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

July, 2015 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A quick stop at the Lab this late this afternoon to check on the Osprey situation produced these results. First the Nest 3 area of the Main Injector was vacant - neither of the pair were to be found. Next Nest 1, at first, looked empty but then a long wing appeared and up popped one of the chicks (remember they were both fledged on Sunday). What appeared to be the other fledged chick was perched on a power pole about 100 yards away. Finally at Nest 2, both chicks were together in the nest and occasionally working their wings, while one of the adults watched from the perch above. This was a relief after seeing only one momentary head-bob on Sunday. Dave

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Again the weather, being mild and mostly cloudy, had no affect on the birds this morning. In the grassland, near the Road B Arbor Day Site, we found just about all the desired grassland birds with good views of many of these. The birds found were Sedge Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Dickcissel, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. The Osprey chicks from Nest 1 have fledged. They were found 40-50 yards away with one of their parents on a power pole. At Nest 2, one of the adults was above the nest on the perch while the chicks were apparently asleep. I did see, however, one head pop up momentarily. At Nest 3, both adults were together atop the nest, a great sign of continued nest loyalty. Some of the other birds found were Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green Heron (strangely we had 7 fly overhead near A.E. Sea), American Kestrel, Sora, Caspian Tern, Marsh Wren and Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The weather (warm, mostly sunny and minimal wind) had no affect on the birds this morning. The Sparrow Hedge Lakes Region produced a Wood Duck, a Green Heron, Soras (at least 2), Caspian Terns, Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows. In addition, while walking along the Hedge, an American Woodcock flushed less than five feet from me. During the morning all five of the summer flycatchers were also found including Eastern Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher (still a good number singing), Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird. All four birds were on Osprey Nest 2 with both chicks being fed by one of the adults. The chicks are noticeably larger and more active. The chicks on Nest 1 were occasionally flapping their wings as one of the adults looked on. Nest 3 had one adult perched about two power poles away. There were still a good number of singing Dickcissels inside the Main Ring at Betz's Prairie, which was their main stronghold this season. The most interesting sighting of the morning involved a pair of immature Red-tailed Hawks. While driving in the center of the Ring, the two hawks, while apparently playing sibling games, landed in a tree ahead of me. Driving ahead slowly to get a better view I saw that one of the birds was hanging upside-down by one leg. After awhile the other bird flew off. Then the upside-down bird started struggling and finally freed itself and dropped down to a branch below. I was able to get some good pictures while the hawk regained its balance and enjoyed the world right-side up. Dave

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Marcia and Gail were struck with the mid-summer birding doldrums today with not much exciting to report. They did, however, hear a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which is always a good bird. In addition, they did compile a nice list of recently fledged birds including Common Yellowthroat, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Indigo Bunting and Dickcissel. Dave

Sunday, July 19, 2015

It was mostly a typical, mid-summer morning for birding today - mostly overcast, warm and buggy. The highlight of the morning was the confirmation of breeding Blue-winged Teal with the discovery of 11 ducklings following a female in Dusaf Pond. Also found were 6-7 juvenile Orchard Orioles along East Wilson Rd. The two Osprey chicks on Nest 2 were showing a little more activity in the nest than on any previous visit. Other birds found were Wood Ducks (2), a Green Heron, American Kestrels (5-6), Soras (calling in A.E. Sea), Willow Flycatchers, Bell's Vireo, Marsh Wrens and Cedar Waxwings. Dave

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Glenn added some really good birds for the week today in addition to a long list of the usual suspects. His best birds were Virginia Rail and Sora (both at A.E. Sea), American Woodcock (Sparrow Hedge area), a Barred Owl, Swamp Sparrows (Main Ring), Scarlet Tanagers (Big Woods), and Orchard Oriole. Dave

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The morning was sunny, comfortably cool with a mild breeze. Mosquitoes were less aggressive than on Sunday, enough to allow a somewhat comfortable walk through the Sparrow Hedge area. The woodlands, however, are still off-limits for any sane person. There was nothing remarkable to report from this morning, but many of the uncommon summer species were found. Found were Sandhill Cranes (pr-East Wilson), Caspian Terns (10-12), Willow Flycatchers (several singing), Horned Larks, Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings, Vesper Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows (a juvenile with an adult), Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels (one of the females carrying food) and a Baltimore Oriole (Juv). At Osprey Nest 1, the chicks appear quite healthy and seem ready to start exercising their wings. The Nest 2 chicks, not nearly as active, are only seen as occasional pop-ups above the rim of the nest. The Nest 3 adults were together on a power pole near the nest, one eating a fish, the other just watching. Interestingly, there was a large branch between them, destine for the nest I assume. Some of the other sightings were American Kestrels (9), Eastern Kingbirds, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, an Eastern Bluebird (a female carrying food to and into a nestbox), a Brown Thrasher and Savannah Sparrows. Dave

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Once again our morning's birding was dictated by the overly aggressive mosquitoes, no Sparrow Hedge and no wood lots. We started by Dusaf Pond with some interesting birds including a Wood Duck, a Green Heron (2 others were seen elsewhere), Caspian Terns (Flybys), a Chimney Swift, a Belted Kingfisher (a rare sighting in recent years, our first for the year), an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher (in an unexpected location), and several American Crows (7-quite a high number for the Lab). Nearby Osprey Nest 2 had both adults and both chicks at the nest. It appears that these chicks are not growing at the rapid pace that the chicks of Nest 1 had progressed. By the way, the chicks on Nest 1 are almost as big as the adults at this time. We had all 4 birds on Nest 1 when we approached and it was quite crowded up there. The Nest 3 pair are still hanging around the nest area. Other birds seen were American Kestrels (3), Spotted Sandpiper, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, a Grasshopper Sparrow (good looks), several singing Henslow's Sparrows, quite a few Dickcissels inside the Main Ring and several stray Bobolinks. Dave

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The morning was overcast, cool with minimum wind, perfect for a post-breeding grassland survey. The major changes in today's survey from the last breeding survey a couple of weeks ago were a sizable decrease in Dickcissels (from 31 June 24th to 18 today) and an increase in Bobolinks (from 17 June 24th to 41 today). The increase of Bobolinks was due to post breeding concentrations of family groups, with 23 in one location. I did have 4 Grasshopper Sparrows while Sedge Wrens, Henslow's Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks numbers remained consistent with the June 24th numbers. All 10 Ospreys were accounted for with no change in their status. Some of the other birds found during the morning were Green Herons (2), American Kestrels (3), Sandhill Cranes (2-in buffalo fields), Caspian Terns (7), a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, an Eastern Wood Pewee, an Eastern Phoebe, a Willow Flycatcher, Horned Larks (4), lots of swallows (including Tree Swallows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Bank Swallows and Barn Swallows), Marsh Wrens, Vesper Sparrows, and Indigo Buntings (10). Marcia and Gail added Spotted Sandpipers (2-adults), an Eastern Kingbird and, interestingly, an adult male Orchard Oriole feeding a begging juvenile. Dave

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The mosquitoes have reached a new height in irritation. Other than that the weather was very nice - warm and sunny with very little wind. The morning started out with an adult Bald Eagle patrolling along the north shore of Lake Law. Not a lot of activity in the Lakes Region. We did have Caspian Terns, Bell's Vireos, Marsh Wrens and Cedar Waxwings. The fuddles in the north fields are drying fast with no interesting shorebirds to be found. That area did produce American Kestrels (3), Spotted Sandpipers, Horned Larks and Vesper Sparrows. We did locate all the prime grassland birds, the highlight being a quite boisterous Grasshopper Sparrow. Both the chicks at Osprey nest 1 are getting quite large and the two at Nest 2 are showing much more activity. Only one adult was near Nest 3. Also found were Wood Duck, Eastern Phoebe and, the bird of the day, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Dave

Thursday, July 2, 2015

It was a cool morning but the wind was the major hindrance since Zack, a summer intern, and myself were primarily looking for grassland birds. We did find all the target grassland birds though none were overly abundant. The highlight was four Grasshopper Sparrows at one monitor point along Batavia Rd. Others found were Sedge Wren (3 locations), Field Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels, Bobolinks (none singing and found in only one location) and Eastern Meadowlarks. Some of the other birds found were Great Egrets (over 15 at Nepese), a Green Heron, a Red-tailed Hawk (flying off with a good sized snake ), a Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs (7-north roads fuddles), Caspian Terns, a Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Tree Swallows (many-many young birds), House Wren (carrying food into nest box), Marsh Wrens (lots at A.E. Sea), and Eastern Bluebirds (several young birds in several locations). The pair of Nest 3 Ospreys were not in the nest area but, as I was leaving, one did fly-in (so they're still around). One of the chicks on Nest 1 appears to be almost half the size of an adult, the second was smaller. The big Osprey news was finding a second chick on Nest 2 at Nepese marsh; both were being fed. Finally, Dave Shemanske reported a couple of Sandhill Cranes along South Eola Rd. Dave

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Marcia and Gail were in this morning and spotted many of the expected summer breeding birds, lots of mosquitoes and had several interesting sightings. Again they had an adult Spotted Sandpiper with at least one juvenile. Caspian Terns (2) were searching for food over the Main Injector Moats. Also found were a Green Heron, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and several Bobolinks (not too an easy find this breeding season). They reported that both adults were near but not at Nest 3 which was a failure this its first year. But at the same time they had two of their most interesting sightings of the morning near this nest site by the Main Injector. First was an American Kestrel eating a small Rodent and second was their bird of the day, a Peregrine Falcon. They were lucky to get good looks at it atop a power pole before it flew off. Dave

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