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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 ...Apr 12Apr 9Apr 2Mar 29Mar 28Mar 23Mar 21Mar 17
Mar 14Mar 6Mar 5Feb 26Feb 19Feb 5Jan 29Jan 22
Jan 8Dec 30Dec 19Dec 18Dec 11Dec 4Nov 27Nov 20
Nov 13Nov 6Oct 30Oct 23Oct 16Oct 9Oct 2Sep 25

Monday, April 12, 2021

Like Wally, Donna also found the pair of Mute Swans last week. In addition, she witnessed them fly from the Slots area at the south end of A.E. Sea over her head and land in Dusaf Pond. To the week's list she also added a Wilson's Snipe and a Northern Harrier along North Eola Road. Dave

Friday, April 9, 2021

Wally reported a good number of new year birds this past week. His overall best sighting was a single American White Pelican (new for year) on A.E. Sea. As he stated, "I don't think I've ever seen a lone pelican, it looked lonely." There was still a nice mix of waterfowl in the lakes including: Canada Goose, Mute Swan (new for year), Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead and Common Merganser. Another highlight of his report was that now all 3 Osprey nests have birds in their areas. Other new year birds include Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Barn Swallow (one flying solo), Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Field Sparrow. Other highlights for his week were: Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Sandhill Crane (pair has been hanging out on A.E. Sea flats), Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Savanna Sparrow, Song Sparrow (lots of them), Eastern Meadowlark, Brown-headed Cowbird and Common Grackle. Dave

Friday, April 2, 2021

Wally's end of the month report (Mar 29-31) included a nice mix of waterfowl though overall numbers still remain low. Waterfowl found included: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Common Merganser and Red-breasted Merganser (pair, new for year). In the good news department, Wally spotted 3 adult Bald Eagles in the area of the nest. Unfortunately, they were not seen near but not at the nest. Conversely in the bad news department, Wally mentioned that in the aftermath of one of the prescribed burns, an active American Woodcock nest was found destroyed by the flames. His bird of the week was a Brown Creeper (new, year). He mentioned that this species had been eluding him until now. His other major highlight was noting that the Ospreys have returned to both Nest 1 and Nest 2. Some of the other birds mentioned were American Coot, Killdeer, American Woodcock, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle (an additional juv.), Cooper's Hawk, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Horned Lark, Eastern Meadowlark, Brown-headed Cowbird and Common Grackle. Dave

Monday, March 29, 2021

Wally added another 2 new year birds to the Lab this past week (Mar 22-26), including a near, on schedule Eastern Phoebe and a late arriving Common Grackle. The disturbing portion of his report was that he did not find the Bald Eagles this past week and had not seen them on the nest for some time. This would most likely place them out of the nesting period for the year. Though he stated there were not a large number of waterfowl around, he did have good variety including: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup and Common Merganser. Other interesting finds for the week were: Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Barred Owl (Adam found again), Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Tree Swallow, Eastern Bluebird, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark and Brown-headed Cowbird. Dave

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Donna's weekly report included 2 new year bird species including a Great Egret and a number of Tree Swallows. Waterfowl diversity was down a little. Those found were Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers. Other highlights included a pair of Pied-billed Grebes, a possible pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Great Blue Heron. All these birds were found in A.E Sea or Dusaf Pond. Unfortunately, the cattails on the south side of Batavia Road in A.E. Sea have not yet emerged. The Slots, that were cut several years ago in these cattails, were a great habitat for marsh birds. It is hard to tell whether this habitat will return. Finally, along North Eola Road, Donna found 2 Northern Harriers (hunting the fields) and Eastern Meadowlarks. Dave

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Wally's report from the week of Mar. 15-19 stated that waterfowl numbers appeared to be down but still with some diversity. Included in his list were: Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup and Common Merganser. On the other hand, sparrows appeared to be on the upswing. Those found were American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow (first of year), Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow and Song Sparrow. Other interesting finds were Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Great Blue Heron, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker (first of year), American Kestrel, Eastern Meadowlark and Brown-headed Cowbird. Wally further mentioned a couple of sightings from March 6th by a new physicist at the Lab. They were a Rough-legged Hawk and a Barred Owl. Dave

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Donna reported mostly waterfowl and water-related birds again this week, with a pair of Canvasbacks (new for the year), as her top bird. They were found in Dusaf Pond along with several Lesser Scaup (I'm assuming they were) and Common Mergansers. Across the road, at A.E. Sea, she found Northern Shovelers, more Common Mergansers, a Pied-billed Grebe, and an American Coot. Along North Eola Road she found a couple of Eastern Meadowlarks and an American Kestrel on the kestrel nest box. Dave

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Wally's workload defines his monitoring possibilities, and last week (Mar 8-12) did not allow much time for birds. He still was able to report a good number of waterfowl including Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. Besides the Wood Duck, he scored several more "first of the year birds" including: Ring-billed Gull, Turkey Vulture, Song Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird and Rusty Blackbird. Other highlights found were Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl and American Kestrel. Dave

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Donna continues to report on birds found in the A.E. Sea slots along Batavia Road, as she passes the area on her way to and from work. Even though this area is an exceedingly small percentage of the birding area in the Lab, some interesting birds have been found here in recent years. Her sightings during the second week of March included: Canada Goose, Mallard, Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teal, American Widgeon, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, American Coot, Killdeer and Red-winged Blackbirds. Dave

Saturday, March 6, 2021

On her way into work today Donna reported a pair of Sandhill Cranes displaying in the Village. While the slots along Batavia Road provided a pair of Buffleheads, a male Hooded Merganser, Mallards, Canada Geese, and many Red-winged Blackbirds. At Andy's Pond 2 pair of Common Mergansers and 5 Double-crested Cormorants were found. Dave

Friday, March 5, 2021

As expected for the beginning of March, Wally's highlights were dominated by waterfowl. It was a very nice list including: Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Tundra Swan, Mallard, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. Wally reported that even though the Bald Eagles are getting a later start this year, they have been spending more time around and in the nest. One factor may be that this a totally new nest this year. The remainder of the week's highlights included: Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Horned Lark and Eastern Bluebird. Dave

Friday, February 26, 2021

Wally said the highlights for the week were a Redhead and an American Black Duck. As the ice started to have holes in it, waterfowl started moving in. There was a large change over the period of the week. His highlights for the week included: Canada Goose, Mallard, American Black Duck, Redhead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, Hairy Woodpecker, Horned Lark and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Friday, February 19, 2021

The cold and snow during the week continued to suppress Wally's bird sightings throughout the Lab. His biggest disappointment was not spotting either of the Bald Eagles. His highlight for the week was finding several Lapland Longspurs, some showing breeding colors, along with some Horned Larks. The remainder of his highlights included Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Hairy Woodpecker and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Friday, February 5, 2021

Wally's bird of the week and a first for the year, a Rough-legged Hawk, has been quite rare over the last few years. Another first of the year were the Eastern Bluebirds he reported. Other highlights on his weekly list were: Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Hairy Woodpecker, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Friday, January 29, 2021

Even though Wally's list for the week is fairly short, it included some very nice birds. At the head of the list was an Eastern Meadowlark which is about a month earlier than expected. Even more interesting is the weather conditions the bird migrated into. I say migrated because there were two separate sightings which included at least 2 to 3 birds. Other birds of interest were Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Northern Shrike (another great bird) and Horned Lark. Dave

Friday, January 22, 2021

Wally reported that not many exciting birds were found over the last two weeks. A winter lull is to be expected until the first migrants return, typically mid to late February. Some waterfowl may appear sooner depending upon the availability of open water. His recent finds included Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Dave

Friday, January 8, 2021

Wally submitted a list of the first 29 birds found in the Lab for 2021. The list was acquired during the week of Jan 4 to Jan 8. Several exceptionally good birds were included in the list. The highlights of those birds found were Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Herring Gull, Great Blue Heron, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Horned Lark, and Snow Bunting. Dave

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wally submitted a brief list of birds found during this shortened week. Most of the expected winter residents were listed. Of note were Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle and Red-tailed Hawk. Dave

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Today was the annual Christmas Bird Count. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and continued limited access to Fermilab, the Count was performed by a much smaller group than typically is assembled. Although the weather conditions were very good, the overall number of species was below the 25-year average of about 50 species. Whether the low number of 45 species recorded was due to the reduced number of participants or a reduced number of birds in the Lab is hard to tell. I will say many times during the day we had numerous stretches of recording little or no bird activity. A reasonably nice list of waterfowl was compiled including Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, Mallards, a Ring-necked Duck, a Bufflehead, Common Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers (32, an all-time record for the entire Fermi Circle) and Common Mergansers. Other water related birds included a Wilson's Snipe, Great Blue Herons (3), Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a Belted Kingfisher. Raptors were represented by the resident pair of Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks (16) and Northern Harriers (8, 5 seen at one time hunting the Dog Fields late in the afternoon). In addition, 9 Great Horned Owls were found throughout the day, starting with the early morning, unsuccessful, search for Screech Owls. Wally flushed the only Short-eared Owl of the day inside the Main Ring. The expected woodpeckers including Red-bellied Woodpeckers (19), Downy Woodpeckers (28), Hairy Woodpeckers (7) and a Northern Flicker were recorded. Blue Jays (31) and American Crows (24) numbers were on the high side while Black-capped Chickadees (64) were about average. Brown Creepers (3) and White-breasted Nuthatches (21) numbers were about typical while Red-breasted Nuthatches (8), though not at irruption numbers, were well represented. Sparrows were well represented in species count though only the expected winter species were found in good numbers. Found were American Tree Sparrows (53), Savannah Sparrow (1), Fox Sparrows (4), Song Sparrow (1), Swamp Sparrows (2), White-throated Sparrow (1) and Dark-eyed Juncos (57). All other more common/expected birds were close to their expected numbers. Some notable misses were Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel, Eastern Screech-Owl (though rare in recent years, we did have one last year), Long-eared Owl, Northern Shrike, Horned Lark, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing and any blackbird species. Dave

Friday, December 18, 2020

Waterfowl diversity dropped a little this week with Wally finding only Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser. Two Northern Harriers were found on Friday; hope they stay around for tomorrow's CBC. Other highlights included Bald Eagle, Hairy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco and White-throated Sparrow. Dave

Friday, December 11, 2020

Wally still found a bit of diversity in the waterfowl around the Lab this week. Those found were Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. Three Bald Eagles were found including 2 adults and a juvenile that appeared to be fairly close to maturity. His other highlight was an Eastern Meadowlark. A Great Horned Owl and an American Kestrel also were birds of note. Dave

Friday, December 4, 2020

From Wally's report for the week, it appears birding in the Lab has slowed considerably. As he said of the birding, "Bit of a lackluster week for sure." He did search for possible crossbills, etc. He said, "There is a fair amount of cone production and looks like some has been tampered with. The only thing I saw in conifers was juncos. Lots of juncos. Lakes were also frozen over towards the end of last week, so waterfowl diversity dropped." Some of the birds he did find were Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser, Sandhill Crane, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, RT Hawk and Great Horned Owl. Dave

Friday, November 27, 2020

Due to a short week and bad weather Wally's bird list this week was shorter than normal. However, waterfowl continue to be found in good numbers including Canada Goose (One interesting individual had about half its neck feathers white while the other half were the typical dark color.), Tundra Swan, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser. Other birds of interest were American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Bald Eagle (pair sitting next to each other), American Kestrel and Eastern Meadowlark (4 on Eola Rd). Dave

Friday, November 20, 2020

Wally's weekly report was slightly smaller this week mainly due to his work schedule. Waterfowl were reduced in variety. Those found were Tundra Swans (4 in Nepese Marsh), Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Green-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser. Raptors included Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle (he sent us a picture of one atop their new nest; it is looking quite substantial) and Red-tailed Hawk. His bird of the week was a Winter Wren found in the Garden Club. Other highlights included: American Coot, Sandhill Crane (3 sandhills wandering around together north of Wilson Rd - So guessing this is a likely pair with a colt), Great Blue Heron, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. Dave

Friday, November 13, 2020

Most of Wally's birding this week took place on the eastern lakes, the Garden Club, Main Ring Lake and its associated grasslands. The week proved to be exceptionally good for waterfowl with 15 species reported starting with a group of about 8 Trumpeter Swans that strangely included a lone Tundra Swan on Lake Law. The remaining waterfowl included Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback (2 Monday, 1 Friday), Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser (female) and Ruddy Duck. Another highlight was a lone Rusty Blackbird perched in a tree near the eastern border of the Lab. Other birds of mention were: American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Great Horned Owl, American Kestrel, Eastern Bluebird, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow. His most interesting sighting was finding a leucistic American Robin, I assume in the Sparrow Hedge Area. He stated, "I saw a leucistic Robin, which I saw fly briefly across the path. I chased it until I was able to locate it. The pattern of the bird was so unique I had no idea what the bird could be. Anyway, it was a robin, but a special one. I'm sure the chances of a robin with that much white on it making it to adulthood is pretty low." Dave

Friday, November 6, 2020

Wally was back this week and reported exceptional numbers of waterfowl. Unfortunately, he did not have much time to sort through all of them. Those found included Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard and Northern Pintail. Raptors made a good showing with Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and American Kestrel. Most important was the observation that the Bald Eagle pair were found creating a new nest, near the one they successfully used these past two breeding seasons. Other highlights found during the week included American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Eastern Bluebird, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Common Grackle and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Dave

Friday, October 30, 2020

Wally was out of the office this week, so no report from him, but Peter was in his office, cleaning it out before his retirement. During one of his trips to the Lab he reported finding Greater White-fronted Geese in Main Ring Lake. Dave

Friday, October 23, 2020

Due to weather conditions and work commitments, Wally's birding efforts this week (Oct.19-Oct.23) were greatly diminished as were the birds. I'm sure nearing the end of fall migration also had something to do with the smaller number of birds. Birds recorded included: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Gray Catbird, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Brown Headed Cowbird, Common Grackle and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Dave

Friday, October 16, 2020

Wally reported that both waterfowl and sparrows were found in good numbers this week (Oct.12-Oct.16). Waterfowl found included Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard and Green-winged Teal. Sparrows found were Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. The bird of the week was a Lapland Longspur found on the path between A.E. Sea and Lake Law. Several shorebirds were found on the mud flats at the Sea of Evanescence including Killdeer, Pectoral Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs. Other birds of interest included Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle (3 adults), Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Tree Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Marsh Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee, Nashville Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Dave

Friday, October 9, 2020

According to Wally's weekly report warblers are now down to the typical late stragglers, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers. Meanwhile both waterfowl and sparrow migrations are picking up in both numbers and diversity. Waterfowl found included Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Green-winged Teal and Ring-necked Duck. Sparrows found included Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. Other interesting finds included Pied-billed Grebe, Chimney Swift, Sandhill Crane, Pectoral Sandpiper, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Merlin (Wally's favorite find of the week), Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Towhee, and Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Friday, October 2, 2020

Among the warblers found this week, Wally reported a continued dominance of Yellow-rumped Warblers. Others included Nashville Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler and Palm Warbler. He also reported large numbers of waterfowl. The new arrivals included Northern Shoveler and a nice dark adult Snow Goose (Blue Goose). The Snow Goose was first seen flying, then it landed near the Frontier Pub in the Village. Other waterfowl included Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal and, of course, Mallard. The first fall migrant sparrows were noticed this week. They included White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow. Other birds of interest found, mostly on Friday, were: Pied-billed Grebe, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Coot (good number of these), Sandhill Crane, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee and Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

Friday, September 25, 2020

Wally reported several warblers this past week including Tennessee Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Bay-breasted Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Although, his comment on finding "a large influx of Yellow-rumped Warblers on Friday", usually indicates a waning warbler migration. Still no shorebirds were found, not a surprise due to the lack of habitat. Other birds of note were: Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Sora (his highlight bird), Double Crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier (was patrolling Eola NE), Sharp-shinned Hawk (spotted chasing a songbird into a brush), Cooper's Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Bluebird, Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwing and Eastern Meadowlark. Dave

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