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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 ...Aug 25Aug 23Aug 22Aug 20Aug 18Aug 15Aug 13Aug 11
Aug 7Aug 4Aug 1Jul 28Jul 27Jul 23Jul 22Jul 21
Jul 16Jul 14Jul 11Jul 9Jul 7Jul 3Jun 30Jun 29
Jun 26Jun 23Jun 19Jun 13Jun 11Jun 6May 31May 29

Sunday, August 25, 2019

An early stop at the Slots produced six Black-crowned Night-Herons (2 adults and 4 juv.), several Green Herons, and a good number of swallows (including Bank Swallows, Barn Swallows and Cliff Swallows). The water levels at the Sea of Evanescence were down again providing some good mudflats producing a good quantity of shorebirds including Killdeer, Least Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs. Also found at the Sea were about a dozen Great Egrets and the first migrant ducks of the season in the form of Blue-winged Teal (about a dozen). Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge Region included Pied-billed Grebes (A.E. Sea), a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard east of the Sea of E), Chimney Swifts, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a pair of Sandhill Cranes (east of A.E. Sea), a Spotted Sandpiper (along Lake Law's shore), a Hairy Woodpecker, a Willow Flycatcher and a Marsh Wren. The big disappointment of the morning was finding only 2 American Redstarts after expectations of many warblers, considering the northerly winds of the last few days. The highlight of the morning, found while searching for the warblers, was a Black-billed Cuckoo. Other birds of interest were Red-eyed Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, an Eastern Bluebird, a Cedar Waxwing, a Swamp Sparrow, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a very late Dickcissel. Later, Glenn returned to the Lab to add Ospreys (2-adults on Nest 2), an American Kestrel, a pair of Eastern Phoebes, an American Crow, a Horned Lark and a family of 5 Vesper Sparrows. In addition, Penny spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker on their way home. Dave

Friday, August 23, 2019

Glenn was in the Lab both Wednesday and Friday. Here is a composite of the highlights of those trips. Birds of interest were Northern Bobwhites (2 in the dog training lot, likely released), Pied-billed Grebes (7 individuals on AE Sea), Sandhill Cranes (pair in the village), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Turkey Vulture, Ospreys (Nest 2: one adult and one immature remain. Nest 1 and Nest 3 each with one bird remaining), a Cooper's Hawk, a Belted Kingfisher, an American Kestrel, Eastern Wood-pewees, a Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Horned Larks (two adults and one juvenile), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings, Field Sparrows, Vesper Sparrow (a family group of five birds), Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows (continuing singing males, South Eola), Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow and Indigo Buntings. Also, Peter located a Common Nighthawk on Thursday. Dave

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning again surveying the Ring areas. They were greeted by terrific weather with temps from the mid 60's to the mid 70's. Some of their more interesting sightings were finding 11 Great Egrets in the Wilson Hall Reflecting Pond, an immature Gray Catbird following an adult, a flock of 26 Cedar Waxwings and a female American Goldfinch apparently collecting nesting material from cattails. Other birds of interest found during the morning included Osprey (2), Northern Flickers (2), an American Kestrel, Eastern Wood-Pewees (2), a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Red-eyed Vireo, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebirds (6), a Field Sparrow, Chipping Sparrows (2), Song Sparrows (11), an Eastern Towhee, a Baltimore Oriole and Indigo Buntings (6). Dave

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The early morning was quite comfortable with the rains holding off until very late in the morning. There were quite a few Green Herons (8-9) in the Slots. A lone male Wood Duck was cruising Lake Law, while a Spotted Sandpiper flew along the shoreline. Sunday's rains consumed most of the Sea of Evanescence's mud flats; therefore, the number of shorebirds was down again. Birds found at the Sea were Great Blue Herons (10), Great Egrets (14), more Green Herons (5-6), Killdeer, Least Sandpipers (4-5), Greater Yellowlegs (4), Lesser Yellowlegs (2) and a Belted Kingfisher. On the A.E. Sea side of the berm were several Pied-billed Grebes including a juvenile proudly displaying its catch of a small fish. Other birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area included Sandhill Cranes (heard somewhere east of A.E. Sea), an Eastern Phoebe, a Marsh Wren and a Brown Thrasher. Elsewhere in the Lab an adult Red-tailed Hawk flying along a power line was harassed by an American Kestrel perched on one of the poles. After landing, the Red-tailed Hawk was joined by a begging juvenile. Also found were a begging juvenile Bald Eagle and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Dave

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A rain shortened trip to the Lab this morning did not produce much of interest. It was raining lightly upon arrival and progressively became harder to the point where it became hard to see out the car windows. The highlight of the morning was finding one of the adult Red-headed Woodpeckers and a juvenile. The only other birds of interest were Eastern Wood-Pewees, a Red-eyed Vireo and a juvenile Horned Lark. Peter added a Least Bittern, found in the Slots, on his way home. Dave

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in preforming their regular monitoring session in the Ring areas this morning. Their highlight birds were as follows: Waders included Great Blue Herons (7), Great Egrets (4) and a Green Heron. Five of this year's Osprey population were observed. Others found were Wood Ducks (2), Eastern Phoebes (2), an Eastern Wood-Pewee, Northern Flickers (2), a good number of Barn Swallows (34), Eastern Bluebirds (3), an Eastern Towhee and Indigo Buntings (4). Dave

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The only waders in the area of the Slots, early this morning, was an Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron on the DUSAF side, a juvenile on the A.E. Sea side (actively searching for food) and a couple of Green Herons. The Sea of Evanescence provided quite a bit of activity including the most shorebirds of the season including Killdeer, Least Sandpipers, a Pectoral Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Greater Yellowlegs. Many of these in double digits. This was also where most of the waders were including a Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets (23), Green Herons (5) and a flyover Black- crowned Night-Heron. Over on A.E. Sea were a good number of Wood Ducks and several Pied-billed Grebes of various ages. Note: margins around the edges of A.E. Sea are starting to show mud flats, which should produce shorebirds soon. None were found today. Several Baltimore Orioles were taking advantage of the recently ripened wild black cherries just west of the A.E. Sea-Sea of E Berm. Other birds in the Sparrow Hedge area included Caspian Terns (2-over Lake Law), a Northern Flicker, a Willow Flycatcher (found by its wit call) and a late Yellow Warbler. Bird highlights found elsewhere in the Lab included a pair of Sandhill Cranes (foraging on the Village Baseball Field), Ospreys (2-feeding near Nest 1), Bald Eagles (the 2 juveniles found perched near each other), a Great Crested Flycatcher and a Henslow's Sparrow. The Snapping Turtle was still in the, now almost dry, floodle on the north side pushing through the mud accompanied by a lone Killdeer. Dave

Sunday, August 11, 2019

We had a short visit to the Lab this morning, due to our dampened spirits. A pass by the Slots only produced several Green Herons. An Osprey was above Nest 2 on the perch, with a couple others in the Main Injector area. Some time was spent trying to make a Least Sandpiper into a Little Stint. Ends up it was just a very bright juvenile Least Sandpiper with muddy legs (an adult was nearby for a comparison). Both juvenile Bald Eagles were again found, interestingly, this time atop adjacent cement pillars about 2 feet off the ground. Other birds of interest included a Spotted Sandpiper, a Red-headed Woodpecker (Juv), an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Great Crested Flycatcher and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A first stop at Osprey Nest 2, by Nepese, produced 2 Osprey. They appeared to be the adult pair (looking into the bright sun made it difficult to confirm) - one on the nest the other above, on the perch. Down at the south end of A.E. Sea there was a group of 3 Pied-billed Grebes and a number of Wood Ducks. The Sea of Evanescence had a number of shorebirds but, again, not much variety. Those found were mostly Solitary Sandpipers (about a doz.), 2 Lesser Yellowlegs and a Greater Yellowlegs. Waders included Great Blue Herons (8), Great Egrets (14) and Green Herons (3). Other birds of interest in the Sparrow Hedge area were an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Bell's Vireo (still singing, bless his heart), Eastern Bluebirds, a Brown Thrasher, several Eastern Towhees, Scarlet Tanager (Fem) and Indigo Buntings. Grassland birds are becoming hard to find in most areas with only a Sedge Wren, Henslow's Sparrows (2) and a Dickcissel found. The floodle on the north end of the Lab produced Least Sandpipers (5) and another Solitary Sandpiper. The most interesting sighting there was watching a mud-covered Snapping Turtle foraging the floodle, at times flushing one of the sandpipers. Other highlights were the pair of juvenile Bald Eagles (perched together on a branch), a Barred Owl (heard in the Big Woods) and a Savannah Sparrow. Marcia and Gail were in also this morning surveying the Ring areas. Together we spotted a total of 9 Osprey with 7 around Nests 1 and 3. On the way in, at the A.E. Slots, they found Wood Ducks (8), Great Blue Herons (9), Great Egrets (7), Green Heron (3), a Killdeer and, in the Village, area a pair of Sandhill Cranes. In addition, they found a number of interesting birds in their survey areas including a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Kestrels (2), Red-eyed Vireos (3), Sedge Wrens (3-probably the late arrivals from last week), Cedar Waxwings (11-in two groups), Field Sparrows (5), Song Sparrows (7), a Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Buntings (3) and Dickcissels (2). Dave

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Not a very exciting morning in the Lab today. The nice mudflats at the Sea of Evanescence only produced several Killdeer, a Lesser Yellowlegs and quite a few Solitary Sandpipers (10-15). This was a bit disappointing. The only other birds of interest in the Sparrow Hedge area were a family of Pied-billed Grebes, Caspian Terns (2), an Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron and an Osprey flying over Lake Law. The only other shorebirds were a Least Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpipers and another Solitary Sandpiper all found in the north of the Lab. A couple of juvenile American Kestrels were playfully dueling over a bean field. Three other Ospreys were spotted, all around Nest 1. An adult Bald Eagle flew alongside the woodlot where a juvenile eagle was calling. Finally, the find of the day was spotting a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker along with 2 adults in the area of the previously observed nest tree. Dave

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The shorebird habitat, although not mudflats, has improved on both sides of Batavia Rd at the A.E. Slots. Still only Killdeer and Solitary Sandpipers are being found here. The number of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets continue to fall on DUSAF Pond, while a Black-crowned Night-Heron was again at the south end of the Slots. About a dozen Wood Ducks and several Marsh Wrens were also in the area. It appears the diminishing water levels on A.E. Sea and the Sea of Evanescence are producing some good habitat at the Sea of E. The numbers of waders at the Sea of E have now surpassed those at DUSAF with 10 Great Blue Herons, 14 Great Egrets and 6-7 Green Herons. More importantly, shorebird habitat is improving as mudflats are exposed. Close by, a Solitary Sandpiper was found while several other shorebirds were seen outside the ID range of my binocs. The only other birds of interest in the Sparrow Hedge area were a Turkey Vulture (perched atop the Kestrel box east of the Hedge), several Willow Flycatchers and a singing Bell's Vireo. Some grassland birds were still active on South Eola Rd including Sedge Wrens, Dickcissels and quite a few Henslow's Sparrows. Other highlights for the morning were a Bald Eagle (possibly 2 individuals heard), a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Yellow- throated Vireo, a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Eastern Towhees and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Marcia and Gail were also in the Lab this morning. They had 7 Osprey sightings during the morning, although these days it's hard to say how many individuals that represents with the number of Ospreys available. Twenty-four Mourning Doves were counted in a single tree. Their shorebirds included Killdeer, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Solitary Sandpiper and a Least Sandpiper. I assume these were in the single remaining floodle on the north part of the Lab. The late arrival Sedge Wrens (5), first spotted last week, were again found in their Main Injector monitor area. Other highlights for their morning were a Red-eyed Vireo, a flock of 6 American Crows, Cedar Waxwings (11), Red-winged Blackbirds (some still carrying food), Eastern Meadowlarks (2) and an Indigo Bunting. Dave

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The A.E. Slots produced most of the usual birds including: Wood Ducks, Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper, both Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets (mostly on the DUSAF side), Black-crowned Night-Herons (3-south end of the Slots), a Green Heron, Marsh Wrens and a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard from the direction of the Sparrow Hedge). The two remaining, still drying, floodles on the north side produced a number of Killdeer, a Pectoral Sandpiper, several Spotted Sandpipers (3-4), Solitary Sandpipers (2) and a Least Sandpiper. Other bird highlights found during a circuit of the Lab were: Caspian Terns (2), Osprey (at least 5, none at the nests), Bald Eagles (2-an adult and a juvenile), a Cooper's Hawk, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (3), Red-headed Woodpeckers (pair), a Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebes, a Yellow-throated Vireo, a Warbling Vireo, a Red-eyed Vireo, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebirds, a Vesper Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow. Dave

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Glenn was in this afternoon scouting for a bird walk that he is to lead tomorrow morning. The highlights of his finds were: Wood Ducks (3), Least Sandpipers (3), a Spotted Sandpiper, Osprey (only 3 since he was mostly on the east side of the Lab), Horned Larks (5), Tree Swallows (2), Barn Swallows (29), a Cliff Swallow, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebirds (3), a Cedar Waxwing, House Finches (40), Chipping Sparrows (4), Henslow's Sparrows (2), Song Sparrows (7), Eastern Meadowlarks (3), Indigo Buntings (4) and Dickcissels (2). Dave

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

It was another beautiful day in the neighborhood with a nice, cool start. The number of Great Egrets (about 25) at DUSAF Pond was down and today the Great Blue Herons outnumbered them. The slots on the south side of Batavia Rd. had several Wood Ducks (dispersed around the area), Sandhill Cranes (calling from the village), several Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper and quite a few singing Marsh Wrens. A Caspian Tern flew from A.E. Sea toward Lake Law. Again, many young swallows were found perched around the south end of A.E. Sea. Other highlights found in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region included Pied-billed Grebes, a Herring Gull, Northern Flickers, Eastern Wood- Pewees, Willow Flycatchers and a Bell's Vireo. Grassland birds are less abundant in most locations, but still singing in several others. Those found in decreasing abundance were Dickcissels, Henslow's Sparrows, Sedge Wrens, Field Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks. The Nest 2 Osprey young were in the process of fledging throughout the morning and now we can say that the Lab produced 8 fledgling Ospreys this year. Other highlights for the morning were Bald Eagles (2-immatures), a Turkey Vulture (flushed from atop a barn), American Kestrels (2-one atop the Eola/Batavia nest box, the other perched atop a tall forb approx. 300 yd south, apparently searching the grassland for a food source), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (singing), Vesper Sparrows and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Monday, July 22, 2019

After the recent hot spell, Marcia and Gail chose a great morning for doing their survey in the Lab. One of the first things they noticed was the skies were full of Osprey, finding them in many locations throughout the Lab. At one point, in the Main Injector area, they spotted 4 Osprey flying in a group. In their primary monitoring location, they had 3 Sedge Wrens singing in different locations, their firsts of the year. Other highlight birds found during their morning were a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Green Herons (2), Turkey Vultures (2), an American Kestrel near the bison barn, Eastern Wood-Pewees, an Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbirds (2), Marsh Wrens (2), Eastern Bluebirds (6), a Field Sparrow, a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows, an Eastern Towhee, Eastern Meadowlarks (2) and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The temps were quite comfortable this morning unlike the past several days. In addition, rain did not start until we were ready to leave. The slots produced Wood Ducks, a Black-crowned Night-Heron, several Killdeer, a Solitary Sandpiper and several singing Marsh Wrens. Across the road, DUSAF still housed a large number of Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons (about 3 times the number of our last visit) and about 10 Green Herons. A pair of Sandhill Cranes calmly stepped down to the edge of Batavia Rd and started to forage about 50 feet from us. A walk down the east side of A.E. Sea did not produce anything remarkable other than a group of Pied-billed Grebes and a Ring-billed Gull (needed for the week's list). The colt of this year's Sandhill Crane family was about a size between its parents and looking quite healthy. Other bird highlights were more Solitary Sandpipers (4), two American Kestrels (one being aggressively harassed by a Red-winged Blackbird), Eastern Phoebes (a young bird being fed by an adult, at, of all places, the edge of a corn field), Sedge Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds. Vesper Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows and Dickcissels. The Osprey Nest 1's three chicks have now fledged just leaving the Nest 2 chicks remaining on their nest. This should occur in the next few days as they were seen testing their wings this morning. Dave

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It rained early this morning; not enough to penetrate the soil, but enough to increase the humidity. Luckily, a slight breeze provided some relief. DUSAF Pond had over 50 Great Egrets, over 10 Great Blue Herons and a Black-crowned Night-Heron. At the south end of A.E. Sea there were quite a few young swallows (including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Barn Swallows) perched on the dead willows waiting to be fed. Also, in this area were Wood Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe family (1-adult and 5-Grebettes), 6 Green Herons and a second Black-crowned Night-Heron. Other highlights in the Sparrow Hedge area were a Willow Flycatcher, Bell's Vireos (2- they seemed to be audibly dueling across the path), Marsh Wrens (many were quite vocal), an Eastern Towhee and Indigo Buntings. The grasslands along Eola Rd. provided most of the desired grassland species including Sedge Wrens, Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks and Dickcissels. Other birds found around the Lab included a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard along South Eola Rd), Least Sandpipers (4), a Bald Eagle (immature), a Great Crested Flycatcher and an American Redstart. Only 13 of the Lab's 14 Osprey were located today. One of the adults from Nest 3 must have been out fishing. The real highlight of the morning was finding the first fledged Osprey of the year. Both chicks from Nest 2 were found on a power pole about 100 yd from the nest. Later one of the parents flew to this pole with a fish. It did not share its booty with the fledglings until sometime later. Dave

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The A.E. Slots only produced a Pied-billed Grebe, several Wood Ducks and a flyover Green Heron. Grasslands along Eola Road produced Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Eastern Meadowlarks and both a male and female Bobolink. Other highlights found included a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard along South Eola Rd), Sandhill Cranes (5), a Turkey Vulture, an American Kestrel, Marsh Wrens, a Cedar Waxwing, American Redstarts (2-males) and Indigo Buntings. Finally, the first shorebird migrants of the fall season were found in a soon-to-be dry floodle in the north side of the Lab. Those found included Least Sandpipers (10) and Pectoral Sandpipers (3). Peter also mentioned hearing a Yellow-throated Vireo on Friday. Dave

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Marcia and Gail had a beautiful morning for surveying their territories mainly in the Ring areas. The expected Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and Green Heron represented the Waders. There was activity around all 3 Osprey nests where most, but not quite all, individuals were found. A couple of Wood Ducks were found in the Main Ring at Lake Logo. Other highlights for the morning were a Northern Flicker, Red-eyed Vireos, good numbers of both Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a pair of Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Meadowlarks, Common Grackles, Indigo Buntings and Dickcissels. Dave

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

This morning was the last grassland survey of the season (post-breeding). The key species Sedge Wrens, Dickcissels and Eastern Meadowlarks remained at similar levels to those of 2 weeks ago. Henslow's Sparrow numbers dropped by 30 percent while, on a positive note, 2 Bobolinks were found. A good number of other birds were found during and after the survey. The highlights of those finds included: Wood Ducks (4-juv), Pied-billed Grebes (13-including 2 families), Common Nighthawks (5-Best sighting of the morning, first July sighting in the Lab. Seen early over Director's Woods), Sandhill Cranes (3), a Spotted Sandpiper, Caspian Terns (2), Great Blue Herons (18), Great Egrets (15), a Green Heron, Osprey (13 of the Lab's 14 residents), a Bald Eagle (adult), an American Kestrel, Willow Flycatchers (3), an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Bell's Vireos (2), a Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireos (4), Horned Larks (2), Marsh Wrens (3), an Eastern Bluebird, a Cedar Waxwing, Vesper Sparrows (3), Savannah Sparrows (4), a Baltimore Oriole and Indigo Buntings (2). The big news of the morning was confirming the breeding status of the Red-headed Woodpeckers found on Sunday (flying in and out of their nest hole). Dave

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The weather was great this morning being cool, cloudy and somewhat bug free (for early July). The Slots area, both sides of Batavia Rd., produced a pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons, a Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks and singing Marsh Wrens. Some of the other birds of note were a flyover Cooper's Hawk, a juvenile Great Horned Owl, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Great Crested Flycatchers, an Eastern Towhee, Indigo Buntings and, of course, Ospreys. The highlight of the morning was finding 5 woodpecker species. Those found were Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a Downy Woodpecker, a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers and, the bird(s) of the day, a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers. This pair is likely breeding in the Lab this year based on the actions they displayed today. Dave

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A great morning of birding started at the A.E. Slots. Waders were the highlight there with several Great Blue Herons, a Great Egret, a flyover Green Heron and, surprisingly, a pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons. Also represented were families of Mallards, Wood Ducks and Pied-billed Grebes. The young of these birds were quite well advanced already. A trip around the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region was also quite productive. There were many more Great Egrets and several more Green Herons. Other birds in the area were American Woodcocks (2 pr and another group of 4-5 birds), an Osprey (trying to hunt over A.E. Sea while being harassed by Red-winged Blackbirds), an Eastern Wood-Pewee, a Willow Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo (1 possibly 2), Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, Gray Catbirds (they were singing and chattering everywhere), a Yellow Warbler (carrying food) and Swamp Sparrows (2). Back at the Red Barn, a Red-tailed Hawk was at the roof's edge waiting for some prey to show itself. Sparrows found elsewhere were a Grasshopper Sparrow, Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, a Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows and Song Sparrows, to make an 8-sparrow day. Also found were Sandhill Cranes (2 adults with a colt), an American Kestrel, an Eastern Phoebe, Dickcissels and Eastern Meadowlarks. Strangely, an Osprey was found at the far northeast area of the Lab carrying what looked like nesting material. It flew north as far as I could follow it with my binocs. All adult resident Ospreys (6) were found. In addition, the final Osprey chick count appears to be 8 (Nest 1=3, Nest 2=3 and Nest 3=2). That made a 15 Osprey day, including the one that flew offsite. Dave

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The A.E. Sea Slots only produced a Wood Duck, a Blue-winged Teal, and Marsh Wrens singing from the cattails. A Black-crowned Night Heron was also seen flying over A.E. Sea. Most of the Osprey chicks appeared to be snoozing at all 3 nests. Other birds found during the morning were Sandhill Cranes (3), a Green Heron, a Ring-billed Gull, Bald Eagles (2 adults and 2 juveniles), Northern Flickers, an American Kestrel, a Yellow-throated Vireo, Sedge Wrens, an American Redstart (1st year male), a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Orioles. Dave

Saturday, June 29, 2019

This morning Donna reported finding 5 young Pied-billed Grebes swimming behind an adult in the A.E. Slots. These are the first reported young grebes of the year. Also, earlier in the week Ryan Frantzen and one of the Betz interns (Steven), reported finding the first Green Heron nest of the year on a berm inside the Main Ring. Dave

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

This morning was the second grassland breeding bird survey of the year. The main highlight was the first Grasshopper Sparrow of the year (unfortunately, only the one). The main lowlight was the lack of any Bobolinks. The other results of key species at the survey points from the first survey (6/11/19) were: Sedge Wrens (up from 4 to 9), Henslow's Sparrows (up from 10 to 17), Dickcissels (up slightly from 8 to 10) and Eastern Meadowlarks (about even from 14 to 13). An interesting sighting was watching an American Kestrel aggressively ushering a Red-tailed Hawk outside the area of his nest box. Other highlights for the morning (outside the monitor areas) were Pied-billed Grebes (5, no young ones found yet), Turkey Vultures (4), a pair of Spotted Sandpipers, Bell's Vireos (2), a White-eyed Vireo (singing, most likely the same bird Marcia and Gail found several weeks ago), Bank Swallows (3), Marsh Wrens (3), Eastern Bluebirds (3), a Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwings (3) and Indigo Buntings (3). Beyond the Grasshopper Sparrow and Henslow's Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows (2), Field Sparrows (14), a Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows (3), Song Sparrows (24) and a Swamp Sparrow were also found for a total of 8 species. As far as Osprey's go, Nest 1 and Nest 2 each had 3 chicks while Nest 3 had 1, possibly 2 chicks. Dave

Sunday, June 23, 2019

At the A.E. Slots, several Marsh Wrens and a Pied-billed Grebe were singing as a Green Heron flew overhead early this morning. Birds found in the Sparrow Hedge area were a Ring-necked Pheasant (heard), a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Bell's Vireo, a Horned Lark (in fields south of Hedge), Bank Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Tree Swallows, Sedge Wrens, Baltimore Orioles and an Orchard Oriole. Birds found elsewhere were a Turkey Vulture, a Bald Eagle, Vesper Sparrows and Dickcissels. The highlights of the morning came from the Ospreys, starting at Nest 2 where a third adult circled over the nest occupied by its resident pair. Later, with both Nest's 1 and 3 occupied by their resident females, both males seemed to team up together to defend their territories against an intruding Osprey. This intruder was most likely the same bird hassling Nest 2 earlier in the morning. Dave

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Marcia and Gail found a female American Kestrel peeking through the hole of one of the Lab's active nest boxes near the Bison Barn this morning. Other highlights of their morning's birding survey included: a Great Egret, Turkey Vultures (2), Osprey (6), an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireos(2), a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebirds (6), a Cedar Waxwing, Field Sparrows (3), a Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrows (5), a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Buntings (5) and Dickcissels (3). Dave

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Despite the cold and windy conditions this morning Marcia and Gail were in the Lab monitoring mostly in the Ring areas. The highlights of their finds were Great Egrets, a Turkey Vulture, an American Kestrel (near a nest box at the Bison Barn), a Marsh Wren, Eastern Bluebirds, a Cedar Waxwing, a Chipping Sparrow , Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, a Henslow's Sparrow, Song Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, Indigo Buntings and Dickcissels. They also found an adult Osprey feeding young at each of the 3 Osprey nests. Dave

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

This morning was the first breeding grassland survey of 2019 was conducted. Compared to the same time last year, down were Dickcissels (18 down to 8) and Sedge Wrens (10 down to 4) in the monitor locations. Bobolinks remain low (only 3 found), while others were similar to last year's numbers. Other birds found during and after the survey around the Lab included a Pied-billed Grebe (heard), a Green Heron, Wood Ducks (2), an adult Bald Eagle, Sandhill Cranes, a Spotted Sandpiper, Warbling Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos, a Marsh Wren, Eastern Bluebirds, an American Redstart, Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, Bobolinks and Baltimore Orioles. A total of 6 Osprey chicks were found this morning, 1 in Nest 1, 2 in Nest 3 and 3 in Nest 2. Interestingly, Nest 2 failed to produce any chicks over the previous 2 years. Dave

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Marcia and Gail had some interesting finds during their morning's bird monitoring in the Lab today. One of several active Kestrel nest boxes in the Lab (I was told there are currently 5) had an American Kestrel peeking out the hole while another was perched on top. A fluddle along Eola Road produced 7 Great Blue Herons and 3 Great Egrets, along with several Mallards. A recently rare White-eyed Vireo was found singing, while both Red-eyed Vireos and Warbling Vireos were also located. All expected flycatchers were found including Willow Flycatchers, Eastern Phoebes, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested Flycatchers and Eastern Kingbirds. A nice mix of Sparrows included Chipping Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, a Henslow's Sparrow and Song Sparrows. All three Osprey nests featured the feeding of chicks. Other highlights for the morning included a Green Heron, a Cooper's Hawk, an immature Bald Eagle, Eastern Bluebirds, a Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warblers, Indigo Buntings (9) and Dickcissels (singing in numerous fields). Dave

Friday, May 31, 2019

Marcia and Gail were in the Lab this morning and also thought that the females on both Osprey Nest's 1 and 3 were feeding chicks. The Nest 2 female was still brooding. Bird highlights found during their multipurpose monitoring of birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies in the Ring areas were: Northern Flickers, Eastern Wood-Pewees, Great Crested Flycatchers, a Sedge Wren, Eastern Meadowlarks (4, including a female flushed from a nest), a Baltimore Oriole, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and an Indigo Bunting. Dave

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The light rain had just about ceased upon an early arrival at the Slots. The exciting find was a Wood Duck family with male, female and 9 ducklings. Also, in this area was a Green Heron, a Caspian Tern (flyover) and a pair of Eastern Kingbirds hawking insects on the north side of Batavia Rd. The only probable migrants in the Sparrow Hedge area were Alder Flycatchers (3 plus 1 near the parking area). The area was still alive with many of our breeding shrubland birds including more Eastern Kingbirds, Willow Flycatchers (many), Sedge Wrens, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbirds, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows, an Orchard Oriole (breeder???), Baltimore Orioles, Common Yellowthroats and Yellow Warblers. Also in the area were a Ring-necked Pheasant (obviously has a good hiding spot), a pair of Sandhill Cranes (in one of the many fluddles south of the Hedge), Chimney Swifts and Bobolinks. Interesting, Peter and I both heard singing American Redstarts this morning (his in the Ed Center area, mine in Center Ring Woods-West). Other birds for the morning were Blue-winged Teal in several of the many fluddles around, a Turkey Vulture, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Great Horned Owl (being mobbed by a half dozen American Crows), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a pair of Yellow-throated Vireos (Peter found them along the Ed Center Canal), Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows and a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (male singing). Osprey Nest 3 had both adults standing on the nest, one of which was eating and feeding a chick(s) just barely seen. At one point the Nest 1 female was up eating or possibly feeding a chick (unconfirmed), while Nest 2 was still being brooded. Dave

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