Fermi National Laboratory Find Bird:  
Birds of Fermilab The Full List Spring Count Site Guide Statistics
Recent Sightings Picture Browser Christmas Count Site Map Graphs

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 ...Oct 23Oct 19Oct 16Oct 12Oct 11Oct 9Oct 8Oct 3
Oct 2Oct 1Sep 28Sep 25Sep 24Sep 22Sep 18Sep 16
Sep 14Sep 11Sep 10Aug 14Aug 10Aug 7Aug 4Aug 3
Jul 31Jul 27Jul 24Jul 23Jul 10Jul 7Jul 4Jul 3

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It was a beautiful fall morning with about average temps, sunny skies and mild winds. All of our time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. Waterfowl found between Lake Law and A.E. Sea were Gadwall, American Wigeons, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks. Shorebirds found at A.E. Sea were Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs (4-5), and Dunlin (3). Sparrow populations are changing with White-throated Sparrows being a close second in number to the Swamp Sparrows (which have been the overwhelming leader to this point). Fox Sparrows numbers are also on the rise. Also seen were some Song Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds of interest in the area were a Belted Kingfisher (working the A.E. Sea shoreline), a singing Eastern Phoebe, a Golden-crowned Kinglet, and American Pipits (3 on the flats of A.E. Sea). Dave

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The morning started out mostly sunny, cool and calm, but warmed and clouded up as the morning progressed. The brightness of the morning drove off most of the waterfowl from A.E. Sea much sooner than on Sunday. All that was left when I got there were Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers and Green-winged Teal. Also there were several Greater Yellowlegs, a Lesser Yellowlegs and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Found on Lake Law were an American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorants (4-5), Ruddy Ducks (30 plus) and several American Coots. Sparrow numbers were down a little from the last few visits. Found were Field Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow (my first of the season), Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Golden-crowned Kinglets (about 3 to 1 vs Ruby-crowned), Cedar Waxwings (10 plus), an Orange-crowned Warbler and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Found elsewhere in the Lab were Greater White-fronted Geese (2 small flying flocks), an American Kestrel, and Eastern Phoebes (2). Dave

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It was quite warm for a mid-October morning; mostly cloudy and calm with occasional mist. Waterfowl are showing up in increased numbers and variety. Most of these were found on A.E. Sea including Greater White-fronted Geese (30 or more), Cackling Geese, Canada Geese, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Ducks. Shorebirds were represented by Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitchers. Sparrows are still being found in good numbers with some diversity, but no eye-openers were found this morning. What we did have were Chipping Sparrows, one Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows (again the most numerous species), White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. All these were found on the east side of the Lab. The bird of the day was a single American White Pelican at A.E. Sea. Other birds found were a Double-crested Cormorant, an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron, a Cooper's Hawk, Sandhill Cranes (again 3 together), a singing Eastern Phoebe, a Tree Swallow, and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Dave

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Marcia and Gail were out in the rain this morning. Even though their time was limited, they did find some birds. The highlights were a Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks (6), Eastern Phoebes (2), a Swainson's Thrush and Cedar Waxwings (20). Glenn was also in this morning. He spent all his time in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. The highlights of his morning were a Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorants, a Cooper's Hawk, a Sora, Chimney Swifts (10), a House Wren, a Marsh Wren, Orange-crowned Warblers (2), a Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (32), a LeConte's Sparrow, a Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (11), White-crowned Sparrows ( 5), a Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrow (2), Swamp Sparrows (26) and an Eastern Towhee. His bird of the day was an immature Bell's Vireo. Dave

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Glenn was in this evening and found some interesting birds including over 2630 Canada Geese (found throughout the Lab, while the spectacle of watching all these birds coming in to spend the night was a bonus). Other water birds found in the Lakes Region were a Snow Goose, a Ring-necked Duck, a Black-crowned Night-Heron, a Wilson's Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs and an American Pipit. Over forty American Coots were then found at Main Ring Lake. Finally, he had three Great Horned Owls and a Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Despite some early fog it was a very nice morning for birding being mostly sunny, cool with moderate winds. Bird highlights found in and associated with the lakes were a couple of Snow Geese (1-White, 1-Blue), Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal (large number at south end of A.E. Sea), Ruddy Ducks (3-L.Law), a Pied-billed Grebe, Greater Yellowlegs (3-4) and a couple of Long-billed Dowitchers. There was still a vestige of variety in the warblers found this morning including a Tennessee Warbler, an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (by far the most numerous species), a Black-throated Green Warbler (tied with our latest sighting), Palm Warblers and Common Yellowthroats (still quite a few around). The sparrows were numerous with Swamp Sparrows being at least 75 percent of the them. Other sparrows found were a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (at least 3), White-throated Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows. Some of the other birds in the area were Double-crested Cormorants (several flying), Sandhill Cranes (3 flying low over A.E. Sea), Chimney Swifts (several buzzing the area), Eastern Phoebes, Marsh Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets (quite a few), Cedar Waxwings (15-20), an Eastern Towhee (calling) and a Rusty Blackbird (at A.E. Sea's shore). Dave

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Glenn was in the Lab briefly this morning and though he had no shorebirds he did come up with several nice finds in the Lakes Region. On Lake Law there was a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, Ruddy Ducks (9) and a large group of American Coots (some also on A.E. Sea, totaling 46). At A.E. Sea he had large numbers of Green-winged Teal, Chimney Swifts (over 115) and an American Pipit. He also noted the increasing numbers of Swamp Sparrows. Dave

Monday, October 3, 2016

Glenn made an evening visit to the Lab payoff with a pair of Barred Owls and a Great Horned Owl. His real quarry were Flying Squirrels.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The morning started out overcast, calm and cool. The wind did increase some, but the sun only showed itself briefly. A single Ruddy Duck was on Lake Law. Most of our time was again spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. A.E. Sea produced lots of Canada Geese (even after 100's flew off before we got down there), both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal, a Northern Shoveler, a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (3) and Lesser Yellowlegs (2). A pair of Sandhill Cranes were seen flying low over A.E. Sea as was the only Great Egret of the morning. The fall migration has shifted to the yellow-rumped/early sparrow phase. Sparrows in the area this morning were a Le Conte's Sparrow (Juvenile), Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows (3-4), Swamp Sparrows (by far the most abundant species) and White-crowned Sparrows. Some of the other birds in the area were Wood Ducks, Chimney Swifts (about a dozen), Marsh Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Cedar Waxwings (about 25), Yellow-rumped Warblers (quite a few), Palm Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers (2), an American Redstart and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Not too much going on in the Garden Club. We did find and a Cooper's Hawk (chasing a Mourning Dove), an Eastern Phoebe and several Chipping Sparrows. Denis' group duplicated most of what we had today. In addition, they added a Sharp-shinned Hawk (that's 3 in one week), Short-billed Dowitchers (3 at A.E. Sea), a House Wren, a Golden-crowned Kinglet and an Eastern Bluebird. Plus they found three species of swallows including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Barn Swallows. Dave

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Glenn made two trips to the Lab, yesterday and today, both times on the east side. On Friday afternoon, Sept. 30th, his highlights were a whopping 92 plus Green-winged Teal, a Sora, 2 Wilson's Snipe and 4 Rusty Blackbirds. This morning, before being rained out, he added some nice birds starting with a couple of Nelson's Sparrows, which were also the first of this species for the year. Other highlights he had were a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, Marsh Wrens (4 scolding individuals), Swamp Sparrows (8) and several flyover Common Grackles (which were needed for the Fermi List this week). Dave

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The morning was mostly cloudy, cool and breezy, with occasional rain showers. Lake Law had a Pied-billed Grebe and a half dozen Ruddy Ducks. Birds found at A.E. Sea included Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitchers (3) and a Swamp Sparrow. The Sea of Evanescence produced 2 immature Black-crowned Night-Herons and 2 American Coots. Other birds in the Sparrow Hedge Region were a Magnolia Warbler, a White-throated Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Sandhill Cranes were heard in the distance. Hundreds of Canada Geese and at least one Cackling Goose arose from the corn field north of the Garden Club and headed south. The good news was the Garden Club had quite a bit of bird activity. The bad news was that almost half of those birds were House Sparrows (more than I have ever seen in the area). Other birds included Palm Warblers, Chipping Sparrows (lots), Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows. Birds found in other areas of the Lab were Wood Ducks, a Great Horned Owl, Northern Flickers (noticeably increased in numbers over the last week), Least Flycatchers (2), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (about a half dozen), Cedar Waxwings (15-20), Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler and an American Redstart. My bird of the day was a migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk that flushed on my walk back from the Sparrow Hedge. It was immediately chased by several Blue Jays which were most likely waiting for it to move. With a clever maneuver, the hawk turned the tables on the jays and chased the jays off. It returned to a resting position in another tree. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning having some of the same bird species plus adding some others. Their findings in the Main and Injector Rings were a Cackling Goose, Wood Ducks (12), a Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flickers (14), an Eastern Phoebe, an Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwings (approx. 75), a Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers (7), a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbirds (approx. 150 in 2 flocks) and Common Grackles (26). Dave

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The morning was mostly sunny and cool with a slight breeze. Lake Law produced a Northern Shoveler and a Ruddy Duck (also seen by Gail yesterday). In addition, the number of Canada Geese in the area has noticeably increased (it is, by the way, already fall). A.E. Sea showed some activity by producing both Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal, a couple of Soras, Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, a Least Sandpiper, a Long-billed Dowitcher and an American Pipit. For the first time in a while the Sea of Evanescence had more Great Blue Herons (more than 20) than Great Egrets (less than 10). Also, at the far south end of Evanescence was an immature Black-crowned Night-Heron. Cedar Waxwings still remain in the area with about 35-40 moving among the trees. Warblers were present in three small groups which included Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Black-throated Warbler, Palm Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers, a Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstarts and, of course, Common Yellowthroats. Other birds found in the area were Chimney Swifts, American Crows, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wrens, a Swamp Sparrow and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Not much found in a short circuit of other parts of the Lab. We had a couple of flyover Cooper's Hawks, an Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireos, an Eastern Towhee and, the bird of the day, a surprise White-eyed Vireo - by far the latest sighting in the Lab (early Aug - 15 years ago was previous late sighting). Dave

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Glenn was in the Lab this afternoon and had several interesting sightings. Most interesting were the several quite early flyover Snow Geese (4). The American White Pelican number had dropped to 4 in the Lakes Region. Birds he found at A.E. Sea were Solitary Sandpipers (2), Greater Yellowlegs (3), Lesser Yellowlegs (7), Least Sandpipers (3), a Long-billed Dowitcher, Marsh Wrens (2) and an American Pipit. Some of the other birds found elsewhere in the Lab were an American Kestrel, a large number of Mourning Doves (approx 250) and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The morning started out mostly cloudy, calm and warm. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes in the sparrow Hedge area were the worst they have been since early summer; other areas were not quite as bad. The only highlights at Lake Law were a lone American White Pelican and about 15-20 Chimney Swifts flying over the lake. There were 4 more American White Pelicans on A.E. Sea and another 30 or so on the Sea of Evanescence. These were joined by about 30 Great Egrets. Along with a good number of Killdeer on A.E. Sea, several shorebirds were found. A number of these were out of the range of my binoculars, but I did find a Solitary Sandpiper, a couple Greater Yellowlegs and a Long-billed Dowitcher. Once more, there was a large number of Cedar Waxwings at the large maple near the first trail intersection off the main trail to the Sparrow Hedge. Other than the large number of Common Yellowthroats, warblers were sparse in the area. The only other species found were a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Nashville Warbler. Several Wood Ducks, several Marsh Wrens and a Gray-cheeked Thrush were the only other birds of mention in the area. In one of my grassland monitor locations there were several, very active, Sedge Wrens. At another, I watched a group of around 6 Palm Warblers work their way along a path as they were hawking insects. Other birds found in various areas were a Least Flycatcher (plus a couple unidentified Empidonax flycatchers), a Northern Flicker, a Yellow-throated Vireo (struggling with a large caterpillar), several each of Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Tree Swallows, an Eastern Bluebird and several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning. Their main highlight was the first migrant sparrow of the season, a White- crowned Sparrow. Other highlights they had for the morning were a pair of Sandhill Cranes, several Chimney Swifts, an Eastern Phoebe, an Eastern Kingbird, Barn Swallows (6), Eastern Bluebirds (4), Cedar Waxwings (they had two large flocks totaling about 100 at the center and west side of the Lab), Palm Warblers (8), Chipping Sparrows (4), a Field Sparrow and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The weather today was cool and comfortable to start with partly cloudy skies. Peter had one of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes near the Batavia Rd. and Eola Rd. intersection on the way in. We spent most of the morning in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. A.E. Sea was loaded with both Great Egrets and American White Pelicans, with about 100 of each. It was a sea of white, quite a sight. Other birds associated with the Seas were Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Green Herons (2), a Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs (2) and Marsh Wrens. Passerines were not too abundant in the area except for the continuing large number of Cedar Waxwings. In some locations the waxwings made it hard to concentrate on other birds flittering about in the heavily foliaged trees. Of interest in the area were several Tennessee Warblers, American Redstarts and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. One Osprey was perched on the side of Nest 1. Some birds found in other locations were a Great Horned Owl, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (tied for latest sighting) and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Dave

Friday, September 16, 2016

The morning started warm, breezy and overcast. Later in the morning the sun did show occasionally. Besides lots of Mallards, A.E. Sea had Blue-winged Teal, an American White Pelican, a Greater Yellowlegs and several Lesser Yellowlegs (3). A number of birds were seen fluttering inside the Sparrow Hedge but none would come out. Typically, the early morning sun heats up leaves and causes the birds to forage for the stimulated insects. Overcast skies prevented this. The only birds I could identify were a Swainson's Thrush, a Nashville Warbler and a Blackpoll Warbler. A juvenile Cooper's Hawk, apparently begging for food, was heard then spotted in the area. Chimney Swifts and Cedar Waxwings were also in the area. Birding in the Big Woods and Main Ring produced Ruby- throated Hummingbirds, Least Flycatcher, a Yellow-throated Vireo, Tennessee Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Black-throated Green Warbler, a Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers, American Redstarts, a Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroats and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. The only Osprey found was preening near Nest 1. Three Turkey Vultures were soaring on the west side of the Lab. Dave Shemanske reported one of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes near the Buffalo Fields. Dave

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Marcia and Gail reported one Osprey by Nest 1 this morning. Other birds they found in the Main and Injector Ring areas were a Green Heron, a Turkey Vulture, an American Kestrel, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Kingbird, a Swainson's Thrush, an American Redstart and several Palm Warblers. Dave

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It was cool and sunny for our start at the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge area. At Lake Law we had a Pied-billed Grebe, an American Coot and a flyover Green Heron. We had a nice flock of migrant birds in the sunny portion of the Sparrow Hedge. Included were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Warbling Vireos, a Philadelphia Vireo, a Swanson's Thrush, Tennessee Warblers, a Nashville Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler, a Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll Warblers, Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts and Common Yellowthroats. A nearby tree was loaded with about 60 Cedar Waxwings. The Sea of Evanescence produced Blue-winged Teal, a Wood Duck, about 40 Great Egrets and a single American White Pelican. Other birds found around the Lab were a Chimney Swift, Least Flycatchers, a Yellow- bellied Flycatcher, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a singing Bell's Vireo (Sparrow Hedge - west end) and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Dave

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Peter and I were gone for the last several weeks. Here is a brief review of sightings reported during that time. On Aug. 19, Dave Shemanske reported the two recent pairs of Sandhill Cranes were found together near the East Entrance. The highlights of Marcia and Gail's visit on Sept. 1 in the Main and Injector Rings were a Turkey Vulture, an Osprey (flying with a fish), 3 American Kestrels (together), 2 Sandhill Cranes, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, both a Blue-headed Vireo and a Red-eyed Vireo, Cedar Waxwings (32), a Tennessee Warbler and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. During their trip on Sept. 8, they found an Osprey near Nest 1, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a Warbling Vireo and Cedar Waxwings (26). Gail added a Black-crowned Night-Heron by Lake Logo on Sept. 4 (our first-of-the- year sighting). Also, today Peter was in the Lab for the Prairie Harvest and found a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker, Sedge Wrens, and both Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers. Glenn was also quite active during our absence. Here is a review of the highlights of his findings from our departure up and including this weekend. Here is the extensive list of birds he found Ruddy Duck, American White Pelican (the beginning of many of these to be seen over the next several weeks), Black-crown Night-heron (after being absent for most of the season, Glenn had fairly regular sightings), a Great Blue Heron (another sighting of a heron catching a snake), Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey (these were found in dwindling numbers with time), Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawks, Sora, Virginia Rail (heard in Buffalo Marsh), American Coot, Sandhill Cranes (regular sightings over the tiime period), Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (always a nice find), Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (probably preparing to leave), Belted Kingfisher (another elusive species of recent years), Red-headed Woodpecker (only the 3rd sighting for the year), Eastern Wood-Pewee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Bell's Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatch (an early arrival), Sedge Wrens (fairly late sightings), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Tennessee Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Swamp Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak (possibly bred in the Lab this year), Indigo Buntings, Bobolink (a late sighting). Dave

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It was cooler than most recent mornings with quite a bit of sun and mosquitoes. Sandhill Cranes are still being seen and heard around the village area. The waters were slightly lower than Wednesday at A.E. Sea. This provided a little more habitat, though, still muddy. Birds found at the north end were a Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, a Stilt Sandpiper (Juvenile) and a Short-billed Dowitcher. Again, several Soras were seen at the edges of the cattails, one being quite young causing a change in breeding status to Possible on the Fermi Bird Pages. Some of the other birds found in the area were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets (again, a good number wading in A.E. Sea), Green Herons, a Caspian Tern, a Bell's Vireo (heard) and Cedar Waxwings. A couple fuddles on the north side produced a small number of some of the above-mentioned birds in addition to Greater Yellowlegs (2). The Osprey count for the morning was six; two on Nest 2, two near Nest 1 and two near Nest 3 (though it's hard to know who's who in the Nest1-Nest3 area due to their close proximity). The bird of the morning was a Belted Kingfisher in the main Injector, the first of the year. Some other birds of interest for the morning were Cooper's Hawks (2), an American Kestrel (strafing a perched Red-tailed Hawk), Horned Larks, a Savannah Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, several Baltimore Orioles and a surprise Dickcissel along Eola Road. Dave

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It was warm to start and got warmer throughout the morning. The mosquitoes were back in force after being suppressed for the last several weeks. Today, there was a pair of Caspian Terns hunting over Lake Law. One of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes was calling again east of A.E. Sea. A walk around the Sparrow Hedge area was very quiet and did not produce much. Eastern Kingbirds were still bickering while a couple of Gray Catbirds chatted away. Everything else was more common. The highlight of the morning was that A.E. Sea is starting to show some shorebird habitat. The south end was just starting to show some flats even though no birds were present when I was there. The north end was hard to access but did produce the following: Killdeer, Solitary Sandpipers (3), Greater Yellowlegs (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (10-15), Semipalmated Sandpipers (2), Least Sandpipers (over 20), Stilt Sandpipers (2) and a Short-billed Dowitcher. There were also a couple of Soras scooting in and out of the cattails. One fuddle on the north end of the Lab did also produce several shorebirds including Solitary Sandpipers (2), a Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpipers (8-10). Several Henslow's Sparrows were singing in the Arbor Day area and Sedge Wrens in a couple of other areas. The two juvenile Osprey were in the area of Nest 1. Nest 2 had 1 to 3 occupants present during the morning, from early to mid to late morning. These birds seem to be using the nest as a resting spot more often than the Nest 1 birds did. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning. They too had both Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows singing, theirs were inside the Main Ring at Betz Prairie. Some of the other birds they found during the morning's heat and mosquito infestation were Wood Ducks (2), a Green Heron, a Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpipers (2), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Kestrels (2), Eastern Kingbird (13 - in two family units), an Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Bluebirds (2). Dave

Sunday, August 7, 2016

We had an abbreviated birding session in the Lab this morning. Weather was perfect for an August morning (mostly sunny but cool with only a moderate wind). Both pairs of Sandhill Cranes were in the Village area momentarily. Denis saw one pair fly in and I saw one fly out going south over A.E. Sea. Shorebirds were a disappointment due to both the high waters at A.E. Sea and the drying up of many of the fuddles. Found were only Killdeer, several Solitary Sandpipers and a Spotted Sandpiper. Osprey Nest 2 had three birds on the platform. Looking into the sun it was hard to determine their age. We also found one Osprey near both Nest 1 and Nest 3. Both appeared to be adults, but it would be hard to assess their origin (Nest 1 or 3). Dave

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Today was quite warm, though not unbearable, for most of the morning, but the early afternoon became quite hot. The Sparrow Hedge area did not produce much while A.E. Sea still has high waters. In the area were a Caspian Tern, a Spotted Sandpiper, Marsh Wrens (singing in several locations) and several Cedar Waxwings. Osprey Nest 2 had only two occupants in the early morning (could not determine age), but later in the afternoon the three juveniles and one adult were present. Only one Osprey was found around Nest 1. Several fuddles produced 40-50 shorebirds including Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs and Solitary Sandpipers. Also Sedge Wrens were still present and singing in many locations, a couple of Henslow's Sparrows were heard and several Eastern Meadowlarks were flushed. Some of the other birds we found during our morning were Wood Ducks, a Turkey Vulture, Green Herons, American Kestrels, a Great Horned Owl, Eastern Wood-Pewees, American Crows, Eastern Towhees, Field Sparrows and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning doing their typical monitoring route. Being quite hot and sunny it was a typical August morning of birding. They found only 1 Osprey at Nest 1. Some of the other birds they found were American Kestrels (3-sitting together on a wire), Eastern Wood-Pewees (2), Sedge Wrens (2-inside the Main Ring), Eastern Towhees (3), Field Sparrows (2), a Chipping Sparrow, Indigo Buntings (6) and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Sunday, July 31, 2016

It was an exceptional morning for birding in the Lab with cool (for the season) temps, little to no winds and partly cloudy skies. The mosquitoes are still almost a non-factor in most locations. The 3 Osprey chicks in Nest 2 were up and pacing the nest platform, looking to be on the brink of fledging. Three of the Nest 1 Osprey (could not confirm their ages) were in their nest area. Quite obvious was the number of robins, the majority of which were juveniles, throughout the Lab. Most were found foraging in freshly mowed fields; also many of the fuddles contained a fair number searching for food. Most of the area fuddles were barren of shorebirds, but we did manage to find one containing several each of Killdeer, Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and a Spotted Sandpiper. Sedge Wrens were still singing in multiple grassland locations. Also heard were a couple each of Henslow's Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks. Other birds of note for the morning were a Pied-billed Grebe (first in over a month), American Kestrels, Sandhill Cranes (a pair again in the village), Willow Flycatchers (singing and chipping), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Baltimore Orioles. Dave

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Today was warm again but not unbearable; even the mosquitoes were not as bad as they were several weeks ago. There is still no shorebird habitat at A.E. Sea due to the high water, but Great Egrets (32) were still foraging along the shores. Sandhill Cranes are still around the Village and the East Entrance. One of the guards said they were becoming a nuisance to traffic and occasionally standing in the middle of the road. Osprey Nest 2 was quite crowded and active with the three chicks getting large and roaming the nest. They were feeding while one of the adults watched from the edge of the platform. At times the adult and one of the chicks would make adjustments to the nest, moving the branches around. These chicks should be fledging any time now. Osprey Nest 1 was barren although there was one adult and one juvenile close by. In the Osprey Nest 3 area one of the adults was perched on the perch above the nest platform. As expected they had given up on the reconstruction of last year's nest since there was not enough support for it. Of the several fuddles on the north side of the Lab, only three shorebirds were found - one Spotted Sandpiper and two Solitary Sandpipers. A quite large blackbird flock was also found in the area (mostly Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings). About the only grassland bird singing in multiple locations were Sedge Wrens. Some of the other birds found were a Green Heron, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Willow Flycatchers, Eastern Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings and a Baltimore Oriole. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning with most of the same results. They did have one of the pairs of Sandhill Cranes in the Village as they passed by. They also spotted, what I think were, the other 2 Ospreys (1 adult and 1 juvenile) from Nest 1 near the middle of the Main Ring. Additional highlights of their morning were a Wood Duck, Osprey (probably all 4 Nest 1 birds), Marsh Wrens, Indigo Buntings and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It was very warm and muggy to start and the heat increased throughout the morning. On the way into the Lab, at the East Entrance, 2 pairs of Sandhill Cranes were found one inside and one outside the Lab. The rains of yesterday raised the level of A.E. Sea enough to engulf all shorebird habitat. A Caspian Tern was patrolling the sea while Great Egrets (about 30) and Great Blue Herons (about 12) waded the west shore. An adult Bald Eagle was perched in a tree at the south end of the sea. All three chicks and both parent Ospreys were found at Nest 2. At least one of the juvenile Ospreys from Nest 1 fledged and was on the power pole next to the nest. Later, both juveniles were found on the nest. Finally, one of the Nest 3 Osprey was seen carrying nest materials, then surprisingly landed on the power pole which held their original nest from last year. One of the cross members on this pole was removed, to greatly reduce the chance of the nest being rebuilt. Although several sticks are in place on the pole, there is not enough space for a stable nest. Additional birds found included a Blue-winged Teal, Green Herons (3), American Kestrels, Willow Flycatchers (several singing), a Cliff Swallow, Sedge Wrens (singing), Savannah Sparrows and a Dickcissel (singing). Dave

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Having been away for over a week I will just consolidate the reports I received during my absence. Marcia and Gail braved the heat twice. The highlights of their July 13th trip were Ospreys (3), a Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrels (3 - sitting together on a wire), Sandhill Cranes (2 pairs), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Caspian Tern, Willow Flycatchers (3), Sedge Wrens (2), Cedar Waxwings (2), a Chipping Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlarks (4). On their second trip, July 20th, the highlights were a Green Heron, Double Crested Cormorants (9), Osprey (4 at Nest 1, 2 immature and 2 adults, 1 at the Nest 3 platform), Red-tailed Hawks (5 - one of which was a begging young bird), Caspian Terns (3), American Kestrels (3), a Willow Flycatcher, a Sedge Wren (singing), Eastern Bluebirds (2), Indigo Buntings (5) and Eastern Meadowlarks (3). Last Sunday Peter and the crew had a fair number of shorebirds at A.E. Sea. Birds found there were Semipalmated Plovers, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers and a Short-billed Sandpiper. Peter also reported Cliff Swallows and Bank Swallows over the Buffalo Wallow. Finally, Dave Shemanske reported both Nest 3 Ospreys atop the new nest platform that they rejected early in the season (but, hold that thought for the next post). Dave

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Seasonal weather conditions provided a reasonable morning for birding. A.E. Sea provided a few shorebirds in several different locations. Birds found there were Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, a Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpipers and, of course, several Killdeer. Other birds found in the Lakes-Sparrow Hedge area were a Hooded Merganser, a female Wood Duck with chicks, Green Herons (2), Caspian Terns (2), a Bell's Vireo and a Baltimore Oriole. We contacted all the typical summer flycatchers today including Eastern Wood-Pewees, Willow Flycatchers, an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbirds. Late in the breeding season this can be a challenge due to the reduced vocalizations of some of these birds. Some other birds of interest during the morning were an American Kestrel (hunting), a Warbling Vireo (singing), Horned Larks (flock of about 6), Savannah Sparrows and a Vesper Sparrow. Ten of the Lab's eleven Ospreys were found with one of the chicks on Nest 1 now as large as its mother. Strangely, the one Nest 3 Osprey found today was standing on the nest platform that they had rejected earlier in the breeding season. Dave

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The conditions for birding today were mostly cloudy, very warm with only a slight breeze. The sun showed itself early which boosted the humidity to an uncomfortable level. The south end of A.E. Sea had a Solitary Sandpiper and several Least Sandpipers (4). The most interesting observation in the area was watching a Great Blue Heron delicately maneuver a 6-8" bullhead (sometimes holding it by one of its pectoral spines) into the required head-first position before swallowing. A Bell's Vireo was singing along the central path to the Sparrow Hedge. Other breeding indicators found in the area were a young Eastern Kingbird, a Common Yellowthroat carrying food and a large group of juvenile Red-winged Blackbirds. All 11 Ospreys were accounted for today. At Nest 2 an adult was watching the three chicks when the other adult flew in with a fish and the feeding frenzy began. At Nest 1, one adult, at the nest, watched the 2 chicks feeding themselves. (The chicks on Nest 1 are larger than those on Nest 2.) The other adult was two power poles away. Finally, one Nest 3 adult was again to the side of the nest with the other on the next power pole down. The Sandhill Crane pair on the north side stepped out of a cornfield, crossed the road, then began foraging in a bean field. Also found on the north side were a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers (11), a couple of Spotted Sandpipers and a number of Killdeer including an adult with a juvenile. A second pair of Sandhill Cranes were found on the far south end of the Lab foraging in a bean field fuddle. A few birds missed on Monday were found including an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Monday, July 4, 2016

This morning the 2016 Grassland Breeding Bird Survey was completed with a post-breeding count. The results were not good since each of the 12 points except 1 were below, some well below, the 12 year average. The birds of interest found at the survey points included Sedge Wrens (11), Henslow's Sparrows (8), Dickcissels (4), Bobolinks (12) and Eastern Meadowlarks (9). The weather conditions were very good being cool to warm and cloudy with mild winds. Nine of the lab's eleven Ospreys were found including all five chicks. Other birds of interest found during the morning were a Cooper's Hawk, an American Kestrel, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers (4), Bell's Vireos (2), a Horned Lark, Sedge Wrens (6), Cedar Waxwings (2), a Vesper Sparrow, a Henslow's Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow, Dickcissels (2), and an Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Another, out of the ordinary, comfortable morning greeted us today with cool temps, mild winds and partly sunny skies. A trip through the Sparrow Hedge area provided some interesting finds. First, the fall migration has begun with the sighting of about a half dozen Least Sandpipers at the south end of A. E. Sea. Also in that area, at the Sea of Evanescence, there were at least 38 Great Egrets and over 18 Great Blue Herons. We also heard, then spotted, a pair of Sandhill Cranes flying very low over A.E. Sea from north to south (this may be the pair we've been spotting on the north end of the Lab recently). We later heard them south of the Sea of Evanescence. Denis heard a third crane. The Sparrow Hedge area also produced Singing Bell's Vireos (2) and at least one Caspian Tern (we did see a tern over all three lakes during our walk). All five Osprey chicks were accounted for this morning. The west side of the Lab did provide some Green Herons (2), Cedar Waxwings and a singing Swamp Sparrow. Dave

email Author email Fermilab
Security, Privacy, Legal Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory