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Recent Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Author: Peter Kasper

See the following link information concerning the Current Status of Access to Fermilab
Entries from past years .. '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '12
and past months .. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Year List: Contains the list of birds seen so far this year.
Seasonal List: The list of birds recorded on site at this time of year.
Recent entries ...May 22May 20May 19May 18May 16May 11May 10May 8
May 7May 6May 4May 2Apr 27Apr 24Apr 23Apr 21
Apr 20Apr 17Apr 16Apr 15Apr 14Apr 13Apr 9Apr 8
Apr 7Apr 6Apr 4Apr 3Apr 2Mar 31Mar 30Mar 28

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning reporting a number of good birds, mostly summer residents. Between the three of us all 6 Osprey were accounted for, including the 3 brooding females. Here is a list of their most significant finds: Wood Duck (2), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1), Green Heron (1), Turkey Vulture (1), Eastern Wood-Pewee (2), Least Flycatcher (1), Eastern Phoebe (1), Great Crested Flycatcher (1), Eastern Kingbird (1), Red-eyed Vireo (1), American Crow (1), Chipping Sparrow (1), Field Sparrow (5), Savannah Sparrow (1), Song Sparrow (5), Baltimore Oriole (2), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2) and Indigo Bunting (3). I was in the Lab early doing a pre-breeding grassland bird survey. Even though it is still early (and migration has been behind past years) results were good, as expected the quality grasslands out performed the less quality ones. Henslow%E2%80%99s Sparrows had the best representation (found in all 4 quality areas), while Sedge Wrens and Bobolinks were found in only 2 areas. Unfortunately, no Grasshopper Sparrows were found, but Eastern Meadowlarks were well represented in 8 of 12 locations. Owl's Nest woods still had a reasonable number of warblers and other migrants. Ten warbler species were found including: Common Yellowthroats, Northern Parula (2), a Magnolia Warbler, Bay-breasted Warblers (3), Blackburnian Warblers (2), Yellow Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers (6), Blackpoll Warblers (4), Yellow-rumped Warblers (3) and a Canada Warbler. The area was crawling with flycatchers including: Eastern-wood Pewees, a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, an Acadian Flycatcher, a Willow Flycatcher, an Eastern Phoebe, a Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbirds. Many unidentified flycatchers were also flittering around. Additional birds for the morning were Pied-billed Grebes (E.E. Sea), Blue-winged Teal, a Bald Eagle, a Sora (Slots), a Great Horned Owl, a Common Nighthawk (strangely flushed from a bare field south of the Sparrow Hedge), a Gray-cheeked Thrush (O.N. Woods) and Cedar Waxwings (O.N. Woods). Dave

Monday, May 20, 2019

Joe Suchecki was in the Lab this morning to check for some of the warbler swarm we observed yesterday. There were still quite a good number of warblers around Owl's Nest Woods, but he was not able to find the Prairie Warbler. He did, however, come up with 2 real good birds. First were a couple of Purple Martins over Lake Law. Better still was a Broad-winged Hawk soaring over Owl Nest Woods, only seen four times in the past 17 years. Dave

Sunday, May 19, 2019

After Glenn's fantastic day yesterday, we feared most of the birds would have moved on. Fortunately,we had one of the best warbler days ever in the Lab. We ended up with 23 warbler species, and incredibly, all were found in small Owl's Nest Woods in the Sparrow Hedge area. There were multiples of most species, with Blackpolls being the most numerous species. (Denis said, "The most Blackpolls I've seen together ever, anywhere."). Our list of warblers included: Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers (many), Magnolia Warblers (many), Cape May Warblers (2-3), Black-throated Blue Warblers (4-5), Yellow-rumped Warblers (2-3), Black-throated Green Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, a Prairie Warbler (new species for the Lab), a Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers (lots), Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts, a Northern Waterthrush, a Connecticut Warbler, a Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroats, a Wilson's Warbler and Canada Warblers (2-3). Other standout birds in the woods were a Bald Eagle (flyover), a Yellow-billed Cuckoo (heard), a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, an Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatchers, a Least Flycatcher, a Veery, Swainson's Thrushes, a Gray-cheeked Thrush, a Lincoln's Sparrow and a female Scarlet Tanager. Dave

Saturday, May 18, 2019

What began as an innocent enough morning visit to the lab turned into the largest Fermilab big-day species count that I've ever had. In 8.5 hours, I was able to observe 118 species of bird. Starting my morning under a blue dome at the Sparrow Hedge, I both saw and heard Bell's Vireo, Sedge Wren, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Connecticut Warbler, the continuing Ring-necked Pheasant and a pair of Orchard Oriole. In the south Eola prairie, Henslow's Sparrow and Bobolink were on territory. On my way back to the Red Barn, I made the decision to walk through Owl's Nest Woods and came across the single largest group of warblers that I have ever found at Fermilab. The trees were dripping with Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Black-and-white Warbler, and Chestnut-sided Warbler. Also found were Black-throated Blue Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black- throated Green Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Canada Warbler and Wilson Warbler. Also found in Owl's Nest Woods were two bickering pairs of Scarlet Tanager, a Least Flycatcher and my personal site- first Acadian Flycatcher. I made my way back to the Red Barn, adding a Clay-colored Sparrow, then made my way to the village. The Osprey were both on their nest, however, the Great Horned Owl nest was empty. In Big Woods, a pair of Yellow-throated Vireo were seen, a gorgeous singing Mourning Warbler was found along the creek and numerous Indigo Buntings were observed. At Site 37, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was hitting up a feeder and a White-crowned Sparrow was found. In the north fields, two dueling Vesper Sparrow sang from below the high-tension power lines. In the fluddles, Least Sandpiper were found, as were a Semipalmated Plover and a Short-billed Dowitcher amongst the Killdeer. With threatening clouds approaching, I stopped by the marsh north of the bison farm where singing Marsh Wren, Sora, Virginia Rail and Pied-billed Grebe were found. In addition, multiple Blue-winged Teal, which have bred in this location in past years, were found. A pleasant surprise was a Least Bittern, heard calling from the marsh just as lightning flashed. I made my way back to my vehicle and drove over to Eola Rd. where I found a Kestrel perched on the nest box. The storm clouds rolled in and the skies opened up for about 40 minutes. Pouring rain delayed my trip, however, as the rain lightened up, the Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows came out, swirling in an impressive frenzy over the fluddles on south Eola Rd. A small flock of Lesser Yellowleg seeking refuge in those fluddles began preening as the rain let up. A lone Common Nighthawk hunted along the Main Ring berm and my 118th species of the day, a Belted Kingfisher was seen perched on a wire. One final note, my first birds of the day were the Sandhill Cranes that have been hanging around the Batavia Rd. gate. The male Sandhill Crane appears to have an injured right wing. Further monitoring will be necessary. Glenn

Thursday, May 16, 2019

What a difference a week makes. Both warblers and sparrows were down in numbers and variety this morning. As Glenn pointed out earlier, breeding season has begun as migration is winding down. In the Sparrow Hedge region sparrows found were Field Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (many singing in cattail areas). Those found elsewhere in the Lab were Henslow's Sparrows (many in some locations) and a Chipping Sparrow. Warblers included a Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroats, American Redstarts, Yellow Warblers and a Palm Warbler. Other birds in the region were a Hooded Merganser (male-is the female on a nest???), a Sora (heard), Semipalmated Plovers (7-8 in the remaining fluddle south of the Hedge), a Ring-billed Gull, Pied-billed Grebes, Eastern Kingbirds, Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Willow Flycatcher (new), a singing Bell's Vireo, Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, Brown Thrashers and a Baltimore Oriole. Key birds found elsewhere in the Lab were a Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagles (3), a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (new) and a Wood Thrush (new). All 3 Osprey nests were status quo with the females still brooding. Interestingly, male Osprey was found chowing on a good-sized bass midway between Nest's 1 and 3. Dave

Saturday, May 11, 2019

On Friday, Glenn paid a late visit to the Lab. The breeding season is upon us! I stopped by the lab this evening to look for shorebirds in the fuddles; however, I had little success in that endeavor finding only Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper. Rather, the evening turned into a search for rails! At AE Sea, the North Eola fluddle and the marsh, north of the bison farm, Sora (7) and Virginia Rail (3) were actively singing and calling. A pair of Pied-billed Grebes were observed copulating, which was something that I had never seen before of that species. The Nest 2 Osprey adult female was settled on her brood with the male out of view. The Great Horned Owl nest had only one owlet viewable, fast asleep, with mom not visible but likely nearby keeping an eye on me. A male American Kestrel perched atop the North Eola Kestrel box. Singing Marsh Wren, Savanna Sparrow and Baltimore Oriole were heard, as were many (12) Eastern Meadowlark. One in particular, near the Batavia Rd. gate, sang an abhorrent song that will likely confuse visitors into thinking it is a Western. Another bird that threw me for surprise was a light- morph Rough-legged Hawk observed on Old Wilson Rd. As I approached, the bird took off from a tree and exited the lab headed due north. The final exciting find I had was a first-of-year Common Nighthawk hunting over a fluddle. Glenn

Friday, May 10, 2019

This morning's trip to the Lab was spent mostly in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes region. It proved to quite enjoyable with much bird activity. Warblers were quite good with 11 species, mostly in the East Hedge area. Those found were Black-and-white Warblers, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroats, American Redstarts (new), a Magnolia Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow Warblers, a Chestnut-sided Warbler (new), Blackpoll Warblers, Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Other birds of interest in the area were: Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Pheasant (this loner was actually seen today), Pied-billed Grebe, a Common Nighthawk (new-flushed then viewed in a tree), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (new), Sora's (heard), Least Sandpiper (new), Spotted Sandpipers, a Herring Gull, Caspian Terns (2), a Belted Kingfisher, an American Kestrel, a Least Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Veery (new), a Swainson's Thrush, Brown Thrashers, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, a White-crowned Sparrow, Bobolinks and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Also, good numbers of both Gray Catbirds and Eastern Towhees together in 2 groups, apparently some migrating farther north. A few highlights found elsewhere were: a Northern Shoveler, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs (about 40 found in the Buffalo Wallow) and a Great Horned Owl. Dave

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning monitoring the Ring areas. They ran across an interesting goose, no doubt a domestic), that resembled the Graylag Goose x Canada Goose pictured in Sibley Birds. Their other highlights included a Green Heron, a Bald Eagle (adult), a Red-eyed Vireo (new arrival), American Crows, a House Wren, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Towhees, a Field Sparrow, Song Sparrows, a Baltimore Oriole, a Common Yellowthroat and a Yellow Warbler. They also reported finding all 3 Osprey nests with the females still brooding their eggs. Dave

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A couple of Sora's were found in the A.E. Sea Slots along with a female Red-winged Blackbird neatly stripping fibers from a cattail leaf. After extracting several, she gathered them together and flew off, most likely to her nest. The Sparrow Hedge Area showed fairly good activity this morning despite the gusty winds. Warblers included Tennessee Warblers, Nashville Warblers, Palm Warblers, Yellow Warblers, a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Black-throated Green Warbler. Warblers found elsewhere were a Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroats and several Magnolia Warblers. Sparrows in the Hedge were a Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrows, a White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (many singing) and elsewhere several Henslow's Sparrows. Neither count was too impressive for an early May morning. Other birds in the region were Wood Ducks, a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard only), a Pied-billed Grebe, Sandhill Cranes, a Spotted Sandpiper (a late first of the year), a Greater Yellowlegs, a Caspian Tern, a flyover Osprey, an early singing Bell's Vireo (another first), a Yellow-throated Vireo, Swallows ( Tree, Barn and Northern Rough-winged), Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, Gray Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhees and both Baltimore Orioles and an Orchard Oriole. Found elsewhere were small numbers of both Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal (after the large numbers on the SBC), American Coots, several Lesser Yellowlegs, both Great Horned Owl owlets, an American Kestrel (on a nest box), Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Eastern Bluebirds. Dave

Monday, May 6, 2019

Denis had a class in the Lab today following is a list of their highlights. Several new year birds for the Lab were found. No location info was provided. Birds were found throughout the Lab. The bird highlights were: Chimney Swift, Sora, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Caspian Tern., Green Heron, Turkey Vulture , Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon (new), Great Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Horned Lark, House Wren, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush (new), Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Bobolink, Baltimore Oriole, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Blackburnian Warbler (new), Yellow Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler (new), Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Scarlet Tanager (new) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Dave

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Today's annual Spring Bird Count (SBC) seemed slow and quite lacking in bird activity (for a day in early May) but, when the birds were totaled at the end of the day, we still managed 99 species. This was still above average. Certain families were noticeably lacking in diversity. Worst were the warblers with only 8 species including Northern Waterthrush (3), Nashville Warbler (8), Common Yellowthroat (15), Yellow Warbler (25) Palm Warbler (37). Pine Warbler (3), Yellow-rumped Warbler (29) and Black-throated Warbler (1). Not much better were the shorebirds with only 5 species including Killdeer (12), Wilson's Snipe (10), Solitary Sandpiper (3), Greater Yellowlegs (14) and Lesser Yellowlegs (46). Another family that did poorly were the thrushes with only Hermit Thrushes (3) and American Robins (77) being found. On the positive side Waterfowl were represented by 7 species; quite good for the tail end of their migration season. Those found were Canada Geese, Wood Ducks (8), Blue-winged Teal (a whopping 59), Northern Shovelers (8), Gadwall (pair), Mallards and Hooded Mergansers (2). Also well represented were the sparrows with 9 species including Chipping Sparrows (9), Field Sparrows (14), White-crowned Sparrows (3), White-throated Sparrows (40), Vesper Sparrows (2), Savannah Sparrows (13), Song Sparrows (14), Lincoln's Sparrows (2) and Swamp Sparrows (13). Other highlights found were a Ring-necked Pheasant (still hiding in the Sparrow Hedge), Pied-billed Grebes (4), Chimney Swifts (5-new), Virginia Rails (2-new), Sora (16-low number considering recent SBC's), American Coots (3), Sandhill Cranes (2), Caspian Terns (6), a Black-crowned Night-Heron (new), Turkey Vultures (8), Osprey (all 6 summer resident birds, in the process of breeding), a Sharp-shin Hawk, a Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagles (3), Great Horned Owls (4), a Red-headed Woodpecker (new-unfortunately a rare find in recent years), American Kestrels (4), a Least Flycatcher (new), Eastern Phoebes (3), a Great Crested Flycatcher (new), Eastern Kingbirds (7), Yellow-throated Vireos (2-new), Blue-headed Vireos (2-new), Warbling Vireos (2-new), a Cliff Swallow (new), House Wrens (11), a Winter Wren, Sedge Wrens (new-6), Marsh Wrens (2), Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (12), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (26), Eastern Bluebirds (7). Hermit Thrushes (3), Gray Catbirds (5), Brown Thrashers (7), an Orchard Oriole (new), Baltimore Orioles (3-new) and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (2-new). Dave

Thursday, May 2, 2019

There is not much to report from an abbreviated, due to the rain, trip to the Lab this morning. Most of the time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. A.E. Sea, as most waters in the Lab, was overflowing (at the south end). The Slots only produced a Sora and a couple of American Coots, probably due to the high-water levels. The only waterfowl found were several Blue-winged Teal on A.E. Sea and a pair of Hooded Mergansers on the Sea of Evanescence. Also found around the lakes was a lone Double-crested Cormorant, a Caspian Tern and singing Pied-billed Grebes. A moderate number of sparrows included mostly Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows in addition to a White-crowned Sparrow. Most of the passerine activity in the area was provided by Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Palm Warblers. Also in the area were several Brown Thrashers and the first of the year, Yellow Warbler. An owlet was finally found on the only known Great Horned Owl nest in the Lab. Osprey update: Nest 2 had the female hunkered down on the nest brooding. At Nest 1, the female was standing in the nest for several minutes then nestled down to continue brooding. Finally, at Nest 3 the female was low in the nest brooding. Dave

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Donna was in the Lab this morning and found a Green Heron and a Sora in the A.E. Slots. Also, 3 American White Pelicans (late) were at A.E. Sea. Throughout the past week, beyond the Blue-winged Teal, American Coots and Killdeer, she often found Solitary Sandpipers (2) and Soras (3) in the Slots. Dave

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning monitoring their usual areas in the Rings. The only waterfowl seen were on their way into the Lab at the A.E. Slots. Both Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers were found. Also in the slots were a Solitary Sandpiper and the first Green Herons (2) of the year. Another 3 flew overhead. Sparrows found included a Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrows (2), Song Sparrows (7), Swamp Sparrows (3) and a single White-throated Sparrow. To date, this is the worst year for White-throated Sparrows that I can remember. Other birds of interest were an American Coot, Horned Larks (2), House Wrens (2), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebirds (3), an Eastern Towhee, a Palm Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warblers (2). They reported seeing 5 of the Lab's current population of 6 Ospreys. More importantly they reported all 3 nests were still being brooded. Dave

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Sora, Pectoral Sandpiper (new) and Solitary Sandpiper were found in the A.E. Slots early this morning along with Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers. Donna had both a second Sora and Solitary Sandpiper in the Slots later in the morning. Waterfowl numbers have dropped considerably over the last few days. Others found in the Lakes Region were Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup (Lake Law), Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Other water related birds found here included Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, a Sandhill Crane, both a Greater Yellowlegs (new) and Lesser Yellowlegs (found in the fuddle south of the Sparrow Hedge), Caspian Terns (17 in fuddle), Double-crested Cormorants (24 together on Lake Law) and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. There was quite a bit of activity in the Sparrow Hedge area, most provided by Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers (many of them singing). Other birds in the area were a Great Horned Owl, Eastern Phoebes, Brown Thrashers, an Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows and several White-throated Sparrows. Birds found elsewhere in the Lab were Wood Ducks, a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard again), Wilson's Snipe, a Bald Eagle, Horned Larks, House Wrens (new arrivals), Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Chipping Sparrow, Vesper Sparrows (2) and a Savannah Sparrow. Finally, Wally reported spotting a Cliff Swallow (new arrival) inside the Main Ring last Thursday. Dave

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Donna was in the Lab today; Peter and Penny joined her for a while. They added several birds to the weekend's list including a Solitary Sandpiper (new arrival-found in the A.E. Sea Slots), Hooded Mergansers (A.E. Sea), American Kestrels (3-these were residents. One was on the Eola Rd. nest box), a Bald Eagle (main Injector) plus lots of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. In addition, more Soras were found and the American White Pelicans (3) were again found on A.E. Sea. Dave

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Despite the strong winds, there was still plenty to be found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. The Lakes were still producing a nice mix of waterfowl including Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, a Red-breasted Merganser and Ruddy Ducks. Other aquatic birds here were Pied-billed Grebes, a Sora (new-in Slots), American Coots, Wilson's Snipes, and American White Pelicans (3-A.E. Sea). Here is a list of other birds found in the area: a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard only, again), Sandhill Cranes, Caspian Terns (14 in fuddle south of Sparrow Hedge), a Turkey Vulture, a Sharp-shinned Hawk (migrating over the Hedge then, possibly the same one, feeding on a small bird in the Village), an American Kestrel (high flying, probably a migrant), Eastern Phoebes (pair), Tree Swallows, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (quite a few), Brown Thrashers (singing), Eastern Towhees, a Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, Palm Warblers (new), Yellow-rumped Warblers and Pine Warblers (2 new arrivals, with very bright plumage). Many of the same were found in other parts of the Lab in addition to a Lesser Yellowlegs (new) and Eastern Bluebirds. As of today, all three Osprey nests are now being brooded. Finally, Peter reported a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the Ed Center area on Thursday. Dave

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning doing most of their monitoring in the Ring areas. First, they saw all 6 Ospreys, finding each pair at their respective nests. Waterfowl consisted of Wood Ducks (2), Blue-winged Teal (11), Northern Shovelers (4) and Gadwall (12). Apparently, they also noticed a lull in the sparrow migration, but they did find Field Sparrows (6), a White-throated Sparrow, Vesper Sparrows (2), a Fox Sparrow and Song Sparrows (8). Other highlights were Pied-billed Grebes (2), American Coots (about 50), Great Egrets (8), Northern Flickers (3), American Kestrels (2), Horned Larks (2), Tree Swallows (lots), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (3), Eastern Bluebirds (1), a Hermit Thrush and an Eastern Towhee. Dave

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Both the American White Pelicans from last week and the Bonaparte's Gulls from yesterday were no where to be found this morning. However, the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region produced a good number of interesting birds. The two most interesting sightings were a couple of Caspian Terns (new arrivals) and a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard-new for year). Overall waterfowl numbers continue to drop but still with some good variety including Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, American Wigeons, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers (1-pr). Sparrow numbers were slightly down. Found were Field Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow, a Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrows and a Dark-eyed Junco. Other birds of interest in the area were Pied-billed Grebes, American Coots, a Turkey Vulture, a Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrushes, Brown Thrashers, an American Goldfinch (not many around recently), an Eastern Towhee and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Birds found elsewhere in the Lab were Wilson's Snipes, Eastern Phoebes, a Winter Wren, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebirds, a Vesper Sparrow and Swamp Sparrows. Both Osprey Nest's 1 and 3 appear to have begun to be brooded, while Nest 2 shows no signs of brooding yet. Dave

Monday, April 15, 2019

Donna reported finding about 30 Bonaparte's Gulls in the fuddles east of North Eola Rd. this morning. They were quite active soaring above, diving and swimming in the waters of the fuddles. Also, Wally reported hearing many Field Sparrows today, another first for the year. Dave

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Despite the near blizzard conditions this morning, we were able to pick up a new year bird, searching the fair number of sparrows feeding along the roads. As noticed earlier in the week and yesterday, sparrows are on the move. Today we found American Tree Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows (new) and Song Sparrows, all found from the car. Other birds found during our stay were Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Pied-billed Grebes, American White Pelicans, Sandhill Cranes (a pair; Where were they yesterday when I was intently looking for them?), an Eastern Bluebird and Hermit Thrushes (two groups of 4-5 birds each, more than we've seen in the Lab in one day for several years). Finally, Peter mentioned spotting American Woodcocks on Thursday. Dave

Saturday, April 13, 2019

This morning was supposed to be a Crane Count, but it turned out to be a bust with no cranes found. However, other birds were found along the way and afterward. Here is the species list of the highlights: Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Ring- necked Ducks, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, Pied- billed Grebes, American White Pelicans (about the same number as Tues., but some spread into the Main Ring), Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Osprey (5), American Coot, a Belted Kingfisher, a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers, an American Kestrel, Horned Larks, Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows (new), Golden-crowned Kinglets, Eastern Bluebirds, a Hermit Thrush (new migrant), Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhees, American Tree Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (lots of migrants), White-throated Sparrows, and a Dark-eyed Junco. Dave

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

When I arrived early the American White Pelicans were still in A.E. Sea, as Donna pointed out, and there appeared to be between 150 and 200 individuals. They were still there as I left the Lab at 2:00 pm. Waterfowl in the area were similar to Sunday's list. Other birds in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were a Double-crested Cormorant, an adult Bald Eagle, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Thrashers (several singing), an Eastern Towhee (singing), Song Sparrows and a Fox Sparrow. The highlight of the morning was finding an Osprey near Nest 2. Later in the morning, it was on the nest platform's perch and then on the nest itself. When leaving the Lab its mate had joined the first bird on the nest. Sparrows still remain stagnant as a visit to the Garden Club proved. Song Sparrows were the most numerous species, although in much lower numbers than recent visits. They were joined by only a single Dark-eyed Junco and a couple of Fox Sparrows (several were found elsewhere). Most of the Lab's listed woodpeckers were found this morning including Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (new arrival), Downy Woodpeckers, a Hairy Woodpecker and many Northern Flickers (calling and carrying on throughout the Lab). Other birds of note for the morning were a Great Egret, Wilson's Snipe (3), an American Kestrel, Tree Swallows, a Yellow-rumped Warbler (1st migrant of the year) and American Tree Sparrows (none!). Dave

Monday, April 8, 2019

I received two reports today, the first was from Peter. He received 2 pictures of a Wild Turkey found in the Lab late last week. It was also noted that the turkey had a noticeable limp and was hobbling when observed. The second was from Donna who found over 150 American White Pelicans at A.E. Sea this evening when leaving work. She added "And the comical thing is that a coyote was standing on a big muskrat mound, seemingly watching the pelicans. He was watching them for about 1/2 hour, for the entire time I was there, till dark". Dave

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Light rain started about 8:00 but did not become much of a deterrent until later in the morning. The waterfowl in the Lakes Region, mostly at A.E. Sea, were Wood Ducks, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks. Other bird highlights in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were Pied-billed Grebes, Great Blue Herons, a Great Egret, American Coots, Golden-crowned Kinglets (at least 5 in a flock together), Brown Thrashers (new arrivals) and an Eastern Towhee. Osprey Nest 2 remains barren, while both Nests 1 and Nest 3 had the resident pairs in their respective areas. Other birds of note around the Lab were Double-crested Cormorants, American Kestrels, Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds. Dave

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Here is a highlight of the birds Glenn found during the past week. Starting with waterfowl, he found most of the other birds previously listed in addition to Mute Swans and a Red-breasted Merganser. His mix of sparrows included Fox Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows. Other highlights included Horned Grebes, Sandhill Cranes, Herring Gulls, a Bald Eagle, Eastern Phoebes, Horned Larks, Golden-crowned Kinglets and Rusty Blackbirds. Dave

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The on/off sprinkles of the early morning gave way to more consistent showers around 11:00 am. The later showers had more effect on the birder than the birds. A.E. Sea continues to be the waterfowl hotspot. Found there were Wood Ducks, Gadwall (lots), American Wigeon (2-3), Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers (lots), Ring-necked Ducks (lots), Lesser Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, and Ruddy Ducks. Other birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region were American Coots (lots), American Tree Sparrows (only 2), a Fox Sparrow (many more found in other locations), Song Sparrows (quite a few) and Common Grackles. Along the Lake Law berm, a Red-tailed Hawk was observed bouncing up and down on the turf in several locations, apparently trying to flush rodents. He had no takers. The Garden Club had another large group of Song Sparrows, but there were also 3 to 4 times more Dark-eyed Juncos present. Nest 2 still shows no Osprey activity, although a Red-tailed Hawk spent a short time atop it this morning. Osprey Nest 1 had its pair together about 30 yards away, while Nest 3 only had one of the pair at the nest. Other bird highlights in the Ring areas were Redheads, Common Mergansers (small numbers), Horned Grebes (pair-Main Ring Lake-probably the same ones Peter had earlier in the week), a Wilson's Snipe, an American Kestrel, and an Eastern Towhee (new arrival). Dave

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and it was finally confirmed that both Nest 1 and Nest 3's Osprey pairs have returned. They spotted both pairs by their respective nests this morning. Their one new Lab bird for the year was a Great Egret. A shortened trip did not allow waterfowl monitoring, but they did check selected locations around the Lab. The highlights of their finds were a Northern Flicker, a pair of American Kestrels (Eola Rd. nest box), Tree Swallows, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, an Eastern Bluebird, Fox Sparrows (2), a White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Dave

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Here's some good news and some bad news. First, the good news: Peter found two Horned Grebes on Lake Law this morning and displaying Woodcocks in the Main Injector last evening. Now, the bad news. Wally reported two recent owl kills in the Lab. Last week a Great Horned Owl was found near the East Entrance, possibly hit by a car. On Saturday a Barred owl was found on the West Side, was definitely hit by a car. Additionally, another unidentified owl was found sitting next to the deceased Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, March 31, 2019

It was mostly sunny, cold and windy this morning. Again, A.E. Sea held the majority of the waterfowl in the Lab. The Mute Swan was again here along with several species not found earlier in the week including American Wigeons (3), several Canvasbacks and a Red-breasted Merganser (actually on Lake Law). Other birds found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge area were a Bald Eagle (adult), American Coots (again at south end of A.E. Sea), Sandhill Cranes (local pair flew in from south), Eastern Bluebirds, Fox Sparrows (10-15), song Sparrows and a Swamp Sparrow. Horned Larks were on the roads heading to the Big Woods where we spent most of the remainder of our time. There we found a Great Horned Owl, Eastern Phoebes, a Brown Creeper, a Winter Wren (new arrival) and Golden-crowned Kinglets. The Osprey situation still is a mystery. The simple solution is that the Nest 1 pair is back (seen copulating on Thur.) as is the Nest 3 pair (a pair working on the nest this morning), but only three Osprey have been seen at the same time. Confusing was finding a single Osprey much closer to Nest 3 then the expected Nest 1 location. Time will tell. Also, on his way out of the Lab Peter reported a Bonaparte's Gull on Swan Lake. Lastly, Peter mentioned finding the first Belted Kingfisher of the year on Thursday. Dave

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Donna reported spotting an Osprey on Nest 1 and another nearby this morning. She also reported an Osprey perched near Nest 3. Ospreys were later seen flying and soaring in the area several times. Interestingly, one was seen diving to the ground then flying away with an unknown object. About 20 Eastern Bluebirds were found together in the Main Injector area. Other birds of interest for the day were a Mute Swan, several Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe and several Great Blue Herons all on A.E. Sea. The Ring areas produced Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, Killdeer and a Northern Flicker. Dave

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and found a 2nd Osprey at Nest 1, and they were already copulating. That's a relief after having the one forced off the nest yesterday by the intense smoke of the burn being performed. They found several water bird species during their monitoring of the Ring areas including a Wood Duck, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Mergansers, Pied-billed Grebes (3), American Coots and a Great Blue Heron. Unfortunately, most of the waterfowl were found in a far corner of Main Ring Lake making it difficult to make other ID's. Apparently, land birds were a little more cooperative starting with sparrows where Song Sparrows (12) still are quite prevalent while only a single American Tree Sparrow was found. Also, found were Dark-eyed Juncos (12) and a, new for the year, Vesper Sparrow (this ties the earliest return for this species). Other highlights of the morning were Killdeer (8), Northern Flickers (4), an American Kestrel, Horned Larks (2), A Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Meadowlarks (6) and a large flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds (38) along Wilson Road. Dave

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