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July, 2017 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The conditions were quite pleasant this morning being partly sunny with moderate temps. More importantly the numbers of mosquitoes and deer flies were way down. The Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region still produces some birds of interest. The ever present, this season, Marsh Wrens were singing throughout the area as were a couple of Willow Flycatchers. Also found were a family of 3 juvenile Pied-billed Grebes with one adult. There was also a group of several juvenile Song Sparrows foraging together on the shore of A.E. Sea. Other birds of interest in the area were Wood Ducks, several American Black Ducks, a Sora, Caspian Terns (4), a Least Bittern, Green Herons (several buzzing the area) and a Baltimore Oriole. Birds found elsewhere around the Lab were Killdeer (including some juveniles), a Spotted Sandpiper, a Black-billed Cuckoo (heard), a Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrels (at least 3), an Eastern Phoebe, a Great Crested Flycatcher, an American Crow, a couple of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Vesper Sparrows, Indigo Buntings and an Eastern Meadowlark. Osprey Nest 1 appears to be fully fledged even though there was a juvenile on the nest during our visit. An interesting observation was that there were 7 Ospreys (including 2 adults) in the immediate area of Nest 1, which meant at least one of those juveniles must have been from Nest 3. Dave

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It was cloudy and fairly comfortable most of the morning, but warmer and humid later. The bird of the day was a nearly adult Bald Eagle being escorted westward by several Red-winged Blackbirds along the southern edge of The Sea of Evanescence. The only other birds of interest found in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were Wood Ducks, Green Herons ( 4 here and 2 elsewhere), a Caspian Tern, Willow Flycatchers (several still singing), Indigo Buntings and the still abundant Marsh Wrens. Sedge Wrens and Henslow's Sparrows were still quite actively singing along South Eola Road. In addition, there was also a large collection of post breeding Bobolinks active in that area. Some of the other birds found around the Lab were a Turkey Vultures, Eastern Wood Pewees (a family with begging young), an Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Bluebirds, an American Redstart, Vesper Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks. I was lucky to finally get to see all 11 Ospreys from Nest 1 %26 3 today. First at Osprey Nest 3, all 3 of the juveniles were together on a power pole about fifty yards from the nest. Immediately going to Nest 1, I found five Osprey circling high over the nest area while there were still 3 juveniles on the nest. Dave

Sunday, July 23, 2017

We had a short birding session this morning. Mosquitoes, deer flies and humidity were key factors, but when the sun showed itself, the increase in temps signaled donut time. Most of our time was spent in the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region where we found Wood Ducks (less than previous visits), Pied-billed Grebes (2), a Black-billed Cuckoo (heard west of A.E. Sea), a pair of Sandhill Cranes, several Green Herons and Great Egrets, Willow Flycatchers (several singing) and Eastern Kingbirds. Found elsewhere were a Red-bellied Woodpecker (not spending much time in the woods recently woodpeckers have been hard to come by), more Sandhill Cranes (3) and American Kestrels (2-3). Osprey update: Nest 1 had 2 juveniles in the nest and the other 2 nearby with one of the adults. At Nest 3, only 2 of the juveniles were on nearby power poles. Dave

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This morning I did the Grassland Bird Post Breeding Survey for this season. Both Sedge Wrens (12) and Henslow's Sparrows (20) were the most active species in the survey areas. Both Bobolinks and Dickcissels, on the other hand, were a disappointment with only 3 of each found over all 12 survey points. Eastern Meadowlarks were also on the low side with only 6 found. None of the areas produced any Grasshopper Sparrows . Some of the other birds of interest found during the morning were a Pied-billed Grebe, Green Herons, American Kestrels (2), Sandhill Cranes (3), a Caspian Tern, American Crows, two large groups of Tree Swallows (totaling 49 - mostly juveniles), Cedar Waxwings, a Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and an Orchard Oriole. As far as the Ospreys go, Nest 3 showed the most activity this morning. In the end all juveniles fledged and left home. Very early (5:15) two chicks were still on the nest while the other chick and one adult were on nearby power poles. By mid morning (9:30) all three chicks and one adult were on surrounding poles and trees. Finally, by late morning (11:50) all five Nest 3 Ospreys had left the area and were nowhere to be found (I'm sure they will still use the nest site as a central meeting point for awhile). Gail was in this morning also observing much of this activity. In addition, she spotted some of these birds at other points around the Injector and Main Rings. The activity around Nest 1 was less exciting, but all 6 birds were found around the nest area. Early in the morning the nest was crowded with 3 chicks and an adult while a fledged youngster and the other adult were on nearby poles. Throughout the morning there were always several birds on Nest 1. Dave

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The weather was nearly perfect for a July morning's birding, being cool and overcast with minimal wind. Our first stop was the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge Region. A number of good birds were found in this area including an American Black Duck, (only the 2nd July sighting), Wood Ducks, a Sora, Virginia Rails (an adult with chick), Pied-billed Grebes (singing), a Caspian Tern, Great Egrets, Green Herons (4-5), a Least Bittern, a Belted Kingfisher, Willow Flycatchers (several still singing), Marsh Wrens (singing in every marshy area), an Eastern Bluebird, a Brown Thrasher and a Baltimore Oriole. Highlights found in other parts of the Lab included Turkey Vultures, Sandhill Cranes, Sedge Wrens, an Eastern Towhee, Savannah Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows, a Dickcissel, a large flock of Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. Finally, it's official, the Lab produced 7 Osprey chicks this season including 4 chicks on Nest 1 and 3 chicks on Nest 3 (that's pretty impressive for a first brood at nest 3). Dave

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On July 12th Marcia and Gail were back in the Lab monitoring birds in the Main and Injector Rings. They indicated an increase in the Osprey numbers as more chicks were visible. A total of 9 Osprey were found including 2 Adults and 2 chicks found at Nest 1. Then at Nest 3, 2 Adults and 3 chicks were found. Unfortunately, their time at the Lab was cut short due to an incoming storm. In their short time in the Lab they found some birds of interest including Great Egrets (4 - their numbers appear to be increasing), a Northern Flicker, an Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwings, Indigo Buntings, a Dickcissel, Eastern Meadowlarks and a Baltimore Oriole. Dave

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

On July 5th, Marcia and Gail were doing their usual mid-week monitoring in the areas of the Main and Injector Rings. Their highlights were Turkey Vultures, 6 Osprey ( 2 adults and 1 juvenile at both nest 1 and nest 3), 3 Red-tailed Hawks (2 adults and 1 juvenile begging for food), 3 Killdeer (1 adult and 2 juveniles), a Willow Flycatcher, a Great Crested Flycatcher (male at nesting site), a singing Sedge Wren, a Cedar Waxwing, Indigo Buntings, Dickcissels, and Eastern Meadowlarks. Dave

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Glenn started out his 4th of July celebration by looking for evidence of breeding birds within the Lab. Some interesting birds that he confirmed as breeding within the Lab were Blue-winged Teal (a mother and 2 young), Virginia Rail (2 adults and 1 juvenile), Sora (3 adults and 1 juvenile) and American Kestrel (2 adults and 2 juveniles). Also, other possible breeders were both singing Grasshopper Sparrows and Henslow's Sparrows. Some of the other interesting highlights of the morning were a Pied-billed Grebe, a Green Heron, a Cooper's Hawk, Sandhill Cranes, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swifts, a Warbling Vireo, Horned Larks, a Purple Martin, Eastern Bluebird (multiple pairs), a Vesper sparrow, Savannah Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, a Dickcissel, Eastern Meadowlark, a Baltimore Oriole and an Orchard Oriole. Dave

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The weather was still quite pleasant during our early morning survey of the Lab's birdlife. The temps were in the 70's, sunny with mild winds. At one point there were 27 Great Egrets and about 15 Great Blue Herons on the Sea of Evanescence. Highlights in A.E. Sea were a singing Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers (including a male in eclipse plumage). Other highlights of the Lakes/Sparrow Hedge region were a Caspian Tern, lots of Marsh Wrens and a couple of Brown Thrashers. Some of the other birds of mention found around the Lab were an American Kestrel, Sandhill Cranes, Horned Larks, Cedar Waxwings (becoming so common as to possibly fall off the highlights lists) Henslow's Sparrows, Dickcissels (singing in many locations), Eastern Meadowlarks (many more than found on Thursday when wind may have affected their activity) and both a Baltimore Oriole and an Orchard Oriole. Denis' group also reported a Yellow-billed Cuckoo inside the Main Ring. In addition, they confirmed breeding for both Wood Ducks and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Dave

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