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

December, 2013 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The weather early this morning was quite nice with very mild temps and very little wind. A check for sparrows in the lakes region was quite successful with good numbers of American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, and a White-throated Sparrow. Waterfowl in open water areas were decent with Snow Geese (2-Wht. and 1-Blu), Canada Geese (over 6,000 in Main Ring Lake alone), a Trumpeter Swan (still in Main Injector Moat), American Black Ducks, Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers. Interestingly, the pair of American Black Ducks must have thought that this brief warm-up was a sign of spring since we caught them copulating in Bulrush Pond. Another highlight was a lone American Coot in the Main Injector Moat. The North Roads were quiet except for a nice flock of a dozen or more Lapland Longspurs and a few Horned Larks. Dave

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Not too much happening bird-wise this morning at Fermilab. Snow, not wind or temperature, was the major factor affecting the land birds. Waterfowl were mostly concentrated on Main Ring Lake with approx. 5000 Canada Geese, some Mallards and several Common Goldeneye. Joining the Trumpeter Swan on the Main Injector Moats were several more Common Goldeneye and a Ring-necked Duck. Except for the typical winter sparrows ( Tree and Juncos) the only other birds of interest were several Horned Larks. Dave

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It was a great morning for birding at the Lab today. Temps were very mild but cool enough to keep the ground from becoming sloppy. In addition winds were almost nonexistent. The only area I covered with open water and waterfowl was Main Ring Lake having Canada Geese (approx. 2000), Mallards (approx. 50), American Black Ducks (2), Common Goldeneye (12), and Common Merganser (24). The Trumpeter Swan was all by itself on the Main Injector Moat. After having numerous sparrows along A.E. Sea during the CBC Saturday, I could only locate one small group having American Tree Sparrows (about 15), Song Sparrows (2) and Swamp Sparrows (3). I did locate another 6 or more Swamp Sparrows elsewhere, which is well above what would normally be expected this time of year. It was a great day for woodpeckers finding Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, a Hairy Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, and the bird of the day a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (now the latest sighting, previous latest was in the first week of December back in the early 2000's). Some other highlights were a Wilson's Snipe, a pair of Great Horned Owls, Blue Jays (they seem to be everywhere), an American Crow, Eastern Bluebirds and American Robins. Dave

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Bird Count - 2013: Note: Unless noted all references here are to birds found only within Fermilab and not the entire count circle (radius of 7.5 miles with Fermilab at the center). It was a very pretty day for the bird count. Temps were very mild with a light snow most of the day unlike last year when it rained all day and the temps were above freezing (pretty miserable conditions). Saturday's temps were in the high 20's keeping the ground frozen and the mud off the boots. The snow did seem to affect the birds somewhat and made the morning owling a failure. We ended up with 50 species for the day which is just about at the ten -year average of 50.6 species. Waterfowl numbers for the most part were lower than normal due to ice cover on most waters. The best of the waterfowl were two each Ring-necked Ducks and Bufflehead (only the 2nd Fermi CBC sighting). Other waterfowl of interest were American Black Duck (1, lowest in 13 years), Common Goldeneye (242, a respectable number), and Common Merganser (8, fairly low count). The number of Great Blue Herons (3) was well below the twenty-year average of 7.5. We did well on Raptors finding Northern Harrier (4), Sharp-shinned Hawk (3), Cooper's Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (8), Rough-legged Hawk (1), and American Kestrel (1). A respectable 3 Wilson's Snipe were found. The oddity of the day was a female Red-bellied Woodpecker with a yellow nape, looking just like a Golden-fronted Woodpecker but lacking the all-white rump. Some of the more common passerines were Northern Shrike (2), Blue Jay (23, highest in 10 yr), American Crow (1, still remain suppressed), Horned Lark (4), Red-breasted Nuthatch (1), Brown Creeper (4, past 10 year Ave=2), Eastern Bluebird (7), Cedar Waxwing (46), Yellow-rumped Warbler (3, highest number at Fermi), Fox Sparrow (3), Swamp Sparrow (13, 20 yr Ave=3.8), Lapland Longspur (49, previous high=4), and Red-winged Blackbird (2). Finally, our two best birds of the day were firsts for the Lab's CBC. First was a Trumpeter Swan in the Main Injector Moat which had been around for a week. Then there was an American Pipit found near the Main Ring. I think a fun day was had by all. Dave

Monday, December 9, 2014

It was very cold and windy for a late afternoon/evening trip to Fermi today with not much to show for my efforts. My main objective was to scout owls for this weekend's Christmas Bird Count. No Short-eared Owls were found but I did contact an Eastern Screech-Owl (under terrible conditions). I did locate a flock of about 15 Horned Larks but not the longspurs found yesterday. The only other bird of interest was a female Bufflehead on Andy's Pond with a large flock of Canada Geese. This morning Peter relocated the Trumpeter Swan along with a Ring-necked Duck on the Main Injector Moat. Dave

Sunday, December 8, 2013

There was very little wind this morning but the below normal cold did affect the bird activity in some areas. That being said, we did have a couple of very good birds. First of all we had a Trumpeter Swan in the Main Injector Moat; hopefully it will stick around until next week's Christmas Bird Count. There were lots of Canada Geese around the Lab with the majority of these found in the fields as most bodies of water were again frozen over. Other than a good number of Mallards, the only other waterfowl found were several American Black Ducks and a Common Goldeneye. The other highlight was a good number of Lapland Longspurs associated with a flock of Horned Larks. At one time there were at least 30 longspurs on the road. Finally, Peter reported Sandhill Cranes still migrating over the Lab late in the week. Dave

Thursday, December 5, 2013

This morning was chilly and quite windy. However, after several warm days, most bodies of water were again open. Even though the lakes were open, there was very little diversity in the waterfowl. While at Lake Law, a couple thousand geese came in (all Canada Geese except for a couple of Cackling Geese). At Main Ring Lake I added several female Common Mergansers and, as I was leaving, a Greater White-fronted Goose was heard which eventually landed on the lake. Several more Greater White-fronted Geese were found on Lake Logo. All other birds found during the morning were either winter or year-round residents including a Northern Harrier. I got a note from Al he added a couple of fly-by Snow Geese, an American Black Duck and several Northern Shovelers. Dave

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It was a decent morning for birding on December 1st with partly cloudy skies, average temps and mild winds. There were large numbers of both Canada Geese and Mallards on the still, mostly frozen Lake Law. Other waterfowl seen there and other locations in very small numbers were Cackling Goose, American Black Duck, Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye and Hooded Merganser. Most of our time was spent filling gaps in this week's bird list. Some of the birds found were Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Great Horned Owl, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Horned Lark, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, Savannah Sparrow (this was the bird of the day due to its bright yellow head, a feature not seen before by any of us), and Song Sparrow. Also found in several large flocks of European Starlings were Red-winged Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird. Dave

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