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

February, 2017 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, February 26, 2017

After our recent warm weather, this morning's weather was quite a shock to the system. The mid 20's temps were not all that bad, but the strong winds made conditions quite uncomfortable. Both A.E. Sea and DUSAF were covered by ice and produced no birds. Lake Law was mostly open. There we found Northern Shovelers, Common Mergansers and Hooded Mergansers. Other waterfowl found (mostly in Main Ring Lake or Lake Logo) were Gadwall, Redheads. Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye and Ruddy Ducks. Other birds found during the morning were American Kestrels (2), American Coots, Killdeer, an American Crow, Horned Larks and Brown-headed Cowbirds (several in a flock of mostly European Starlings with some Red-winged Blackbirds). Our parting bird for the morning and, the bird of the day, was an immature Bald Eagle (looked like a 3rd year bird) flying over Lake Law. On his way home Peter spotted the first Turkey Vulture of the year in the Lab (this ties the earliest Lab sighting from over 20 years ago). Dave

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Roads and Grounds personal reported seeing a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Village today. These are most likely the same birds found there last year. Furthermore, they may be the pair we saw flying over Lake Law on Sunday and the cranes I heard at A.E. Sea yesterday. In addition, Peter reported hearing then seeing a first of the year Snow Goose flying in proximity with some Sandhill Cranes in the area of Wilson Hall. Dave

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The morning started quite foggy and warm with a slight breeze which increased considerably late in the morning. The fog made viewing on the Eastern Lakes tough. Still about 70 Green-winged Teal and several Northern Shovelers were found on A.E. Sea. Sandhill Cranes were also heard somewhere in the northern portion of A.E. Sea. Both Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were also found in this area. Waterfowl found elsewhere throughout the Lab were Gadwall, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers and Ruddy Ducks (first of the year). A flock of approx 200 Red-winged Blackbirds along West Wilson Rd. contained several females and the first Brown-headed Cowbirds (3-4) of the year. White-breasted Nuthatches were again extremely active; this time at the Ed Center Feeders. Some of the other morning highlights were American Coots (Lake Logo), a Great Horned Owl (Big Woods), Hairy Woodpeckers, Horned Larks, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Meadowlarks (first of the year and in many locations around the Lab) and a Common Grackle. Dave

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dave Shemanske reported seeing several groups of Sandhill Cranes flying over the Lab today. Dave

Sunday, February 19, 2017

From start to finish the weather for birding this morning was great, being sunny, warm (in the 60's) with minimal winds. It was quite noisy all morning with some of the more noticeable contributors being Red-winged Blackbirds (singing in territories just about everywhere), Canada Geese (flying and honking everywhere), Blue Jays (many locations), White-breasted Nuthatches (very active in the Big Woods), Downy Woodpeckers (drumming in many areas), Black-capped Chickadees and American Robins. Even the Song Sparrows, which were very elusive this winter, were represented. With these weather conditions, waterfowl were somewhat of a disappointment in both quantity and variety. The only new one for the year were Northern Shovelers (A.E. Sea). Others found were a Gadwall (A.E. Sea), Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks (A.E. Sea), Lesser Scaup (A.E. Sea) and the usual Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other new year birds were Sandhill Cranes (pr-flying west over L.Law), a Killdeer and a Lapland Longspur (both on the Lab's north side). Some other highlights for the morning were a couple of Great Blue Herons (perched in an oak in the Buffalo Savannah), a Great Horned Owl (Big Woods), a Common Grackle and several Horned Larks (North Fields). On his way home through the Lab Peter also spotted a Northern Pintail (Main Ring Lake) and a Northern Harrier. Dave

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The morning's weather was quite pleasant with above normal temps reaching the mid 40's, mostly cloudy skies and mild winds. The Lakes Region produced only several Common Mergansers and a Ring-billed Gull (yes, there were lots of Canada Geese and some Mallards also). A good number of Ring-billed Gulls were later found on Main Ring Lake, the first multiples of this species. MRL also produced a pair of Hooded Mergansers and several Common Goldeneyes. As I watched, a large group of Common Mergansers flew in increasing the total number of these on MRL to over 200. Other waterfowl found around the Lab, mostly at Lake Logo, were Gadwall, Redheads (about 20-new for year), Ring-necked Ducks (about 12) and a Lesser Scaup. Back at the Lakes Region, Red-winged Blackbirds were back singing in their territories. Other birds in the area were an adult Bald Eagle (perched at the SW corner of Lake Law), an American Crow (some were also found on the west side of the Lab), American Robins, Cedar Waxwings (15-20) and Swamp Sparrows. Song Sparrows, which have been hard to locate this winter, are now becoming more plentiful. Dave

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Marcia and Gail were again in the Lab this morning. It was a little windy and cooler than the past several days. The highlights of their waterfowl were the regular winter visitors both Common Goldeneye (5) and Common Mergansers (66). They found a nice mix of sparrows including American Tree Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow, a White-crowned Sparrow and several Dark-eyed Juncos. They found a Belted Kingfisher in two separate locations inside the Main Ring. We also had a Kingfisher in two separate locations several weeks ago. It is still undetermined if there is only one bird in the Lab or if a second exists. Other highlights for the morning were Blue Jays, Horned Larks and, the best bird of the day, a first-of-the-year Common Grackle. Dave

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Strong wind (gusts over 40 mph) was the major factor impacting the morning's birding today. Otherwise, the mild temps and partly cloudy skies had little effect. Nothing new or too special in the waterfowl found which included American Black Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks (pr), a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. The two highlight birds of the morning, both found inside the Main Ring, were an adult Bald Eagle and a Great Horned Owl. The list of other highlights was not overly impressive and included Northern Harriers (2), the Belted Kingfisher (Main Injector), Eastern Bluebirds (Big Woods), a Song Sparrow and a Red-winged Blackbird. Dave

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Glenn was in the Lab today leading a DBC Field Trip specifically looking for a Northern Shrike. It was quite nice weather-wise and most importantly had minimal winds. Not only did he locate the Northern Shrike inside the Main Ring but located a grand total of 33 species for the morning - quite good for a February morning. Waterfowl highlights included a pair of Mute Swans on Lake Law (first of the year), Canvasbacks (a whopping 20 flew into Lake Law), Lesser Scaup (3-L.L.), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Two new Fermi year birds were included in the day's count. They were a pair of Mute Swans and Snow Buntings (4-along Main Ring Road). Other highlights for the morning were a Northern Harrier, a Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flickers (2), Blue Jays, an American Crow, Horned Larks (6-flocked with the Snow Buntings), Eastern Bluebirds (2-by Red Barn), an American Robin, a Song Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbirds (2-at Lake Law). Dave

Friday, February 10, 2017

Over the last two days Glenn made a morning trip to the Lab on Thursday and a short afternoon trip today. He duplicated some of the birds we had on Wednesday, but also added several birds needed for the week. His waterfowl highlights included Cackling Geese (a year high of 7), Ring-necked Ducks (pr), Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and over 2600 Canada Geese. Other water related birds were a Pied-billed Grebe (Main Ring Lake) and a Great Blue Heron. His remaining highlights were a couple of Northern Harriers, an American Kestrel, the Belted Kingfisher, Horned Larks (3), an American Robin, a Song Sparrow and a Swamp Sparrow (both around A.E. Sea). Also, on Friday Peter found a rare Ross's Goose along Road D (not relocated on Sat. or Sun.). Dave

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It was another cool morning in the mid 20's with not much increase throughout the morning. Skies were cloudy with occasional flurries. Marcia and Gail were also in this morning and we crossed paths and compared notes. This is a composite listing of those sightings. The only waterfowl of note in A.E. Sea was a Cackling Goose and 5 Green-winged Teal. Other waterfowl highlights found in the Ring areas were Ring-necked Ducks (pr), a Lesser Scaup (F), Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and first-of-the-year pair of Hooded Mergansers (Main Ring Lake). I had a Northern Harrier on the east side of the Lab while the girls had 2 on the west side. The Belted Kingfisher was back to its apparent favorite location by the Main Injector Moats. Sparrows were represented by American Tree Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows (3), a White-crowned Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos. Other highlights for the morning were Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays (missed all last week), Horned Larks (9), American Robins and at least 3 American Goldfinches. Dave

Sunday, February 5, 2017

It was cool to start (mid 20's) but soon warmed to the mid 30's. It was also bright and sunny with a mild wind - pretty nice overall. Still quite a bit of ice covering most waters with not much of interest on the East Lakes. Waterfowl were mostly the same as found earlier in the week, mostly in the Main Injector Moats. Found were a Cackling Goose (Lake Law), a Gadwall, a Canvasback (male), Ring-necked Ducks (2-males, 1-female), a Lesser Scaup (female), Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. We spent a lot of time (unsuccessfully) looking for a Song Sparrow, which in most years past would not have been a great challenge. This is another species, like the goldfinch, which has been hard to find this winter. There were no real standout birds for the morning but we did have the following highlights: a Great Blue Heron, a Cooper's Hawk (perched for at least an hour by Kidney Pond), an American Crow, Horned Larks (several locations), a Brown Creeper, American Robins, a Swamp Sparrow and House Finches. Dave

Thursday, February 2, 2017

This morning was very cold (16 deg to start) with a brisk wind from the NW. The only bright spot was the sun (sorry about that). The birds were not very active and the results proved that out. A.E. Sea was frozen over except for an area at the south end; only about 200 Canada Geese were in that area. Lake Law had a larger open area but the only addition there were several Herring Gulls. The diving duck diversity remains unchanged. Found around other parts of the Lab were a Canvasback, Ring-necked Ducks, a Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. Other birds of note for the morning were a Northern Harrier, a Belted Kingfisher (at Bulrush Pond), Horned Larks and a Swamp Sparrow. Glenn was in the Lab for some evening birding and came up with the first Gadwall (2) of the year in the Main Injector Moat. His other waterfowl was similar to what the girls and I had recently. He was able to locate 3 Northern Harriers, which is a high count for this year in the Lab (second time he pulled that off). He also found a good number of American Robins (47). They eluded me this morning. Dave

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Marcia and Gail were out in the Lab this morning and the first thing they saw, which had been elusive for quite awhile, was the sun and blue skies. Waterfowl highlights were the expected Common Goldeneyes (7) and Common Mergansers (48). The Bald Eagle was again in the Main Ring this time joined by a Northern Harrier. The Belted Kingfisher is still hanging around the Main Injector area; hopefully, it has found a permanent residence in the Lab. Some of their other highlights for the morning were Hairy Woodpeckers (2), Northern Flickers (3-only the first ones found since early Jan.), Eastern Bluebirds (2), American Tree Sparrows (2), a White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Juncos (30) and an American Goldfinch. Dave

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