions. This is almost certain
until prospects looked good. September 6th. "Put out approxi- "from the nature of the beasts."
mately 50 pounds of the earwig dope and worked fully seven
hours at the mixing and applying." Next day put out re-
inaining 50 pounds, almost entirely on the old portions of LIST OF 149 SPECIES AND 15,251 INDI-
the "improved area," where it was well-sodded. Took the VIDUALS OF BIRDS HANDLED AT WCTV
chance that the almost 20 acres of new land would not yet TOWER FROM OCTOBER 1955 TO
-support a high earwig population." September 8th. "There JULY 1 1961
was a medium heavy shower at Tower, but as only two dry
nights after putting out the first batch, and one after the The following List with ub-headings SPRING RECORDS
second, feared much of the poison would be washed off the and A RECORDS hee hee
bran before all of the earwigs had located and fed on it." and FALL RECORDS, where there are enough to makethis
practical, gives every species of bird that has so far been
This proved to be the case. It soon became apparent that recorded during the specified period. In this paper we are
quite a lot of earwigs had survived. the treatment, and
gave more trouble than they had the preceding year. This *We started putting out the treated bran on the evening of Sep-
caved me trouble tn ecth e the preng yar.is tember 14, 1961 and finished the job of putting out the 200 pounds
indicated that to be 100 % effective, the bran formula requires on the 20th. e hit a dry period wh a v nce for there was less
several dry nights following the application. Maybe we can than half inch of rain until November 6th breaking the all-time records.
work out a method whereby it can be put out a little at a time We doubt that there is a living earwig on the entire area.
under some sort of shelters from the rain. Now that we not separating and listing subspecies, which we plan to discuss
will have to treat 34 acres in the Fall of 1961, and it will separately in another article. After going into the List, many
require fully 200 pounds of the material, finding out a better readers will undoubtedly want to know WHY there may be
method of application is necessary; probably we will be only a very few Spring records, if any at all, and dozens or
faced with the same problem every Fall in the future.* hundreds of the same species listed in the Fall. Rarely there
It is of interest that we found a few earwigs on dead birds are more Spring than Fall records, but such cases are de-
at the Doerun Tower only a year after it was erected, and cidedly in the minority.
in the tall weed cover previously described. It may be necessary Among the many factors that may have a bearing on this
to choose between night picking up with lights on all or are the following:
most sizable kills, or to working out some more reliable and 1st. There are a great many more birds in the Fall than
effective means of handling the earwig menace. in the Spring, due to the vast number of young birds making

42 43






their first migration. Most small passerine birds are rather
short-lived, and the ratio of young to old is usually a surprise
to the layman. An extreme case is in the non-migratory
Bobwhite Quail, where up to 80%, in the early- and mid-
winter, may be birds of the year. We have very few figures of
age ratio in the small passerine birds that make up the great
bulk of night migrants, but young in excess of adults, may
be expected in the Fall of the year.
2nd. We have very little information at the present time
as to the night air-currents from a couple of hundred to
three thousand feet above the ground or Gulf level. All we
have done as yet is keep regular data on the direction and
velocity of surface winds. Were the results of a great deal
more weather research available to us, we might find that
Trans-Gulf Spring migrants, for instance, fly their course on
favorable winds so high that most birds pass well above the
level of the highest man-made obstructions. This may not
be so frequent in the southerly flight in the Fall of the year.
When there are no low clouds, scud, or visible vapor to in-
dicate wind direction in the danger zone (usually 1000 feet
or less), we can only guess what is taking place above. We
cannot even be sure of the surface breezes during half of the
night hours, for we have to get in some sleep from about
10 P.M. to 4 A.M. We make our weather observations just
before retiring at night, and on arising in the morning, so
we have little information on the local weather picture of
cloud coverage and winds during the interval between. We
hope in the not too distant future to be able to install self-
registering weather instruments on the WCTV Tower that
will show wind direction and velocity at say 500 feet and 900
feet. Our knowledge of night bird-migration has to develop
hand in hand with our knowledge of the weather; the study
is almost as much a weather study as an ornithological one.
We assume that night-migrating birds are not too much
bothered by broken cloud masses at their flight level; if blue
sky shows through here and there, it seems logical that they
would do as the aviator does, fly at a higher level when
weather below becomes a handicap. It seems that with favor-
able winds they could as well fly above such clouds as below.
It appears to be a much more serious matter to fly under a

44


lowering cloud mass several thousand feet in thickness, with
no chance of getting above it. As the vast numbers of a
"peak" migratory bird flight under such a cloud mass pro-
ceed, birds may find themselves forced by lessening visibility
into the danger zone of obstructions, and they would strike
obstructions in increasing numbers as vapors blot out the
tops of TV towers and other high obstacles. If the vapors
around tower lights begin to form "halation zones" (see
more detailed discussions of this; Page 8), chaos, and
terrific losses may be expected to result. Considerable num-
bers have even been recorded as killed, under extreme con-
ditions by striking obstructions no more than 100 to 200 feet
in height.
3rd. In some cases we know that certain species pursue
very different "flight lines" in the Spring and Fall migrations.
Field and banding investigations are adding to our knowledge
of this, and studies at well distributed TV or radio towers,
such as our project, also will help. For instance, it is already
known that vast numbers of the more abundant night-mi-
grating birds may fly northward in Spring directly across the
Gulf of Mexico, skirt around the edge of the Gulf via northern
Mexico and Texas, or move by way of the West Indies and
the Florida peninsula. But what proportion of such species
take only one or use all three routes? Time we hope will tell.
4th. Older, more experienced, and physically tougher birds
make up the Spring migrations, as compared to the more
callow, weaker, and less experienced birds of the year, that
form a high percentage of the Fall flights. It seems reason-
able to conclude that a higher percentage of the former sur-
vive the many dangers to which they are exposed.
5th. Most species seem to have a "peak" period when
the great majority of individuals are actively enroute to their
wintering or breeding grounds. However, the total period,
from the time the early stragglers begin to strike the Tower
until the last ones collide, may cover from a few weeks to
several months. The matter is further complicated, for in
some cases males precede the females, and young birds pre-
cede old, or vice versa. Such cases will be further discussed
under "remarks" below, when we have information of in-
terest. It is already apparent that dangerous weather may

45





cause differing losses in species, sexes, and age classes, cor-
responding to the tendency of each to "peak up" at different
times.
6th. Occasional "big kills" may to some extent distort the
data, as well as seriously affect, temporarily, the proportions
of the various age classes, the sex ratio, and the relative
abundance of species. We will comment further on this under
"remarks" in the following list of retrieved birds.
Pied-billed Grebe
Spring Records: 3 fr6m Feb. 1st to March 14,'1956, 1 Jan.
28th and 1 Feb. 1, 1957, 1 April 11, 1958, 1 May 19, 1960,
1 Feb. 14th, 1 Feb. 20th, and 1 Feb. 22, 1961.
Total Spring ~10.
Fall: 1 Oct. 9th, and 1 Oct. 17, 1955, 5 from Sept. 8th to
Nov. 23, 1957, 1 Oct. 19, 1957, 1 Oct. 16, 1959.
Total Fall 9.
Grand Total 19.
Remarks: Several specimens of this grebe have been
found with a wing completely severed by striking the Tower
or its guy-wires. In some cases the wing has been picked
up many yards from where the body was found. In fact,
we have found a wing or two without finding the grebe it
came from. When a bird has been found without the severed
wings, the wing may have been blown into the "rough" and
lost. Some of these heavy-bodied, rapidly-flying birds,' as
well, may have struck the guy-wires not far from the "rough,"
and been lost in it. Probably the velocity of flight, with a
high tail wind, plus the heavy body and fast wing beat, favor
amputation of a wing: it may be severed as cleanly as by
a cleaver. Several other species, especially fast-flying ducks,
may likewise occasionally have a wing lost, but this has
been noted only for large birds.
Green Heron
Spring Records: 1 May 7, 1956, 1 March 22, 1957, 1 April
11, 1958, 1 March 16th and 1 March 30, 1960, 1 March 31,
1961.
Total Spring 6.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955, 1 July 27, 1957, 1 Sept. 13,
1959.

46


Total Fall 3.
Grand Total 9.
Little Blue Heron
Only two have been found during the study to date, 1 being
picked up March 22, 1957, and 1 July 27, 1957.
Common Egret
Only one has been found at the WCTV Tower; this on
Feb..4, 1959. (One was also found three or four days after
striking, at the Doerun, Colquitt Co. Ga. Tower (WALB-TV)
on Oct. 16, 1959.)
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
We have records of two striking the WCTV Tower, one on
May 14, 1959, and the other on March 30, 1960. Both were
fine specimens in breeding plumage and both were preserved
as study skins. Quoting from our Report No. 8, "An entirely
unexpected bird to find was a fine example of this species
S. as this large-eyed bird is a nocturnal flyer and feeder,
it seems surprising that it should collide with an obstruction
so conspicuous."
Least Bittern
1 Oct. 19, 1958, 1 on April 12, 1959, and 1 April 26, 1961.
American Bittern
Spring Records: I March 13, and 1 March 14, 1956, 1
March 6, 1957, 1 April 6 and 1 April 20, 1958.
Total Spring 5.
Fall Records: One was found before Oct. 6, 1955, that "may
have been dead up to a month," 1 Sept. 15, 1959.
Total Fall 2.
Grand Total 7.
Green-winged Teal
One "crip" examined and released on Jan. 28, 1957. 1
female Jan. 21, 1961 (prepared as study skin).
Blue-winged Teal
1 March 2 and 1 April 16, 1956, 1 Jan. 28, 1957, 1 March
23 and 1 April 15, 1958, 1 April 19, 1959. The only Fall
record was one Sept. 26, 1960.
Total 7.
American Widgeon
1 Dec. 19, 1955, 1 Jan. 14, 1961.

47






Wood Duck
1 female Dec. 26, 1957, and 1 female Feb. 9, 1959.
Ring-necked Duck
Spring Records: 2 Feb. 4 and 2 Feb. 9, 1959, 3 Jan. 14 and
2 Feb. 8, 1961.
Total Spring 9.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 4 and 1 Dec. 7, 1955, 1 Nov. 23 and
1 Nov. 26, 1957, 1 Nov. 6, 1958, 2 Nov. 25 and 3 Nov. 26,
1960.
Total Fall 10.
Grand Total 19.
Lesser Scaup
Remains of one found that met death a short time before
our study started on Oct. 6, 1955, 2 Nov. 6th, 4 the 6th, and
1 Nov. 7, 1958.
Total 8-All Fall records.
Ruddy Duck
1 Nov. 25, 1960.
Hooded Merganser
Remains of 2 Nov. 16, 1955, (eaten by predator after
striking), 1 Nov. 16, 1959.
Turkey Vulture
1 Nov. 6, 1956.
Remarks: Although this species is certainly a migatory
bird to some extent, this one cannot be classed as a night
migrant on the basis of this record alone. Several had been
using the top of the antenna as a roost about this time.
Black Vulture
1 March 29, 1959, and 1 April 14, 1961.
King Rail
1 May 12, 1959.
Virginia Rail
Spring Record: I March 30, 1959.
Fall Records: Remains of 1 picked up before Oct. 6, 1955.
"Probably killed during the preceding night." 1 Oct. 9, 1955,
and 1 Oct. 9, 1956. 1 Sept. 7,, and 1 Sept. 29, 1957. 2 Sept.
14 and 1 Oct. 23, 1959. 4 from Sept. 16 to Nov. 27, 1960.
Total Fall 12.
Grand Total 13.


Sora Rail
Spring Records: 3 March 9th and 1 April 11, 1958. 5 from
Feb. 14 to March 19, 1959. 4 from Feb. 22nd to April 22,
1960. 1 April 13, 1961.
Total Spring 14.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 2 Sept. 17th and 1 Nov. 6,
1956. 14 from Sept. 8th to Oct. 31, 1957. 1 Oct. 19, 1958. 1
Sept. 9th; 2 the 14th, and 1 Oct. 16, 1959.
Total Fall 23.
Grand Total 37.
Black Rail
1 May 8, 1956. 1 April 15, 1958. 1 March 12, 1959.
Total 3.
Remarks: It seems rather strange to get three of these
little rails, supposed to be so rare, without getting a Yellow
Rail, usually considered a much commoner bird. All three
specimens were in perfect condition and were preserved as
skins.
Purple Gallinule
1 night of June 30-July 1, 1956. 1 April 24th, and 1 May 19,
1960.
Total 3.
Common Gallinule
1 Jan. 16, 1959. 1 Sept. 13, 1959. 1 April 8, 1961. (In addi-
tion, remains of one were found before Oct. 6, 1955," prob-
ably killed during past 10 nights.)
Total 4.
American Coot
Spring Records: 1 Feb. 3, 1957. 1 April 21, 1958. 1 Feb.
10th, 1 the 11th, and 1 March 30, 1959. 1 March 16th and
1 the 27th, 1960. 1 Jan. 26th, 1 Feb. 20th, and 1 April 10,
1961.
Total Spring 10.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 8th, and 1 Dec. 12, 1956. 3 from Nov.
23rd to Nov. 25, 1957. 1 Nov. 1, 1958. 1 Oct. 15th and 1 Nov.
6, 1959. 1 Oct. 20th and 1 Nov. 14, 1960.
Total Fall 10.
Grand Total 20.





Kildeer
1 March 8th, and 1 April 2, 1960.
Common Snipe
Spring Records: 2 March 15th and 1 the 30th, 1956. 1
Jan. 1st and 1 Feb. 26, 1958. 1 Jan. 31st and 1 April 12,
1959. 1 Feb. 25th and 1 May 3, 1960. 1 Jan. 26th, 1 Feb.
20th, and 1 April 10th, 1961.
Total Spring 12.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 31st, 1 Dec. 11th and 1 Dec. 15,
1958.
Total Fall 3.
Upland Plover
1 remains listed Oct. 6, 1955, with the notation "Probably
met death over a month previously." This would be during
the period of construction. Remains were recognizable for
weeks partly buried in a matrix of clay.
Spotted Sandpiper
1 Oct. 2, 1957.
Solitary Sandpiper
1 Oct. 8, 1959.
Willet
1 April 2, 1960.
Mourning Dove
Spring Records: 1 Jan. 21st, 1 March 9th and 1 March
25, 1958. I Feb. 26th and 1 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 5.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 3rd, 1 Oct. 9th and 1 Dec. 15, 1955. I
Oct. 9, 1956. 4 from Oct. 3rd to Nov. 25, 1957. 1 July 4th,
1 Oct. 7th, and 1 Nov. 9, 1958. 1 Oct. 21, 1959. 3 from Aug.
26th to Nov. 25, 1960.
Total Fall 15.
Grand Total 20.
Ground Dove
1 Aug. 6, 1957, and 1 March 30, 1959.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Spring Records: 1 April 25, 1956. 1 June 12, 1957. 19 from
April 15, to May 24, 1958. 6 April 19th to June 6, 1959. 7
from April 3rd to May 23, 1960. 1 April 27th, 1 May 3rd,


1 May 13th, 1 the 15th, 1 the 17th, 1 the 20th, 1 the 22nd
and 1 May 23, 1961.
Total Spring 42.
Fall Records: 24 Oct. 9th, 1 the 14th and 1 the 15th, 1955.
4 July 19th to Oct. 7, 1956. 33 from Sept. 3rd to Oct. 15,
1957. 18 Sept. 6th to Nov. 6, 1958. 20 Sept. 13 to Nov. 7,
1959. 21 from Aug. 19th to Nov. 25, 1960.
Total Fall 121.
Grand Total 163.
Remarks: The late migration of this species has furnished
one of the greatest surprises of the study. We have 42 Spring
records as against 121 in the Fall migration. These range as
follows: One, July 19, 1956, a bird killed by striking north
guy-wires near first anchor-pen; a perfectly normal kill.
However, two June records are not so satisfactory. That of
June 6, 1959, was a female with old "brood patch" still evi-
dent. It was found soon after daybreak 75 yards N.W. of
Tower, and apparently (judging from wind direction, etc.)
struck the Tower high up. Perhaps after rearing the young,
or having a nest broken up after incubating, the bird was
already migrating to Winter range? The record of June 12,
1957, consisted of an easily recognized pile of feathers under
S.W. guy-wires, in a position where birds frequently fall
after striking these supports. It had apparently been largely
picked, then eaten, by a Great Horned Owl. In our opinion,
it was probably a bird in normal migration, for many of
the satisfactory records indicate a very long and irregular
migration. Ponder the May records of casualties at this
location; 2 May 11th, 1 May 16, 10 May 20th, and 1 May 24th,
1958. 1 May 16th, 1959; the May 19th and May 23rd records
of 1960; and the May 22nd and 23rd records of 1961. It will
also be noted that of the 42 Spring casualties of this species
(disregarding the two June records) 22 were May records
-and 17 of these were after the middle of the month; 13 were
for May 20th and later!
This beats the Bobolink for late Spring records. In that
species, famous for its late Spring migrations, we have a
total of 26 Spring records. Of these only two are April






records, and the remainder all May records, but only three
for May 15th or later.
Another well known late Spring migrant is the Blackpoll
Warbler. We have 20 Spring casualties at this Tower. Of
these only six are May records, and 24 April records, indi-
cating that this species is not as late, however, as the Yellow-
billed Cockoo, or the Bobolink.
Why have we so long failed to recognize the remarkably
late migration of this Cuckqo, which most of us have con-
sidered a conspicuously early migrant? The answer appears
simple. The species breeds abundantly practically all over the
eastern half of the United States. At a given observation
point many are early arrivals, moving into the breeding
range with early waves of migrants, when their strange
"rain crow" callnotes proclaim their advent. The birds, them-
selves, are more frequently heard than seen. We have no
way of knowing that a stream of late arrivals, moving in at
night, continues to move through for several weeks, even
after the resident cuckoos have well-fledged young.
The only reference we have seen in the literature recog-
nizing this protracted migration, is in that great mine of
information, Thomas D. Burleigh's "The Bird Life of the
Gulf Coast Region of Mississippi." (Occasional Paper, Mus.
of Zoology, L.S.U. No. 20, 1944). Burleigh was able to get
a clear picture of the continued late Spring arrival of migrat-
ing Yellow-billed Cuckoos on offshore islands in the Gulf of
Mexico. We quote, "Since the species does not occur on the
islands during the summer months, it has been possible to
get interesting and rather complete migration data that would
have been extremely difficult, if not impossible to secure on
the mainland. On Deer Island the Spring transients were
present throughout all of April and most of May The
southward movement in the Fall begins much earlier than
is generally realized for on Deer Island two birds, unquestion-
ably Fall transients, appeared in 1936 on July 31st On
Cat Island it sometimes appeared even earlier; several birds
were observed there on July 24, 1937!"
In the light of the above, Tower records of late May, June
and July do not appear so strange!


Black-billed Cuckoo
Spring Records: 1 April 17, 1956, and 1 April 14, 1961.
Total Spring 2.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 9, 1956, 3 Sept. 28 to Oct. 5, 1957. 1
Oct. 19, 1958. 6 Sept. 14th to Oct. 31, 1959. 1 Sept. 22nd and
1 Sept. 24, 1960.
Total Fall 14.
Grand Total 16.
Remarks: This species is, apparently not so prone to irregu-
larity in migration either in Spring, or Fall, as is the Yellow-
billed Cuckoo. It is interesting to observe, however, that the
ratio of casualties of the two species is about what the field
observer would expect, i.e.; that the Yellow-billed Cuckoo
strikes more than ten times as frequently as the Black-billed
Cuckoo.
Chuck-wills-widow
1 April 6, 1956. 1 March 21, and 1 April 27, 1961.
Common Nighthawk
Spring Records: 1 May 1, 1957. 1 April 10th, and 1 the
21st, 1958. 1 April 19, 1959.
Total Spring 4.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 29th, and 1 Oct. 5, 1957. 1 Sept. 13th
and 1 the 14th, 1959.
Total Fall 4.
Chimney Swift
Spring Records: 1 picked up May 31, 1956 "about 2 days
dead." 1 April 15, 1961.
Total Spring 2.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Sept. 7, 1956. 1 Aug. 29,
1 Sept. 28th, and 1 Oct. 18, 1957. 1 Aug. 25th and 1 Oct.
15, 1960.
Total Fall 7.
Grand Total 9..
Belted Kingfisher
1 male Sept. 14, 1958. This is the only WCTV record to
date. A female was picked up at the WALB-TV Tower at
Doerun, Colquitt County, Georgia, on Sept. 13, 1959. Both
were preserved as study skins.
Yellow-shafted Flicker
1 Nov. 20, 1956, and 1 Oct. 19, 1957. 1 Oct. 17, 1960. 1
Jan. 14, 1961.






Red-headed Woodpecker
1 Sept. 25, 1957.
Remarks: We will have to have more casualty records of
this species before we can accept this one as indicating night
migration. It is well established that this species shifts its
winter range, presumably in response to availability of acorns.
But we have no information, so far as the writer knows,
whether such journeys are made at night or during the day-
time. Several species of woodpeckers do strike TV towers
at night, Flickers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers being the
best-known examples.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 19, 1955. I Nov. 4, 1956. 1 Oct. 19,
1957. 2 Oct. 17, 2 the 18th and 1 Oct. 31, 1958. 1 Oct. 19th, 1
Oct. 21st and 1 the 28th, 1959. 1 Oct. 13th, 1 the 21st and 1
"Oct. 31, 1960. Total 15, all Fall records, and all but one for
October indicating great regularity of arrival.
Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
1 picked up March 28, 1959, under the S.E. guy-wires.
More records are needed before we can consider this species
a night migrant! It is a resident on Tall Timbers Plantation.
Eastern Kingbird
Spring Records: 2 April 16, 1956. 1 April 2, 1957. 1 April
11, 1958. 1 March 26th and 1 April 5, 1960.
Total Spring 6.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 2, 1957. 1 Sept. 3, 1958. 2 Aug. 25,
1960.
Total Fall 4.
Grand Total 10.
Remarks: Will this common nesting species produce as
many or more casualties in Spring than in Fall? There are
still too few records to judge. Considering the great abun-
dance of the bird, it seems remarkable that there are not more
Tower casualties. Perhaps most of the migrations are car-
ried on during the daylight hours?
Great Crested Flycatcher
Spring Records: 1 April 4th and 1 the 5th, 1956. 1 June
10, 1957. 1 April 11th, and 1 the 15th, 1958. 1 March 28th,
1 April 17 and 1 April 23, 1959. 1 April 4, 1960.
Total Spring 9.


Fall Records: 1 July 4th, and 1 Sept. 13, 1956.
Total Fall 2.
Remarks: This case appears very much like that of the
Kingbird in that more have appeared in Spring casualties
than in Fall. However, there are too few records to warrant
conclusions.
Eastern Phoebe
1 Oct. 29, 1956.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Sept. 15th and 1 the 16th, 1958.
Acadian Flycatcher
Spring Records: 3 April 11th and 1 May 11, 1958. 1 April
29th and 1 May 3, 1960. 1 April 11, 1961.
Total Spring 7.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 30th and 1 Oct. 15, 1956. 1 Sept.
7th, 2 the 16th, 1 the 28th, 1 Oct. 4-5 and 1 the 13th, 1957.
1 Sept. 14 and 1 the 22nd, 1958. 1 Aug. 18, 1959. 1 Sept. 10th,
2 the 15th, 2 the 16th and 1 the 29th, 1960.
Total Fall 17.
Grand Total 24.
Traill's Flycatcher
Spring Records: none.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 29, 1956. 1 Sept. 30th, 1 Oct. 1st, 2
the 2nd, 3 the 4th-5th, 1957. 1 Sept. 22, 1958. 1 Sept. 15,
1960.
Total Fall 10.
Remarks: The species of the genus Empidonax are so dif-
ficult to identify, especially in the Fall, that skins of most
of those listed above were identified by T. D. Burleigh by
comparison with skins in the National collections in Wash-
ington. Some of the specimens are in the museum in Wash-
ington and the remainder in the Tall Timbers Research
Station collection.
Eastern Wood Pewee
Spring Records: 1 April 24th, and 1 May 9, 1956. 1 April
11, 1958, and 1 May 3, 1959. 1 April 29, 1960.
Total Spring 5.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 6th, and 1 Oct. 29, 1956. 1 Sept. 22,
1958. 1 Sept. 14th, and 1 Sept. 30, 1959. 6 from Aug. 19th
to Oct. 11, 1960.







Total Fall 11.
Grand Total 16.
Tree Swallow
1 April 4, 1956. 3 Oct. 8, 1956, 1 Oct. 22, 1960.
Barn Swallow
1 May 11, 1960.
Purple Martin
1 July 21st, and 1 July 31, 1958. 1 July 17, 1960.
Remarks: We have thought that members of the swallow
tribe were day migrants only, but some evidence is accumu-
lating that some movement also may take place at night.
Brown Creeper
1 Oct. 29th, and 1 the 31st, 1956. 1 Oct. 30, 1957. 1 Oct.
21, 1960.
House Wren
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 6th, 3 the 9th, and 1 Nov. 9, 1955.
31 from Oct. 1st to Nov. 1, 1956. 12 Sept. 25th to Nov. 5, 1957.
14 from Oct. 1st to Oct. 3, 1958. 9 from Oct. 9th to Oct. 28,
1959. 11 from Oct. 14th to Nov. 10, 1960.
Total Fall 83.
Remarks: Why no Spring records?
Winter Wren
1 Oct. 31, 1957. 1 Nov. 4, 1958. 1 Oct. 21st, 1 the 28th and
1 Nov. 8, 1959.
Bewick's Wren
1 Oct. 4, 1958.
Long-billed Marsh Wren
Spring Records: 1 May 5th, 1957. 1 May 23rd, and 4 May
28, 1958. 1 May 1st, 1961.
Total Spring 7.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 6 and 9 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Oct. 29, 1956.
9 Sept. 27th to Oct. 24, 1957. 10 from Oct. 3 to Oct. 17, 1958.
9 from Oct. 8 to Nov. 1, 1959. 1 Oct. 15th and 1 Nov. 13, 1960.
Total Fall 41.
Grand Total 48.
Short-billed Marsh Wren
Spring Records: 1 April 6, 1956. 1 April 18, 1959. 1 April
30, 1960 and 1 April 26, 1961.
Total Spring 4.


Fall Records: 9 Oct. 9, 1955. 13 Oct. 3 to Oct. 31, 1956. 1
Oct. 3rd and 2 Oct. 4th, 1957. 13 from Oct. 3 to Oct. 24, 1958
8 from Oct. 5th to Oct. 8th and 1 the 23rd, 1959. 14 from
Sept. 14 to Nov. 14, 1960.
Total Fall 61.
Grand Total 65
Remarks: While more records are necessary to be sure,
there seems to be a general trend in the wren tribe for the
Spring casualties to run very low and those of Fall unexpec.
tedly high.
Mockingbird
Spring Records: -1-the-4th,-and- 1-the-6th-of-A-pril,-1956.
1 March 24th and 1 June 10, 1957. 1 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 5.
Fall Records: 1 Aug. 13th, and 1 Oct. 6, 1956. 1 July 27th,
and 1 Sept. 27, 1957.
Total Fall 4.
Grand Total 9.
Remarks: We had never thought of this species as a night
migrant, which it now appears to be, at least to a limited
extent. We knew that Mockingbirds were migratory, however,
from the large numbers found in Fall banked up along the
Gulf Coast, and also in the Florida "flatwoods" where few
nest or winter.
Catbird

Spring Records: 3 April 25th, 2 the 26th, and 1 May 5,
1956. 4 May 5th to June 17, 1957. 1 April 21st, 2 the 24th, and
1 April 27, 1958. 9 April 12th to April 20, 1959. 7 from April
3rd to May 3rd, 1960. 1 Feb. 23rd, 1 April 15th, 1 April 25th,
4 April 26th, and 1 May 5, 1961.
Total Spring 38.
Fall Records: 4 Oct. 6th, and 99 Oct. 9, 1955. 27 Oct. 3rd
to Oct. 31, 1956. 185 from Sept. 24th, to Nov. 24, 1957. 30
from Sept. 24th, to Oct. 31, 1958. 45 from Sept. 13th to Oct.
31, 1959. 17 from Sept. 15th, to Oct. 29, 1960.
Total Fall 407.
Grand Total 445.
Remarks: This is another species that shows few records
(38) in Spring, but many (407) in Fall. However, 99 were
Picked up on the morning of Oct. 9, 1955, at the "big kill,"






and 126 on the "big kill" of Oct. 4-5, 1957, which with little
doubt has considerable to do with the overall representation!
Brown Thrasher
Spring Records: 1 April 20, 1957. 1 March 24, 1958. 1
May 19, 1961.
Total Spring 3.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 3rd, 1 the 4th, and 44the 9th, 1955.
4 Oct. 3rd to Oct. 9, 1956. 66 from Sept. 24th, to Oct. 17,
1957. 6 from Sept. 25th, to Oct. 15, 1958. 1 Oct. 8th, and 1
the 23rd, 1959. 1 Sept. 27th, 1 Oct. 1st, and 1 Oct. 21, 1960.
Total Fall 127.
Grand Total 130.
Remarks: Again, a remarkable difference between the
Spring (3) and Fall (127) records. And again, the two "big
kills" of Oct. 8-9, 1955 (44) and in that of Oct. 4-5, 1957,
(35), contributed heavily to the total casualties.
Robin
Spring Records: 5 from Jan. 27th, to Feb. 13, 1957. 4 from
Feb. 20th, to April 11, 1958. 6 from Feb. 2nd, to March 12,
1959. 1 March 11, 1960. 1 Jan. 22, 1961.
Total Spring 17.
Fall Records: 4 Nov. 8th, to Nov. 25, 1955. 1 Nov. 25th. 1
Dec. 8, 1959. 1 Nov. 20th, and 1 Nov. 24, 1960.
Total Fall 9.
Grand Total 26.
Remarks: Why this apparent reversal of the thrush trend?
Many more figures are necessary, however, to be sure.
Wood Thrush
Spring Records: 4 from March 28th to April 26, 1956. 1
April 9th and 1 May the 5th, 1960. 3 April 15, 1961.
Total Spring 16.
Fall Records: 8 Oct. 6th, 4 the 9th, and 1 the 17th, 1955.
10 from Sept. 24 to Oct. 22, 1956. 35 from Sept. 28th to Oct.
17, 1957. 11 from Sept. 22nd to Oct. 12, 1958. 13 from Oct.
8th to Nov. 1st, 1959. 22 from Sept. 24th to Oct. 25, 1960.
Total Fall 104.
Grand Total 120.
Hermit Thrush
Spring Records: 1 Jan. 31, 1957.
Total Spring 1.

58


Fall Records: 1 Nov. 10th,1 the 25th, and 1 Dec. 7th, 1955.
12 from Oct. 26th to Nov. 8, 1956. 9 from Oct. 14th to Nov.
25, 1957. 1 Oct. 26th, 1 the 29th, and 1 Nov. 1, 1958. 9 from
Oct. 22nd to Nov. 1, 1960.
Total Fall 36.
Grand Total 37.
Swainson's Thrush
Spring Records: 6 April 5, 1957. 1 April 19th, and 1 April
26, 1961.
Total Spring 8.
Fall Records: 5 before Oct. 6, 1955, "killed within the last
ten days." 3 Oct. 9, 1955. 22 from Sept. 27th to Oct. 26, 1956.
25 from Sept. 16th to Oct. 22, 1957. 12 from Sept. 21st to
Oct. 31, 1958. 45 from Oct. 2nd to Oct. 29, 1959. 9 from Sept.
26th to Oct. 10, 1960.
Total Fall 121.
Grand Total 129.
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Spring Records: 1 Jan. 31, 1957. 1 April 24th and 1 May
11, 1958. 2 May 3, 1960.
Total Spring 5.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 4th and 2 Oct. 9, 1955. 2 Oct. 9th and
1 Oct. 10, 1956. 27 from Sept. 27th to Oct. 17, 1957. 1 Sept.
24th, and 1 Oct. 3, 1958. 19 from Sept. 29th to Oct. 29, 1959.
Total Fall 54.
Grand Total 59.
Veery
Spring Records: 1 May 5, 1957. 1 May 3, 1960.
Total Spring 2.
Fall Records: 4 before Oct. 6, 1955, "within the last 10
days." 1 Oct. 3rd and 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Sept. 24th and 2 Oct.
6, 1956. 192 from Aug. 30th to Oct. 4-5, 1957 (110 from the
"big kill"). 22 from Sept. 3rd to Oct. 5, 1958. 151 from Sept.
12th to Oct. 23, 1959 (81 of these on Sept. 14th and 62 on
Sept. 19th!). 40 from Aug. 26th to Oct. 10, 1960.
Total Fall 414.
Grand Total 416.
Remarks: (On the thrush records combined) : Among the
150 to 175 species of night-migrating birds that appear in
eastern North America (all that we are concerned with in






this paper), the members of only a comparatively few families
make up the great bulk of the casualties in "obstruction kills."
Among them, the vireos, warblers and thrushes, with a few
scattered finches, are especially conspicuous. We will briefly
discuss the thrush tribe, following the list above, at this
point. Counting in the closely related Mockingbird, Brown
Thrasher, and Catbird of the Family Mimidae, with the "true
thrushes" of the Family Turdidae, the pattern is about as
follows:
There is one apparent exception-the Eastern Bluebird.
It isa day migrant so far as known, while all its relatives
are entirely, or in part night migrants. We have heard of ino
records of this species striking man-made obstructions, while
all of its relations are particularly prone to such collisions.
Nor have we personally ever heard its very characteristic
travel call coming down out of the darkness-a note that may
be very conspicuous soon after daybreak as scattered flocks
are going over. The Bluebird is usually very common as a
breeding species and we see them all the year around at the
WCTV Tower and grounds. It would seem that some of them
would collide occasionally, just by accident.
The thrushes furnish collision records as follows: Mock-
ingbird 9; Brown Thrasher 130; Catbird 445; Robin
26; Wood Thrush 120; Hermit Thrush 37; Swainson's Thrush
129; Gray-cheeked Thrush 59; Veery 416 making a Grand
Total of 1,371, or about 10% of the entire kill. One of the
most striking things is that of this figure, only 95 represent
Spring casualties. The remaining 1,276 are all Fall records.
The most extreme case is the Veery, with only 2 Spring rec-
ords and 414 in Fall. The Catbird with only 2 in Spring and
131 in Fall, the Brown Thrasher with 3 in Spring and 127
in Fall, the Gray-cheeked Thrush with 5 in Spring to 54 in
Fall, the Wood Thrush with 16 in Spring and 104 in Fall, and
the Hermit Thrush with 1 in Spring and 36 in Fall, all show
this pronounced trend. We have too few records in the case
of the others to be conclusive, and none have very many
Spring records. WHY? We do not know.
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Spring Records. None.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 10, 1955. 6 from Oct. 24th to Nov. 4,
1956. 2 Nov. 7, 1957. 1 Nov. 9, 1958. 1 Oct. 28th, 1 Nov. 6th,


1 Nov. 8th, and 1 Nov. 21, 1959. 6 from Nov. 11th to Nov.
18, 1960.
Total Fall 20.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 2 Nov. 8th, and 1 Nov. 10, 1955. 61 Oct. 9th
to Nov. 17, 1956. 51 from Oct. 2nd, to Dec. 19, 1957. 47 from
Oct. 17th to Nov. 4, 1958. 50 from Oct. 19th to Nov. 21, 1959.
41 from Oct. 15th to Nov. 18, 1960.
Total Fall 253.
Remarks: We have no Spring records of either species of
kinglets, both of which occur on migration, and winter more
or less with us as well. The Ruby-crowned is many times as
numerous in the region as the Golden-crowned, and this is
reflected in the records. Just why neither have collided with
the WCTV installation in Spring is a mystery-one even
more remarkable than that of the thrushes.
Water Pipit
1 Feb. 8, 1961.
Cedar Waxwing
Spring Records: 12 from Jan. 13th to March 19, 1957.
15 from Jan. 1st to Feb. 18, 1959. 1 Jan. 7, 1960.
Total Spring 28.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 8th, and 1 Dec. 20, 1956. 4 from Nov.
24th, to Dec. 30, 1957. 1 Dec. 26, 1958. 1 Dec. 7, 1959. 1 Dec.
12, 1960.
Total Fall 9.
Grand Total 37.
Remarks: The Cedar Waxwings fall in both "Spring"
and "Fall" categories as classed herein; it is plain, however,
that they are mostly Winter wanderers, moving from hither
to yon by night. It seems that they come through mostly dur-
ing the mid-winter months.
Starling
1 Dec. 19, 1955. 1 Dec. 16th, and 1 Dec. 28, 1958. 1 Dec.
27, 1960.
White-eyed Vireo
Spring Records: 57 from Feb. 23rd to April 26, 1956. 34
from March 22nd to April 17, 1957. 95 from March 26th to
April 15, 1958. 32 from March 18th to April 20, 1959. 63






from March 17th to April 29, 1960. 69 from March 14th to
.pril 27, 1961.
Total Spring 350.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 4th, 1 the 7th, 13 the 9th, 1 the 14th,
and 1 Nov. 25, 1955. 19 from Sept. 8th to Nov. 9, 1956. 129
from Sept. 16th to Oct. 4, 1957. 29 from July 12th to Oct.
7, 1958. 20 from Sept. 13th to Oct. 20, 1959. 17 from Sept.
11th to Dec. 6, 1960.
Total Fall 231.
Grand Total 581.
Remarks: On the basis of records to date, this is one of the
species that is abundant during both Spring and Fall migra-
tions, but appears to be slightly more numerous in the Spring
"kills." However, this was also true for the Red-eyed Vireo for
the first years of the study, but as of July 1, 1961, the Fall
.score for that species is ahead by several hundred birds.
Yellow-throated Vireo
Spring Records: 14 from March 15th to April 16, 1956. 7
from March 24th to May 5, 1957. 1 April 3rd, 10 April 4th,
1 the 5th, and 1 April 6, 1958. 1 March 14th, 1 the 20th and
2 April 2, 1959. 21 from March 11th to April 3, 1960. 4 March
21st and 1 April 15, 1961.
Total Spring 64.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 4th, 1 the 7th, 13 the 9th, 1 the 14th,
and 1 Nov. 25, 1955. 4 Sept. 8th to Sept. 22, 1956. 75 from
Aug. 18th to Oct. 5, 1957. 11 from Aug. 10th to Sept. 6, 1958.
2 Aug. 13th, 1 Sept. 22nd, and 1 Oct.. 17, 1959. 4 from Aug.
19th to Oct. 1, 1960.
Total Fall 115.
Grand Total 179.
Remarks: This species is largely a migrant through the
region, although it breeds sparingly with us. Like so many
other resident birds that also migrate through, the numbers
of specimens that are killed are much more equally divided
between the Spring and the Fall migrations. WHY?
Solitary Vireo
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9th, 1 Nov. 8th, 2 Nov. 9th and 1 Nov.
25, 1955. 8 from Oct. 26th to Nov. 8, 1956. 6 from Oct. 30th


to Nov. 16, 1957. 1 Oct. 29th, 1 Nov. 7th, and 1 Dec. 15, 1958.
1 Oct. 13, 1959. 4 from Oct. 31st to Nov. 14, 1960.
Total Fall. 27.
Red-eyed Vireo
Spring Records: 382 from March 14 to May 9, 1956. 63 from
March 25th to May 7, 1957. 344 from March 31st to May 6,
1958. 142 from March 29th to May 20, 1959. 164 from March
27th, to May 8, 1960. 104 from March 31st to May 12, 1961.
Total Spring 1,199.
Fall Records: 9 Oct. 6th and 24 Oct. 9, 1955. 122 from Aug.
4th to_Nov. 1,1956,_939 fromAug.6thtoNOvl_, 19571.197___
from Aug. 12th to Oct. 31, 1958. 311 from July 31st to Nov.
8, 1959. 199 from July 11th to Oct. 31, 1960.
Total Fall 1,801.
Grand Total 3,000.
Remarks: This species is the leader by a wide margin in
total numbers killed at this installation. The Palm Warbler is
second with 1,206; less than half as many. Judging from
published records, the Red-eyed Vireo is also leader in most
large Fall "kills" over the eastern United States. It is com-
mon over a wide range, hence the great total.
Philadelphia Vireo
1 Oct. 3, and 1 Oct. 22, 1956. 1 Oct. 28, 1959.
Warbling Vireo
1 Oct. 29, 1956.
Remarks: The White-eyed Vireo, the Yellow-throated Vireo,
the Solitary Vireo, and the Red-eyed Vireo make up a high
percentage of the WCTV Tower "kill." The Red-eyed alone,
with a recorded 3,000 casualties contributes approximately
20% of the entire kill. The above four species of Vireos show
a combined kill of 3,787, or nearly 25%0 of the total of slightly
over 15,000 "booked" birds.
During the Fall of 1957, 939 Red-eyed Vireos were recorded,
and 412 of these were picked up during the "big kill" of
Oct. 4-5. This probably was not the "peak" of their migration,
for then half of the casualties may be of this species. Only
24 Red-eyes were handled on the "big kill" of Oct. 8-9th,
1955; they were apparently caught at a low ebb of migration.
This was far from the case with the Palm Warblers, with their
880 handled casualties! But it should be evident from the dis-

63






cussions of the vireo tribe that their losses are terrific from
man-made obstructions, in all probability, proportionately
more so than for any other group.
Black-and-white Warbler
Spring Records: 1 March 15th, and 1 April 4, 1956. 1 April
2, 1957. 3 April 14th, and 1 April 24, 1958. 1 March 1st, and
1 March 22, 1959. 3 March 10th, 1 the 11th, and 1 the 26th,
1960. 1 March 21st, and 1 May 12, 1961.
Total Spring 16.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 3rd, 25 the 9th and 1 Nov. 19, 1955.
16 from Sept. 6th to Oct. 20, 1956. 52 from Aug. 20 to Oct. 17,
1957. 19 from Aug. 13th to Oct. 30th, 1958. 23 from July
23rd to Nov. 1, 1959. 25 from July 27th to Oct. 22, 1960.
Total Fall 162.
Grand Total 178.
Remarks: This is one of the many warblers with much
higher kills in Fall than in Spring, though not as markedly
so as with some. It figures out at only one-tenth as many in
Spring as in Fall.
Prothonotary Warbler
Spring Records: 42 from March 20th to April 26, 1956. 36
from March 26th to April 24, 1957. 20 from March 31st to
April 11, 1958. 18 from March 30th (11) to April 20, 1959.
43 from March 26th to April 20, 1960. 1 March 29th, and
2 March 31, 1961.
Total Spring 162.
Fall Records: 3 Aug. 11th to Sept. 17, 1956. 6 from Aug.
8th to Oct. 5, 1957. 1 Sept. 25, 1958. 1 Aug. 29th and 1 the
30th, 1 Sept. 10th and 1 the 13th, 1959. 10 from Aug. 19th to
Sept. 28, 1960.
Total Fall 24.
Grand Total 186.
Remarks: This proportion is the reverse of that of the
Black-and-white Warbler, 162 being picked up in Spring, and
only 24 during the Fall migration. However, from the record
this seems more likely to happen in species that breed abund-
antly with us. Why?
Swainson's Warbler
Spring Records: 21 from March 28th to April 26, 1956.
1 April 2, 1957. 7 from March 31st to April 21, 1958. 1 April

64


7th, 2 April 18th, and 1 April 19, 1959. 1 March 30th, 6 April
2nd, 1 the 3rd, and 1 the 29th, 1960. 2 March 21st, 1 April
12th, and 1 April 15, 1961.
Total Spring 46.
Fall Records: 8 Oct. 9, 1955. (4 more picked up dried out
when clearing the area-probably killed the 9th also). 14
from Sept. 7th to Oct. 5, 1957. 1 Oct. 3, 1958.
Total Fall 23 (not counting the dried out birds).
Grand Total 69.
Remarks: Although the sample is too small to prove it,
there seems a tendency for this species also to strike the
Tower more frequently in the Spring than in the Fall. The
species nests sparingly in the region.
Worm-eating Warbler
Spring Records: 5 from April 4th to April 26, 1956. 1
April 6, 1957. 1 April 1st, 3 April 11th, and 2 April 16, 1958.
1 April 15, 1961.
Total Spring 13.
Fall Records. 6 Oct. 9, 1955. 6 from Sept. 8th, to Sept. 23,
1956. 21 from Aug. 20th to Oct. 5, 1957 (18). 7 from Sept.
22nd to Oct. 6, 1958. 1 July 23rd, 1 Sept. 11th, and 1 Sept.
12, 1959. 1 Sept. 11th, and 1 Sept. 15, 1960.
Total Fall 45.
Grand Total 58.
Golden-winged Warbler
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 5 Oct. 9, 1955. 5 from Aug. 20th, to Oct. 5,
1957. 2 Sept. 25th and 1 Oct. 7, 1958. 1 Aug. 13th, and 1 the
31st, 1959. 2 Aug. 26th and 1 Aug. 31, 1960.
Total 18.
Blue-winged Warbler
Spring Records: 2 April 20, 1959.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 24, 1956. 5 from Sept. 16th to Oct. 5,
1957. 1 Sept. 3rd, 1 the 10th, 1 the 13th, and 1 Oct. 3, 1958.
1 Sept. 14th, and 1 the 21st, 1959. 1 Sept. 18, 1960.
Total 13.
Grand Total 15.
Tennessee Warbler
Spring Records: 2 April 26, 1956. 1 April 21, 1958.
Total Spring 3.

65






Fall Records: 5 Oct. 6th, and 18 the 9th, 1955. 16 from
Sept. 7th to Nov. 4, 1956. 85 from Sept. 16th to Nov. 1, 1957.
21 from Oct. 1st to Oct. 31, 1958. 12 from Sept. 12th to Nov.
8, 1959. 27 from Sept. 15th, to Nov. 14, 1960.
Total Fall 184.
Grand Total 187.
Remarks: This is another far northern breeder with very
few Spring records but many in Fall.
Orange-crowned Warbler
Spring Records: 1 March 13th, 2 the 24th, and 1 April 5,
-1956. -1-April 12, 1957. 6 from March 30th to April 21, 1958.
1 March 26th, and 1 April 4, 1960. 1 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 14.
Fall Records: 3 Oct. 9th, and 1 Nov. 9, 1955. 17 from Oct.
27th to Dec. 17, 1956. 10 from Oct. 29th to Nov. 13, 1957. 13
from Oct. 18th to Nov. 4th, 1958. 11 from Oct. 22nd to Dec.
25th, 1959. 18 from Oct. 31st to Dec. 10, 1960.
Total Fall 73.
Grand Total 87.
Remarks: It will be noted that quite a few of the records
given are Winter, or at least December records. The species
winters in the region in small numbers. Like many other
warblers that breed in distant locations, the ratio of Spring
to Fall records is a little in favor of the latter, but not nearly
as much so as for most species with distant breeding grounds.
Nashville Warbler
1 Oct. 4-5, 1957.
Parula Warbler
Spring Records: 96 from March 6th, to April 6, 1956. 4
March 22nd to April 13, 1957. 71 from March 26th, to April
11, 1958. 23 from March 19th, to March 31, 1959. 43 from
March 10th, to April 3, 1960. 36 from March 17th, to March
31, 1961.
Total Spring 273.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 4th, and 131 Oct. 9, 1955. 22 Aug.
4th to Oct. 31, 1956. 197 from July 27th to Oct. 6, 1957. 34
from July 18th to Oct. 11, 1958. 21 from Aug. 2nd to Oct. 23,
1959. 14 from July 29th to Oct. 15, 1960.
Total Fall 421.
Grand Total 694.


Remarks: Parula Warblers become conspicuous all over
the region in July. Whether this is a local movement from
their specialized breeding habitat in and around swamps to
the uplands for feeding, or whether they represent birds mi-
grating through and feeding as they went, we never have been
sure. The Tower studies are beginning to throw considerable
light on the matter, however. We know now that some of the
July movement is of birds that are night-migrating through
our section. Note their appearance in the kills by mid-July
(July 18, 1958), and they continue to strike all through Oc-
tober (Oct. 31, 1956). In Spring they reappear in the kills
in early March, as soon as we begin to hear their character-
istic song in the woods, and they continue striking the Tower
until local parulas are incubating or have young in their nests.
(Note record of April 11, 1958). They are one of those breed-
ing species that appear in large numbers during both the
Spring and Fall migrations. Although they had large num-
bers in the "big kills" (132 in that of October 8-9, 1955, and
180 on Oct. 4-5, 1957) the records are roughly as expected,
if this is taken into consideration.
Yellow Warbler
Spring Records: 2 April 26, 1956. 1 May 20, 1958. 1 April
29, 1960.
Total Spring 4.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 6, 1956. 15 from Sept. 8th to Oct. 6,
1957. 1 Sept. 25th, 1 Oct. 1st, and 1 Oct. 4, 1958. 2 Aug. the
11th, 1 the 22nd, and 1 Sept. 4, 1959.
Total Fall 23.
Grand Total 27.
Remarks: The few records collected at the Tower do not
mean much to us so far. There are several subspecies repre-
sented in the "kills", or collected in our region, and they come
from regions thousands of miles apart. Perhaps in time, with
many records of the various races, a pattern may emerge.
Magnolia Warbler
Spring Record: 1 May 7, 1956.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 3rd, 1 the 4th, and 23 the 9th, 1955.
11 from Sept. 27th to Nov. 3, 1956. 64 from Sept. 27th to






Oct. 26, 1957. 16 from Sept. 25th to Oct. 26, 1958. 15 from
Oct. 2nd to Oct. 28, 1959. 14 from Sept. 27th to Oct. 17, 1960.
Total Fall 145.
Grand Total 146.
Remarks: The pattern of almost no Spring records to many
in Fall is becoming quite familiar with many warblers that
migrate through our region but breed far to the north. WHY?
Cape May Warbler
Spring Records: 1 April 24th, and 3 the 26th, 1956. 1 April
27, 1958. 1 April 30th, and 1 May 1st, 1960.
Total Spring 7.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Oct. 22, 1956.
Total Fall 2.
Remarks: We see quite a few of these gorgeous warblers
some years in Spring, but rarely one in the Fall. It is inter-
esting that few as they are with us at any time, that their
difference in numbers in the Spring and Fall should be re-
flected in the kill figures. Or was it just chance?
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Spring Records: 1 May 1, 1957.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Oct. 20th and 2 Oct. 29,
1956. 1 Oct. 2nd, and 3 Oct. 4-5, 1957. 1 Oct. 30, 1958. 1 Oct.
20th, and 1 Oct. 28, 1959.
Total Fall 11.
Grand Total 12.
Myrtle Warbler
Spring Records: 37 from Jan. 19th to April 26, 1956. 52
Jan. 13th to May 1, 1957. 32 from Jan. 5th to April 21, 1958.
10 from Feb. 20th to April 10, 1959. 32 from Jan. 6th to
April 7, 1960. 66 from Jan. 8th to March 31, 1961.
Total Spring 229.
Fall Records: 79 from Oct. 9th, to Dec. 26, 1955. 95 from
Oct. 20th to Dec. 25, 1956. 84 from Oct. 22nd to Dec. 27, 1957.
25 from Oct. 24th to Nov. 20, 1958. 35 from Oct. 15th to Dec.
31, 1959. 43 from Oct. 18th to Dec. 10, 1960.
Total Fall 361.
Grand Total 590.
Remarks: With more than five years accumulation of data
on Tower bird casualties completed, we are getting enough
information on some few species to see the emergence of some


sort of pattern. But the pattern can be disrupted when dis-
aster comes, caused by adverse weather either on the winter-
ing grounds of a species such as the Myrtle Warbler, or on
its nesting grounds, from which our migrants or wintering
birds come. On the wintering grounds the decimating factor
can be extended to severe winter cold, which apparently
killed many birds in our region during the cold spell of Jan-
uary and February, 1958. We have had one to a very few
colder nights in other Winters, notably in 1940. But the spell
under discussion here had so many nights of unusual cold
that a few figures will be given to illustrate. In January we
had 8 nights with temperatures below 300, with 220 on the
mornings of the 4th and 9th. In February there were 11
nights of below 300. There was a temperature of 200 on the
4th, 220 on the 13th, 21 on the 12th and 14th, 180 on the
15th, and 190 on the 16th. It was 250 on the 20th, 21st and
22nd. Most of the dead birds picked up at the Tower were
frozen solid. If not frozen, we knew that they had been killed
just before daybreak. Frost-covered dead birds are very hard
to find on ground covered with heavy frost. It was impracti-
cal to make the rounds before the sun had melted the frost.
This protracted winter cold was presumably responsible
for the perishing of many wintering birds of around ten
species. We referred to them as "disaster species", and gave
S them special attention.
In studying the figures above on the Myrtle Warblers, one
of the "disaster species", it will be noted that we found only
10 dead specimens between January 5th and April 21, 1959;
gradual recovery is indicated by the Winter kill of the follow-
ing two years, which well may show "cause and effect". We
got very few dead Myrtle Warblers during this severe Win-
ter; only 32, as compared to more during preceding Winters.
But the following Winter they really were few; none at all
recorded in January and only 1 in February.
It seems characteristic of this species, when coming into
our region on what we refer to as the "second flight"; i.e.
That of January and February, to arrive in waves or groups.
This has for several years been the general pattern of ap-
pearance at both the Birdsong and Sherwood Plantation bird
feeding stations located in Grady County, Georgia, only a

69


rJ






little over three miles airline distance from the WCTV Tower.
The arriving "wave" of Myrtles often leaves a dozen or more
on the ground around the Tower and under the guy-wires.
At the same time we may note a good many more of these
warblers around our feeders. Soon we will have hundreds,
after which we can no longer recognize the arrival of new
"waves". And it is commonplace for us to find new arrivals
on the ground at the Tower before we see or hear them over
our countryside. This is true of many species of birds so con-
spicuous we could scarcely miss them.
Black-throated Green Warbler
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 9 on Oct.'9, 1955. 1 Oct. 20th and 1 Oct. 31,
1956. 4 Oct. 5th and 1 Oct. 25, 1957. 1 Oct. 29, 1958. 1 Oct.
17th and 1 Nov. 1, 1959.
Total Fall 19.
Cerulean Warbler
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 4 from Aug. 4th to Sept. 8, 1956. 6 from
Aug. 20th to Oct. 5, 1957. 1 Aug. 29, 1959. 8 from Aug. 10th
to Sept. 8, 1960.
Total Fall 19.
Remarks: We find several times as many on the ground
at the Tower than we see in our "opera glass" birding over
our region.
Blackburnian Warbler
Spring Record: 1 April 9, 1957.
Fall Records: 7 Oct. 9, 1955. 6 Sept. 17th to Oct. 29, 1956.
22 from Sept. 22nd to Oct. 14, 1957. 1 Oct. 5th, 1 the 27th,
and 1 Oct. 29, 1958. 2 Sept. 12th and 1 the 29th, 1959. 10
from Aug. 25th to Oct. 18, 1960.
Total Fall 51.
Grand Total 52.
Remarks: This and the two preceding species are good
examples of the group of warblers that nest far to the north,
and migrate through our region in such small numbers that
comparatively few are killed. And those few may be all, or
very nearly all, in the Fall of the year. Again, WHY?
Yellow-throated Warbler
Spring Records: 9 March 13th to April 5, 1956. 1 Feb. 6,
1957. 2 March 2nd, 2 the 26th, 1 the 31st, and 3 April 3, 1958.


1 March 20, 4 March 21st and 5 March 30, 1959. 7 March 10th
to April 4, 1960. 18 March 21st to March 29, 1961.
Total Spring 53.
Fall Records: 3 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Aug. 28th, and 1 Sept. 10,
1956. 15 from July 31st to Oct. 5, 1957. 1 Aug. 18th and 2
Sept. 3, 1958. 1 Aug. 14th and 1 Oct. 15th, 1959. 1 Sept. 15,
1960.
Total Fall 27.
Grand Total 80.
Remarks: While several of our Semi-Annual Reports listed
both the Yellow-throated Warbler, D. dominica and the sub-
species D. d. albilora (the Sycamore Warbler), all are here
discussed under one head, as this paper is not going into the
matter of subspecies separately.
It is interesting that this warbler strikes in considerable
numbers both in the Spring and the Fall of the year, and over
a period of 7 months of the 12. As the species nests common-
ly and Winters sparingly in our region, it may be classed as
a resident species, as well as a migratory visitor, or transient.
It is interesting to note that in the majority of species of this
status, there may be about the expected difference in numbers
in the casualties of Spring and Fall, while as pointed out in
many species that nest to the northward of our region and
occur as migrants only, the casualties are much more numer-
our in the Fall of the year.
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 5 Oct. 9, 1955. 13 from Sept. 22nd to Oct.
24, 1956. 116 from Sept. 16th to Oct. 17, 1957. 14 from Sept.
6th to Oct. 5, 1958. 5 from Sept. 13th to Oct. 19, 1959. 1 Sept.
14th and 1 Oct. 31, 1960.
Total Fall 155.
Remarks: Another of those northern-nesting warblers,
with few or no casualties in the Spring, but many in the Fall.
Some of these may and probably do take a different route in
the Spring, from that followed in the Fall migration. Burleigh
("The Bird Life of the Gulf Coast Region of Mississippi,
1944") classes this species "as somewhat scarce and irregular
during the Spring migration, but fairly common during the
Fall". His region lies some 350 miles to the west of the Talla-
hassee area. Lowery, whose Louisiana country adjoins on the






west and the section Burleigh writes of, says in "Louisiana
Birds" 1955, "in the southern parishes it is ordinarily less
common and less regular in the Spring, except for its occa-
sional abundance on the coastal ridges where as many as 100
can be observed in a small area in periods of bad weather.
Its return in the Fall commences in late August and extends
through October. During most of this time it is regular and
frequent in its occurrence throughout the state". Possibly
many of the warblers of the Tallahassee region which are so
rare in Spring but may be qtite abundant in the Fall, in the
Spring fly in much greater numbers up the Mississippi val-
ley than to the eastward. Interesting if true. Close pickup
of bird casualties under Coastal TV and radio towers, well
spaced for several hundred miles to the westward might be
expected to clarify the matter.
Bay-breasted Warbler
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 18 from Oct. 8 to Oct. 30,
1956. 1 Oct. 4-5, and 1 Oct. 25, 1957. 8 from Oct. 12th to
Nov. 29, 1958. 17 from Oct. 2nd to Nov. 1, 1959. 21 from
Oct. 10th to Nov. 11, 1960.
Total Fall 67.
Blackpoll Warbler
Spring Records: 18 from April 24th to May 7, 1956. 1 April
22nd, and 4 May 20, 1958. 4 April 19th and 1 April 20, 1959.
1 April 30th, 1 May 3rd and 1 May 8th, 1960. 1 April 26,
1961.
Total Spring 32.
Fall Records: 1 Sept. 26, 1960.
Grand Total 33.
Remarks: A great preponderance of Spring records is to
be expected in this species, for almost all we see in our region
occur during a very short period in the Spring. The answer
in this case is, of course, the very different migration routes
taken in the Spring and the Fall migrations.
Pine Warbler
Spring Records: 1 Jan. 29th, 1 March 5, 1957. 1 Jan. 15,
1958. 1 Feb. 5th, 1 March 10th, 1 the 11th, and 1 the 15,
1960.
Total Spring 7.


72


Fall Records: 8 Oct. 9th and 1 Nov. 25, 1955. 15 from Aug.
23rd to Dec. 17, 1956. 17 from Oct. 1st to Dec. 10, 1957. 13
from Oct. 22nd to Nov. 27, 1958. 15 from Oct. 12th to Nov.
21, 1959. 8 from Aug. 8th to Nov. 25, 1960.
Total Fall 78.
Grand Total 85.
Remarks: This is an abundant resident species, nesting in
large numbers in the deep Southeast and far to the north-
ward as well. Hence an abundant migrant, and may be very
numerous all over our region in the Winter months. It is ex-
ceptional, and we do not know why we do not have a higher
percentage of Spring casualties. This is another species that
strikes our TV installation 8 months of the 12, so its season
of night movement is very long as compared to that of most
warblers.
Prairie Warbler
Spring Records: 70 from March 16th to May 6, 1956. (14
of these on the morning of April 4th, and 19 on the 5th) 12
March 31st to April 21, 1957. 39 from March 30th to April
22, 1958. 21 from March 28th to May 3, 1959. 18 from April
2nd to May 16, 1960. 17 from March 21st. to May 1, 1961.
Total Spring 177.
S Fall Records: 58 Oct. 9, 1955. 8 from Sept. 6th to Oct. 8,
1956. 104 from Aug. 20 (76!) to Oct. 6, 1957. 18 from Aug.
12th to Oct. 7, 1958. 7 from Aug. 2nd to Oct. 19, 1959. 20
from July 27th to Sept. 30, 1960.
Total Fall 215.
S Grand Total 392.
Remarks: The above records are about what one might
expect from a warbler population using the same migration
route Spring and Fall; the single pair of Spring might well
be a family group in the Fall migration. The WCTV Tower
is on the extreme southern perimeter of the breeding range
of the Prairie Warbler. We have nesting records within two
miles. Of course, weather variables can make a tremendous
difference in the casualty figures. A killing night at the very
peak of the species migration, can run the figures up tremend-
ously over what a similar night a couple of weeks earlier or
later would show. For instance, the pickup of 76 casualties
on the morning of August 20, 1957, out of a total bird kill

ST1





of only 141 birds, indicates that the Prairie Warblers were
at the peak of a tremendous flight. Only 56 were found on
the morning of October 9, 1955, of nearly 2,000 birds handled.
Also, a kill of 2,325 birds on the night of October 4-5 showed
only 26 of this species; pretty good evidence that the "peak"
of the flight has passed by the time of the early October "big
kills."
Now as to the Spring migration. Data up to now indicates
that the Prairie Warbler's Spring peak comes early in April.
However, the birds continue to strike through May, but only
a scattering. Our records for May show only four birds
killed during this month in six years.
To give a fair picture of the occurrence of Prairie Warbler


casualties to date, here is a
FALL MIGRATION
Grand total for JULY

AUGUST

S SEPT.

OCTOBER


breakdown by months:


7 (all in an early kill on July
27, 1960).
86 (but 76 were on Aug. 20,
1957!).
19 (very scattered but a few
each year).
103 (Oct. 1960 had none-84 of
the October birds were found
in the 2 "big kills," leaving
only 19 for all the rest of
October "kills." A good illus-
tration of the distortion
caused by "big kills."


SPRING MIGRATION
Total for MARCH 13 (of the 6 Marches, only 1960 had
none).
Total for APRIL 171
Total for MAY 4
Palm Warbler
Spring Records: 57 from Feb. 4th to May 5, 1956. 11 from
March 7th to April 18, 1957. 16 from March 30th to April
24, 1958. 37 from March 19th to April 27, 1959. 14 from
March 11th to April 5, 1960. 26 from March 21st to May
1, 1961.
Total Spring 161.


Fall Records: 1 Oct. 4th, 880 Oct. 9th, and 1 Oct. 27, 1955.
25 from Sept. 28th to Oct. 30, 1956. 79 from Sept. 24th to
Nov. 8, 1957. 31 from Oct. 3, to Nov. 1, 1958. 54 from Sept.
22nd to Nov. 21, 1959. 32 from Sept. 11th to Dec. 30, 1960.
Total Fall 1,103.
Grand Total 1,264.
Remarks: 880 Palm Warblers (all apparently the western
race, D. p. palmarum) were picked up on Oct. 9, 1955, in the
biggest of all "big kills" at WCTV Tower to date. This repre-
sented over 44% of the 1,988 dead birds actually handled. It
was estimated that the total kill of birds ran from 5,000 to
7,000. If the former, it is evident that over 2,000 Palm Warb-
lers were killed during that dreadful night of October 8-9th.
Later in the season comparatively small numbers, including
some of the eastern race, the Yellow Palm Warblers, appear
during the latter part of October and later. This is, of course,
the finest of examples of "distortion of data caused by "big
kills." However, the population as a whole may have been
higher in 1955 and 1956, for 57 were picked up in the Spring
of 1956 in spite of the fact the grounds were not in very good
shape. The next highest was only 37 in Spring of 1959. The
Spring average is 27.
Ovenbird
Spring Records: 1 April 26, 1956. 4 April 10th to May 5,
1957. 2 April 4th, 2 the 11th, and 1 April 15, 1958. 1 April
20th, 1959. 1 May 5, 1961.
Total Spring 12.
Fall Records: 4 Oct. 6th and 96 Oct. 9, 1955. 23 from Sept.
8th to Nov. 5, 1956. 60 from Aug. 20th to Oct. 26, 1957. 7
from Aug. 25th to Nov. 5, 1958. 15 from Sept. 13th to Nov.
7, 1959. 18 from Aug. 18th to Nov. 18, 1960.
Total Fall 223.
Grand Total 235.
Remarks: Again low-Spring, high-Fall kill, as so frequently
occurs in the case of warblers breeding to the northward.
There is considerable distortion of trends for the Ovenbird
due to "big kills." There were 96 in the October 8-9, 1955
kill, and 52 in that of October 4-5, 1957; this species is prob-
ably at about the peak of its Fall migration in early October.
An occasional Ovenbird winters with us, but the overwhelm-
ing majority are migrants only.


I.


)j
Ls,
fii


TI






Northern Waterthrush
Spring Records: 5 from April 4th to May 6th, 1956. 1 April
21, 1958. 1 March 30th, 1 April 24th and 1 the 29th, 1959,
1 May 1st and 2 May 3, 1960. 1 April 25, 1961.
Total Spring 13.
Fall Records: 46 Oct. 9, 1955. 8 from Sept. 6 to Oct. 29,
1956. 75 from Aug. 20th to Oct. 5, 1957. 7 from Sept. 2 to
Oct. 3, 1958. 11 from Sept. 12th to Oct. 17, 1959. 9 from Aug.
19th to Oct. 26, 1960.
Total Fall 156.
Grand Total 169.
Remarks: This seems more or less an exception to the rule
that warblers breeding to the north of us show very few
Spring casualties as compared to those in Fall. Considering
the heavy losses in the two "big kills;" 46 in that of October
9, 1955 and 54 in that of October 4-5, 1957, which distort the
data somewhat, the figures are about what one would expect
from the annual increase in a successful nesting season.
Louisiana Waterthrush
Spring Records: 1 March 14, 1957. 1 April 18, 1958. 3
March 20, 1959. 1 March 10th, 8 the 11th and 1 March 26,
1960. 1 March 21st and 1 March 31, 1961.
Total Spring 17.
Fall Records: 1 July 8, 1959, 2 July 27th and 2 July 29th,
1960.
Total Fall 6.
Grand Total 23.
Remarks: The above is interesting, although we need many
more records to be sure a trend exists. This waterthrush
breeds sparingly with us, although we are about on the
extreme southern limit of its breeding range. Just why we
are more apt to get a high percentage of the casualties in
Spring with breeding species is not clear to us at this time.
Kentucky Warbler
Spring Records: 18 from April 4th to April 26, 1956. 6
from April 2nd to April 12, 1957. 32 from April 4th to April
24, 1958. 24 from March 30th to April 20, 1959. 1 April 2nd, 1
the 3rd, 1 the 20th, and 1 May 3, 1960. 13 from March 31st
to April 25, 1961.
Total Spring 97.
Fall Records: 14 from Aug. 5th to Oct. 5, 1956. 39 from
Aug. 18th to Oct. 5, 1957. 8 from Sept. 3rd to Sept. 23, 1958.


10 from July 23rd to Oct. 10, 1959. 18 from July 17th to
Sept. 16, 1960.
Total Fall 89.
Grand Total 186.
Remarks: Another case of a warbler that occurs with us
as a rare breeder, on the extreme southern edge of its breed-
ing range. And as is so often the case it occurs in roughly
equal numbers in the Tower casualties, and over a several
months period. While none were found in the "big kill" of
October 8-9, 1955, 30 were killed in that of October 4-5,
1957. Casualties have been picked upinthreeoftthe-Spring
months and 4 of the Fall (July and August, September and
October).
Connecticut Warbler
1 May 20th, and 1 May 28, 1958, are the only records to
(late. Apparently a very late Spring transient.
Yellowthroat
Spring Records: 7 from Feb. 28th to May 6, 1956. 1 March
7, 1957. 1 March 30, 1958. 1 March 20, 1959. 1 March 18th,
1 the 26th, 1 April 2nd, and 1 the 3rd, 1960. '
Total Spring 14.
Fall Records: 184 from Oct. 4th to Oct. 9th, 1955 (180 of
these were handled in the "big kill" of the latter date). In
addition remains of 3 of this species were picked up before
Oct. 4th and listed as killed "within the last 10 days", mak-
ing the Fall total of 184. 50 from Sept. 24th to Oct. 31, 1956.
132 from Aug. 20th to Oct. 22, 1957. 39 from Sept. 15th to
Nov. 1, 1958. 68 from Sept. 13th to Oct. 30, 1959. 22 from
Sept. 14th to Oct. 20, 1960.
Total Fall 498.
Grand Total 512.
Remarks: This species looks like one of the "exceptions
that proves the rule", inasmuch as it breeds with us (one of
the several subspecies that are included in the WCTV Tower
casualties) and still occurs in large numbers in the Fall kills,
but sparingly in Spring. On the other hand it does occur in
the casualties over a span of several months. (February,
March, April and May in Spring; August, September, Octo-
ber and November; December and January records may be
expected). If or when this occurs, the species will be unique






in occurring in the casualties over a period of 10 months out
of the 12.
Yellow-breasted Chat
Spring Records: 1 April 29, 1960. 1 May 1st and 1 May 5,
1961.
Total Spring 3.
Fall Records: 6 Oct. 9th, 1 Dec. 6th, 1 Dec. 7, 1955. 8 from
Sept. 10 to Oct. 29, 1956. 20 from Sept. 4th to Nov. 25, 1957.
3 Sept. 25th, 1 Oct. 22nd and 1 Oct. 30, 1958. 1 Sept. 29th, 1
Oct. 8, 1 the 22nd, 1 Nov. 1st and '1 Nov. 28, 1959. 1 Sept. 15,
1960.
Total Fall 48.
Grand Total 51.
Remarks: Very much the same situation as with the yel-
lowthroats, though we have only a small amount of data on
the chat, and that of Fall is distorted somewhat by the "big
kills". Six were killed by the one of October 8-9, 1955, and
9 in that of October 4-5, 1957. Probably the most difficult
records to explain in the case of the chat are the records of
1 each December 6th and 7th, 1955. It is also of interest to
observe that of only a total of 50 casualties, 5 months of the
12 are represented. With increasing data two or more addi-
tional months will probably be added.
Hooded Warbler
Spring Records: 49 from March 16th to April 25, 1956.
26 from April 2nd to April 12, 1957. 95 from March 31 to
April 22nd, 1958. 25 from March 21st to April 20, 1959. 24
from March 26th to April 30, 1960. 1 March 31, 1 April 15th,
and 1 April 25, 1961.
Total Spring 222.
Fall Records: 6 Oct. 6th, and 24 the 9th, 1955. 14 from
Aug. 8 to Oct. 14, 1956. 214 from July 27, to Oct. 13, 1957.
49 from Aug. 23rd to Oct. 10, 1958. 40 from July 23rd to Oct.
23, 1959. 15 from July 22nd to Oct. 15, 1960.
Total Fall 362.
Grand Total 584.
Remarks: The data has been somewhat distorted by the
two "big kills". That of October 8-9, 1955 accounted for 24
casualties, and the one of October 4-5, 1957 for 194! The
ratio of the Spring kills to the Fall is high, especially if one


takes the big kills into consideration. The kills are spread
over several months also, as the species breeds commonly
throughout the region.
Wilson's Warbler
1 Sept. 27th and 1 Sept. 30, 1957.
Canada Warbler
1 Oct. 9, 1955, and 2 Oct. 5, 1957.
American Redstart
Spring Records: 14 from April 4th to May 7, 1956. 3 April
2nd to May 4, 1957, 1 March 30th, 2 April 21st, and 1 April
22, 1958. 1 April 20, 1959. 3 April 29, 1960. 1 April 15th, 1
May 1st, and 1 May 12, 1961.
Total Spring 28.
Fall Records: 5 Oct. 6th and 99 Oct. 9, 1955. 14 Sept. 8th
to Oct. 9, 1956. 201 from July 27th to Oct. 14, 1957. 29 from
Aug. 13th to Oct. 19, 1958. 16 from Sept. 12th to Nov. 21,
1959. 8 from Aug. 19th to Oct. 15, 1960.
Total Fall 372.
Grand Total 400.
Remarks: Here again the great majority of casualties
occur in the Fall migration. Also a liberal proportion of them
are due to the big Fall kills. Ninety-nine redstarts were
handled in the big one of October 9, 1955, and 163 in the Oc-
tober 4-5, 1957 kills, which accounts for much of the differ-
ence between Fall and Spring representations.
We can only speculate at this time how many of our species
of birds, warblers especially, may have their time with us
considerably lengthened by the difference in dates with which
the various subspecies that occur as night migrants, arrive
and depart. As Burleigh has so ably pointed out, and proved
by the preservation of very large series of skins (see "The
Bird Life of the Gulf Coast Region of Mississippi"), one race
may appear several weeks before another, and leave earlier.
This is true in the case of the redstart and the Palm Warbler,
and presumably several others. This is a problem upon which
such studies as we are conducting at the TV Tower here
may ultimately cast much light. In many cases the supply of
birds for comparison and study is almost unlimited, and as
the birds do not have to be shot for the determinations, it is
simply making full use of what is already available. We have
prepared large series of skins for comparison in many spe-






cies, and where subspecific differences are sufficiently clear
to make this practical, we make the determinations ourselves
on large numbers of specimens that otherwise just pass
through our hands, enroute to specialists for their various
studies. We plan to do a great deal more along this line, and
add such studies as age and sex ratios in relation to time of
arrival and departure, if or when time and facilities make
it possible. Of the 36.species of warblers discussed in the pre-
ceding pages many are so rare that only a few specimens of
each will ever be accumulated; others occur in'almost un-
limited numbers. While we deplore the slaughter of such vast
numbers of our finest song birds, and hope that means can
be found greatly to reduce the losses, we, at the same time,
feel duty bound to make the best possible use of specimens
that become available.
Brewster's Warbler.
While a specimen of this beautiful and interesting hybrid
between the Golden-winged and the Blue-winged Warblers
was picked up on the morning of April 9, 1958, we have little
expectation of finding additional specimens. It was prepared
as a study skin.
House Sparrow, or "English Sparrow".
One of these was picked up near the base of the Tower on
October 4, 1960. As we have seen none of these sparrows
around the Tower as yet, we feel that there is a possibility
that the bird was killed while on a night journey of some sort.
Bobolink
Spring Records: 1 April 5, 1957. 2 May 10th, and 1 May
20, 1958. 1 April 19, 1959. 2 May 1st, 14 the 3rd, 1 the 6th,
and 1 the 7th, 1960. 1 April 26th, 1 May 12th, 1 the 15th and
1 May 20, 1961.
Total Spring 27.
Fall Records: 7 Oct. 9, 1955. 6 from Sept. 1st to Oct. 8,
1956. 33 from Aug. 30th to Oct. 7, 1957. 8 from Sept. 13th
to Oct. 5, 1958. 36 from Sept. 12th to Oct. 8, 1959. 10 from
Sept. 1st to Sept. 30, 1960.
Total Fall 100.
Grand Total 127.
Remarks: We handled no adult males in breeding plumage
until May 1960, when we made up a fine series showing
various degrees of feather-tip breakdown, from one example


that looked almost like a female to a couple in practically
complete breeding plumage. There were also several Fall
males with a mixture of black feathers in their otherwise
female-like plumage. Practically all of the specimens made
up as skins in Fall were extremely fat, and in good shape for
their long migratory journey. Some were also quite fat after
completing much of their long Spring trip.
Eastern Meadowlark
Spring Records: 1 March 14th, 1 the 16th, and 1 April 6,
1956. 1 March 7, 1957. 1 March 26th and 3 April 2, 1960.
2 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 10.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 8th, 1 the 15th, and 1 Nov. 16, 1955.
1 Oct. 5th and 1 Oct. 12, 1958. 1 Sept. 30th, 1 Oct. 9th, 1 the
22nd and 1 Dec. 16, 1959.
Total Fall 9.
Grand Total 19.
Redwinged Blackbird
Spring Records: 11 from Feb. 5th to April 15, 1956. 4 Jan
22nd to April 21, 1957. 2 Feb. 7th, 1 the 15th, 1 March 30th,
and 1 April 6, 1958. 17 from Jan. 1st to April 17, 1959. 11
from Jan. 7th to April 22, 1960. 11 from Jan. 20th to April
26, 1961.
Total Spring 59.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9th, 1 the 16th, 1 the 17th, 1 the 25th
and 1 Dec. 6, 1955. 1 Nov. 14, 1956. 3 from July 25th to Nov.
8, 1957. 7 from Nov. 1st to Dec. 28, 1958. 1 Oct. 10th, 1 the
19th, 1 the 22nd and 1 Dec. 16, 1959. 9 from Oct. 31st to
Dec. 27, 1960.
Total Fall 29.
Grand Total 88.
Remarks: This species may well, in time, be recorded as
occurring among the Tower casualties in ten months of the
12. We already have "Fall" records as early as July and as
late as December. It will just be a matter of time, in all
Probability to get records in between (August and Septem-
ber). The species may be expected sometime as late as May
also, as we already have April records of the 21st and 22nd.
There are several subspecies involved.





Orchard Oriole
Spring Records. 3 April 5th, 1 the 6th, 1956. 1 April 2,
1957. 6 from April 6th to 21, 1958. 1 April 12th, 1 the 19th,
1 the 20th, and 1 May 14, 1959. 1 May 3, 1960. 5 from March
12th to April 27, 1961.
Total Spring 21.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 15, 1958. 1 Aug. 9, 1959. 1 Aug. 19,
1960.
Total Fall 3.
Grand Total 24.
Remarks: The October 15, 1958 date is the latest local rec-
ord of the species to the writer's knowledge. These birds steal
away in August or September without our being aware of it,
and before we realize what is taking place all are gone.
Baltimore Oriole
Spring Records: 1 Feb. 16, 1960.
Total Spring 1.
Fall Records: 3 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Oct. 2nd and 2 Oct. 4-5,
1957. 1 Aug. 30th and 1 Oct. 11, 1959.
Total Fall 8.
Grand Total 9.
Remarks: We have yet to pick up a fully adult male at the
Tower; all have been females or immatures.
Brown-headed Cowbird
Spring Records: 1 April 3rd and 1 April 4, 1958. 13 from
Jan. 1st (6) to Feb. 10, 1959. 4 from Jan. 20th to March
21, 1961.
Total Spring 19.
Fall Records: 7 Dec. 28, 1958. 1 Dec. 12, 1 the 24th, and
1 the 25th, 1959. 1 Nov. 12th and 3 Nov. 25, 1960.
Total Fall 14.
Grand Total 33.
Remarks: This is one of the few species for which most
of the casualties come during the Winter months. While cow-
birds do not breed in our region, they may be classed as
Winter residents or Winter wanderers. Twenty-six of the
33 were picked up in December, January, and February,
which are neither "Spring" nor "Fall" months.


Scarlet Tanager
Spring Records: 4 from April 11th to April 26, 1956. 4
May 5, 1957. 1 April 9th, and 1 April 18, 1958. 1 May 10,
1961.
Total Spring 11.
Fall Records: 3 Oct. 9, 1955. 4 from Sept. 26th to Oct. 9,
1956. 39 from Sept. 29th to Oct. 4-5,1957. 12 from Oct. 16th to
Nov. 1, 1959. 1 Oct. 20, 1960.
Total Fall 59.
Grand Total 70.
Remarks: As 33 of the Fall records came during "big kills"
of October 9, 1955 (3), and October 4-5, 1957 (30), it is
plain to see how this upsets comparison of the Fall with Spring
casualties. We have so far experienced no really big kills in
Spring. We have a slowly growing series of skins of males of
this species showing odd mixtures of greenish and scarlet
feathers.
Summer Tanager
Spring Records: 18 from April 4th to April 26, 1956. 6
April 2nd, 1957. 16 from March 30th, to April 21, 1958. 1
March 30th, 1 April 1st, 1 the 2nd, and 7 April 20, 1959. 10
March 28th to April 3, 1960. 6 April 15th, 1 the 26th, and
1 April 27, 1961.
Total Spring 68.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 6th, and 10 the 9th, 1955. 1 Sept. 9th,
and 1 Oct. 30, 1956. 62 from Sept. 16th to Oct. 8, 1957. 4
Sept. 25, 1958. 1 Sept. 14th, 1 the 15th, and 1 Oct. 12, 1959.
2 Sept. 25th, 1960.
Total Fall 84.
Grand Total 152.
Remarks: We picked up only 10 Summer Tanagers among
the "big kill" of October 8-9, 1955, but got 54 on the morning
of October 4-5, 1957. Omitting them, the Summer Tanager
follows the rule of that for the species which breeds with us,
the casualties of Spring and Fall are nearly equal. Good
examples are these two somewhat similar tanagers; one, the
Summer Tanager nesting commonly in the region, and the
Scarlet Tanager breeding well to the northward.






Cardinal
Spring Records: 2 March 30th, 1 April 6th, and 1 April
11, 1958. 1 April 3, 1959. 9 March 21st, 1 the 22nd, and 1
May 11, 1961.
Total Spring 16.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 23rd, 1 Nov. 1st, and 1 Nov. 7, 1959.
1 Oct. 9, 1960.
Total Fall 5.
Grand Total 21.
Remarks: One of the greatest surprises of a project full
of surprises, was the discovery that the Cardinal is a night
migrant in small numbers both Spring and Fall. A consider-
able number of skins have been prepared for it seems possible
that careful study and comparison may give an idea of about
how far from here these birds originate. The 9 found on a
single morning-March 2, 1961, was indeed a surprise.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Spring Records: 1 April 5, 1957.
Total Spring 1.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955, 1 Oct 4-5, 1957, 1 Oct. 8, 1958.
1 Oct. 2nd, 1 the 12th, 1 the 15th, 1 the 16th, and 1 Nov. 1,
1959, 1 Oct. 11th, 1 the 16th, and 1 Oct. 17, 1960.
Total Fall 12.
Grand Total 13.
Blue Grosbeak
Spring Records: 1 April 11th, and 2 April 26, 1956. 2 May
5, 1957. 1 April 11th, 1 the 15th, 1 the 24th, and 1 May 21,
1958. 1 May 29, 1959. 1 May 4, 1960. 2 April 27, 1961.
Total Spring 12.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Sept. 1st, and 1 Sept. 27,
1956. 17 from Sept. 28th, to Oct. 4-5, 1957. 1 Sept. 3th, and
3 Sept. 25, 1958. 1 Sept. 10th and 1 Oct. 22, 1959.
Total Fall 26.
Grand Total 38.
Remarks: This species, like several other buntings, gros-
beaks, and tanagers, have males with curious mixtures of dull
and bright-colored feathers, and we add to our study skin col-
lections of these oddities as opportunity presents. Such
specimens occur both in Spring and Fall, usually with differ-
ences due to season. As we do not handle very many Blue


Grosbeaks, it will take several years to get a series comparable
to the one we have already prepared of the males of the more
common Indigo Buntings.
Indigo Bunting
Spring Records: 13 from April 4th to May 11, 1956. 9
April 2nd to May 5, 1957. 9 from April 4th to April 28, 1958.
8 from April 17th to May 14, 1959. 3 April 29th and 1 May 6,
1960. 1 April 26th and 8 April 27th, 1961.
Total Spring 52.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 4th and 46 Oct. 9, 1955. 69 Sept. 24th
to Oct. 19, 1956. 96 from Sept. 16th to Oct. 25, 1957. 31 from
Sept. 22nd to Oct. 20, 1958. 37 from Aug. 11th to Nov. 1,
1959. 13 from Sept. 27th to Oct. 25, 1960.
Total Fall 293.
Grand Total 345.
Remarks: This species "peaks up" at a time when the
"big kills" can hit them hard. This is true, of course, for
many finches, as the sparrow tribe starts to move in, mas-
sively, around the last days of September and the first part
of October. Forty-five casualties in the Indigo Buntings were
counted in the kill of Oct. 8-9, 1955, and 41 were recorded
following the rough night of October 4-5, 1957. Both the
Indigo Buntings and the larger Blue Grosbeaks breed com-
monly, and in very similar surroundings, in our region. And
considering the "big kills", the casualty records of Spring as
compared to Fall are about what one might expect.
Painted Bunting
1 April 11, 1958.
Remarks: With the large and never satisfactorily explained
gaps in the breeding range both on the Gulf and Atlantic
sides, we find this gorgeous little creature a very rare bird
in the Tallahassee region. So it was a surprise to pick up
a fully plumaged male at the WCTV Tower. The writer has
less than a half dozen inland records for the region. It may
rarely appear in considerable numbers along the Gulf coast
when "grounded" by stormy weather at the height of the
Spring migration.
Dickcissel
Spring Records: None.





Fall Records: 3 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Sept. 9, 1956. 2 Oct. 4-5,
1957. 1 Oct. 30, 1958. 1 Oct. 29th, and 1 Oct. 31, 1960.
Total Fall 9.
Remarks: Dickcissels have long been considered very rare
birds in the Tallahassee region, and the few observed have
usually been along the Gulf Coast. Hence we were quite sur-
prised at their showing up among the Tower casualties. In all
probability it is one of several species that fly through on
their migrations, that only stop when forced to make an
emergency landing.
Purple Finch
1 April 4, 1958. 1 Feb. 14, 1959.
Remarks: During some .winters we have a few Purple
Finches both at our bird-feeders and wintering in bushy areas
with a good winter fruit supply. Most of these finches winter
well to the north of our region; few go much further south.
American Goldfinch
Spring Records: 1 April 24, 1956. 1 April 27, 1960.
Total Spring 2.
Fall Records: 1 Dec. 4, 1955. 1 Dec. 5, 1959. 1 Nov. 19,
1960.
Total Fall 3.
Grand Total 5.
Remarks: Why the Goldfinches should be so rare in Tower
casualties is unknown, for it is one of our most abundant mi-
gratory and wintering finches. It seems probable that most
of them migrate by day, for we constantly see and hear them
during daylight migratory flight. Probably a few only mi-
grate during the nighttime under exceptionally favorable
wind conditions. We do not recall having ever heard their
characteristic call-notes during the hours of darkness.
Rufous-sided Towhee
Spring Records: 1 April 29, 1960.
Total Spring 1.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 16, 1955. 17 from Oct. 16th to Nov. 8,
1956. 15 from Oct. 24th to Dec. 8, 1957. 7 from Oct. 29th to
Nov. 7, 1958. 22 from Oct. 8th to May 28, 1959. 8 from Oct.
20th to Nov. 26, 1960.
Total Fall 70.
Grand Total 71.


Remarks: Probably two or three races are represented
among these Tower casualties. One race breeds in the region
about the Tower and another just to the south in the pal-
metto flatwoods. In the Fall migration, the migratory towhees
seem to come in too late to be caught heavily in the early Oc-
tober "big kills". It is hard to figure, however, why we should
have only 1 Spring casualty and 70 in Fall.
Savannah Sparrow
Spring Records: 11 from Feb. 5th to April 16, 1956. 4
from Feb. 1st to March 23, 1957. 1 March 9th, and 1 March
18, 1958. 1 Feb. 13, 1959. 4 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 22.
Fall Records: 37 from Oct. 9 (15) to Dec. 7, 1955. 49 from
Oct. 6th to Dec. 20, 1956, 35 from Oct. 4-5 to Dec. 19, 1957.
8-1 from Oct. 19th to Dec. 3, 1958. 73 from Oct. 18th to Nov.
27, 1959. 61 from Sept. 24th to Nov. 27th, 1960.
Total Fall 339.
Grand Total 361.
Remarks: It will be noted there are actually a few Winter
records mixed in with our "Spring" records, and several also
in our "Fall" records. As the species is here in considerable
numbers most Winters, this is to be expected. There are
four, and possibly five, subspecies included among the casual-
ties, but we will not discuss them at this writing. However,
the time of their migrations, as well as the type of habitat
favored while with us are believed to vary considerably. It
will be noted that there are nearly 17 times as many casual-
ties in the Fall as in the Spring migrations. Most of these
sparrows arrive too late in October to lose great numbers in
the "big kills"; only 17 were picked up in the two that have
occurred at this Tower.
We do know that this species is sensitive to severe, long-
continued winter cold. They largely disappeared following
the record cold of 1940, and were practically absent for several
Winters thereafter, over a huge area of the deep Southeast.
Grasshopper Sparrow
Spring Records: 1 (date?) picked up April 19th, "prob-
ably killed 2-3 nights previously" 1956. 3 Jan. 4th to Feb. 3,
1957, 1 Feb. 4th, 1 the 11 th, 1 the 14th, 1 the 24th, and 1






April 20, 1959. 1 Jan. 7th, 1 the 29th, and 1 April 30, 1960.
1 March 24, 1961.
Total Spring 13.
Fall Records: 3 Oct. 9th, 1 the 22nd, 1 Nov. 24th, 1 the
25th, and 3 Dec. 7, 1955. 22 from Oct. 17th to Dec. 16, 1956.
23 from Sept. 27th to Dec. 11, 1957. (only 2 of these in the
big kill of Oct. 4-5). 26 from Oct. 12th to Nov. 10, 1958. 34
from Oct. 17th to Dec. 25th, 1959. 32 from Oct. 22nd to Nov.
27, 1960.
Total Fall 146.
Grand Total 159.
-Remarks :The proportion-ally- higher kill-inr-Fall is not
caused in this case by the "Big Kills" of early October; it is
apparent that the peak of the migration in this case is later.
Henslow's Sparrow
Spring Records: 1 April 4, 1956.
Total Spring 1.
Fall Records: 3 from Oct. 28th to Oct. 31, 1956. 1 Nov. 29,
1957. 2 Nov. 1, 1958. 1 Nov. 1st, and 1 Nov. 4, 1959. 5 from
Oct. 31st to Dec. 10, 1960.
Total Fall 13.
Grand Total 14.
Sharp-tailed Sparrow
1 Oct. 9, 1955. 1 Oct. 4-5, 1957. 1 Oct. 4th, 1 the 5th, and
1 Oct. 31, 1958. 1 Oct. 13, 1960.
Total 9 (all in the Fall migration).
Remarks: It will be noted that we have no Spring records
and only 9 in the Fall. All but one race of this species breeds
and winters in the salt marshes of the Atlantic coast. How-
ever, one race breeds in the fresh water marshes of the
prairie regions and probably migrates to the Gulf Coast via
the interior of the continent. This race is A. c. nelsoni, or Nel-
son's Sparrow. It will be interesting to see whether our small
series of skins will consist largely or entirely, of this race.
Vesper Sparrow
Spring Records: 1 April 5, 1956. 1 Jan. 30th, and 1 March
23, 1957. 1 Feb. 2nd, and 1 March 28, 1960.
Total Spring 5. -
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 16th, and 1 Nov. 25, 1955. 7 from
Oct. 29th to Dec. 3, 1956. 10 from Nov. 1st to Dec. 4, 1957.


10 from Nov. 1st to Nov. 7, 1958. 8 from Oct 29th to Nov.
10, 1959. 10 from Nov. 6th to Nov. 18, 1960.
Total Fall 47.
Grand Total 52.
Remarks: This is one species of sparrow that breeds well
to the northward, arrives in our region quite regularly in
early November, and is found regularly every Winter in
moderate numbers. It is apparently quite hardy, for we have
noted no great fluctuations that might be caused by winter-
kill. We find it Winter after Winter in about the same lo-
cations.
Bachman's Sparrow
Spring Records: 3 April 5, 1956. 1 April 2, 1957. 1 March
28, 1960. 1 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 6.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 9, 1955. 7 from Oct. 3rd to Oct. 30,
1956. 2 Oct. 4-5, 1957. 1 Sept. 24th, 1 Oct. 3rd, 1 the 17th and
2 Oct. 18, 1958. 1 Oct. 7th, and 1 Oct. 19, 1960.
Total Fall 18.
Grand Total 24.
Remarks: This species nests regularly in the Tallahassee
region, occurs as a transient, and also winters in small num-
bers. Its fine song is very characteristic of open pinelands and
around borders of fields. While we have rather few Tower
casualties, they are about the expected ratios in the Spring and
Fall migrations.
Slate-colored Junco
Spring records: 1 April 6, 1956.
Total Spring 1.
Fall Records: 1 Dec. 5th, and 1 Dec. 9, 1955. 1 Nov. 4th,
and 1 Nov. 27, 1956. 1 Dec. 4, 1957. 1 Dec. 7, 1959.
Total Fall 6.
Remarks: Winters in the Tallahassee region in small num-
bers most, but not all years. It arrives late (4 of the 7 records
are in December and 2 in November). While one subspecies
nests in small numbers in the high mountains as far south as
northern Georgia, the Junco is mainly a far northern breeder.
Chipping Sparrow
Spring Record;: 5 from Jan. 25th to April 5, 1956. 5 from
Jan. 16th to Feb. 15, 1957. 1 Jan. 29th, 1 the 30th, and 1






April 15, 1958. 1 March 3, 1959. 1 Jan. 28th, 1 Feb. 1st, and
1 Feb. 5, 1960. 5 from Jan. 3rd to April 6, 1961.
Total Spring 22.
Fall Records: 31 from Nov. 8th to Dec. 30, 1955. 57 from
Oct. 26th to Dec. 20, 1956. 31 from Oct. 25th to Dec. 23, 1957.
45 from Oct. 29th to Dec. 10, 1958. 30 from Nov. 1st, to
Dec. 21, 1959. 72 from Oct. 24th to Dec. 27, 1960.
Total Fall 266.
Grand Total 288.
Remarks: A little more'than thirteen times as many Fall
as Spring casualties does not impress the writer as beyond
the range of expectation for this prolific species, which ts
present as a Winter resident in large numbers almost every
Winter. As the records indicate, it arrives in late October
and early November, and the birds are gone by mid-April,
if not earlier. That the Fall migration is largely completed
before the first of the year is shown by the small numbers of
January casualties.
Clay-colored Sparrow
1 Nov. 4, 1956. 1 Oct. 4-5, 1957. 1 Sept. 25th, and 1 Nov.
5, 1958. Total 4 records, all in Fall.
Remarks: This species is supposed to be so rare in Florida
and adjoining states that records of 4 casualties at the WCTV
Tower seem rather surprising. They support the belief that
small, very inconspicuous birds may actually be more numer-
ous than "Opera-Glass" records indicate.
Field Sparrow
Spring Records: 1 March 6th, 1 the 31st, and 1 April 3,
1958. 1 Jan. 18, 1960.
Total Spring 4.
Fall Records: 1 Oct. 29th, and 1 Oct. 30, 1956. 8 from Oct.
25th to Dec. 29, 1957. 1 Oct. 30, 1958. 1 Oct. 21st, 1 Nov. 5th,
1 Nov. 28th, and 1 Dec. 20, 1959. 1 Oct. 27th, 3 Nov. 14th,
and 1 Nov. 19, 1960.
Total Fall 20.
Grand Total 24.
Remarks: Probably most experienced students of the night
migration of birds realize that the casualty records of birds
necessarily depend to a large extent on weather phenomena,
and may thus be expected to vary widely. Some variation


even occurs in the observations of bird watchers as well; and
it often appears just plain chance.
Chipping Sparrows and Field Sparrows flock together in
large degree during their Winter stay with us. If the ob-
server is endeavoring to make a count, or census, as for
example, the National Audubon Society Christmas Count, in
which the writer has long participated on a 1,500 acre tract
composed of Sherwood and Birdsong Plantations, Grady
County, Georgia, he may happen on a weedy field where large
mixed flocks of these little sparrows are feeding. If we are
in the rightplace at therighttime,_-wemay_geta_hundred_or
more on our list. If we miss the large groups and find only
small ones before night stops our search, as not infrequently
happens, the results may vary several fold. Nevertheless,
there is usually correlation between the actual numbers in
the area and our "count". High winds alone may greatly af-
fect such counts.
In comparing the relative numbers of Chipping and Field
Sparrows from our Christmas Counts, 1937 to 1960, with our
Tower casualty studies of the past five years, considerable of
interest emerges. For 23 years the Christmas Counts show
an average of 126 Chipping Sparrows and 24 Field Spar-
rows. The greatest number of Chippies estimated was 287
in 1942. The smallest number was 15 both in 1940 and 1941.
In only two years did we find more Field Sparrows than
Chippies. The highest number of Field Sparrows was in
the count of 1941 (one of the years showing only 15, Chip-
pies). But Field Sparrows were represented in all Counts
1937 to 1953; in 1954 none were observed. And there was
a decided downward trend in Field Sparrows starting in 1953;
during the last eight years the count figures were as follows:
1953 11 1957- 1
1954- 0 1958 0
1955- 1 1959 0
1956 11 1960 3
This severe decrease, with an eight year total of only
27 (only 3 birds more than the yearly average previously),
undoubtedly has significance, but we can only guess what
it is.







The Tower figures 1955 through 1960 are as follows for
the Field Sparrows:
1956 2
1957 8 (not distorted by big kills, for the
1958 4 species was not included in either
1959 1 that of 1955, or 1957)
1960- 5
The comparative study of a 25-year record of Christmas
Counts and Tower Records should prove enlightening!,
White-crowned Sparrow
6 from Oct. 26th to Nov. 3, 1956. 1 Nov. 6th, and 1 Nov. 8,
1958. 1 Nov. 14, 1960.
Total 9, all Fall Records.
Remarks: This species has long been considered a very rare
migrant in the Tallahassee region, most of the observations
of it having been along the Gulf Coast. Hence we were sur-
prised at the number striking the WCTV Tower.
White-throated Sparrow
Spring Records: 1 Feb. 4th, and 1 April 29, 1956. 1 Jan.
2, 1959. 2 April 21st, and 1 April 29, 1960.
Total Spring 6.
Fall Records: 14 from Oct. 17th to Dec. 10, 1955. 49 from
Oct. 26th to Dec. 23, 1956. 31 from Oct. 21st to Dec. 29,
1957. 22 from Oct. 19 to Dec. 3, 1958. 37 from Oct. 22nd to
Dec. 25, 1959. 33 from Oct. 31st to Dec. 16, 1960.
Total Fall 186.
Grand Total 192.
Remarks: The Fall records show a remarkably uniform
time of arrival. The species is an abundant Winter resident in
brushy areas. But why only 6 Spring records and 31 times
as many in Fall? Again a far northern breeding species. We
already have records for this species for 7 months out of the
12, and expect May records also at any time, as we have
records of Tower casualties up to April 29th, and sight records
in the region for the first few days of May.
Fox Sparrow
1 Nov. 18th and 1 Nov. 28, 1959 are the only Tower records
to date. It is a rare and irregular Winter resident in the
region.


Lincoln Sparrow
1 Oct. 9, 1955.
Swamp Sparrow
Spring Records: 6 from Feb. 23rd to April 5, 1956. 5 from
Jan. 25th to March 7, 1957. 1 March 10, 1958. 1 March 30,
1959. 1 Jan. 27th, 1 Feb. 22nd and 1 March 21, 1961.
Total Spring 16.
Fall Records: 2 Oct. 9, 1955. 41 from Oct. 9th to Dec. 31,
1956. 21 from Oct: 17th to Dec. 29, 1957. 29 from Oct. 12th
to Dec. 3, 1958. 35 from Oct. 21st to Nov. 12, 1959. 26 from
Oct. 15th to Nov. 29, 1960.
Total Fall 154.
Grand Total 170.
Remarks: This is another species with a long migration
period. There are records of Tower casualties for seven
months of the 12. At least two races of the Swamp Sparrow
migrate through, or Winter commonly, in the region.
Song Sparrow
Spring Records: None.
Fall Records: 1 Nov. 9, 1955. 25 from Oct. 26th to Nov. 8,
1956. 13 from Oct. 17th to Nov. 15, 1957. 17 from Oct. 30th
to Nov. 9, 1958. 21 from Oct. 21st to Nov. 8, 1959. 13 from
Oct. 22nd to Nov. 27, 1960.
Total Fall 90.
Remarks: Again no Spring record for a species that breeds
well to the northward and migrates through and winters abund-
antly, and strikes the Tower in considerable numbers in the
Fall migration. This species is also very regular in its Fall
arrival, all of the birds striking soon after the middle of Oc-
tober and few later than the middle of November. This is
especially interesting as there are two or three geographical
races represented.










93








SUMMARY
Soon after this study began, we predicted on the basis of
seeming probabilities that a five-year period might show
around 150 species of birds striking this installation. They
have, and now we make a further prediction, on the basis of
the number of species remaining that seem likely to be en-
tirely or at times night migrants. A ten-year study may re-
cord as many as 175 species. There are many, especially
among the water birds, that may be expected to strike sooner
or later.
The record now stands at approximately 150 species and
some 15,200 individuals, on which data are given in this paper.




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