I found a body today. It was sad to see since I have seen these birds around the apartment complex and they were pretty to watch. I decided to claim the empty vessel for my collection. I hope I can salvage some of the feathers as well as keep the bones once decomposition is done.
friendly reminder that in the US & Canada it is illegal to possess migratory birds* including this Northern Flicker under a variety of laws (they vary from state to state) including the migratory bird treaty act.
Burying them is ok, but it is illegal to possess the parts.
* there are exceptions for some (but not all) non-native invasive species (ie. european starling) and game birds (legally collected with a hunting license)… also migratory is a vague term, essentially all native birds are protected and parts can not be kept.
Partly why it’s so satisfying (to me) to volunteer with a Lights Out program. 1 I get to handle native birds at all, even unfortunately, unnaturally-dead guys (granted, only during migration season and only in the city in which I volunteer, Washington, DC, which kills me because Arlington has many additional glassy buildings and can’t we just say that since Arlington was once part of DC, the river is arbitrary (sort of) as a divider and anyway this is FOR SCIENCE); 2 Knowing that they don’t just get swept or washed into the gutter but rather prepped and used for education, advocacy, and research makes me feel that they didn’t die entirely for nothing.
Point is, you get a sweet permit, you walk around picking up dead birds and therefore either get weird stares or an opportunity to talk to and educate others, you get to touch and photograph native birds, and you feel more connected not only to the natural world, but to your built environment — in this past year I’ve learned more about infrastructure, urban forestry, advocacy, and green building than I ever pondered before, and I feel that this rudimentary, big-picture smidgen of knowledge that I now have will help me somehow as I begin trying to shift my career. If you’re a civilian/non-biologist interested in birds and live in or near a city with a Lights Out program, I’d recommend it.
Some birds from last year that are hopefully aiding folks’ research somewhere in the United States!
American Woodcock (found outside a bank)
Northen Flicker, Red-eyed Vireo (found outside Salvation Army Capital Area building)
Hermit Thrush (found outside Salvation Army)
Another Hermit Thrush (frozen, possibly found outside Salvation Army as well)
Eastern Towhee (found outside a Nordstrom Rack store)
White-throated Sparrows (found on Pennsylvania Ave NW near 17th St NW, still warm)