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December, 2021 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Friday, December 31, 2021

Wally said he had no real exciting highlight birds for this last week of the year. His best were a Swamp Sparrow and an Eastern Bluebird. Interestingly, he noticed many American Tree Sparrows in some locations. He stated they were mainly sitting along the edges of the Kirk Road prairies and seemed to be feeding on Indian grass seeds. Other interesting birds for the week were Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Northern Harrier and American Kestrel. Dave

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Since the Lab is still closed down to all but employees and selected workers, the only birders allowed to conduct this year's Christmas Bird Count were Wally and Donna, both employees of the Lab. With only two birders covering the entire Lab, numbers were understandably below recent averages. The species count was 38 but included some very nice birds. Highlight water birds included Common Goldeneye (9), Hooded Merganser (7), Common Merganser (84), Sandhill Crane (140) and Great Blue Heron (1). Raptors were well represented by Northern Harrier (3), Bald Eagle (2), Red-tailed Hawk (10), Great Horned Owl (3), Short-eared Owl (1) and American Kestrel (2). Sparrows found were American Tree Sparrow (20), Dark-eyed Junco (89), White-throated Sparrow (4) and Swamp Sparrow (1). Other interesting highlights of the day included Belted Kingfisher (1), Hairy Woodpecker (1), Northern Flicker (9), Brown Creeper (1), Eastern Bluebird (5), Cedar Waxwing (1) and Yellow-rumped Warbler (4). Also found during the week but outside the count period was a Cooper's Hawk. Dave