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July, 2021 Bird Sightings at Fermilab

Friday, July 30, 2021

Today's highlight was finding a second brood of Purple Martins in the Dusaf Martin House. In addition, there were 5 juveniles (all on the house together several times) and 2 pairs of adults (mostly making feeding runs) buzzing the area. Only 5 of the 11 Osprey were found this morning, one of which was harassing an immature Bald Eagle over Main Ring Lake. The grasslands were noticeably quieter this week with Sedge Wrens and Dickcissels most evident, plus a couple of Henslow's Sparrows. Other good finds were Sandhill Cranes (heard near Dusaf), a Spotted Sandpiper (in a drawn down moat, about the only shorebird habitat in the Lab), Turkey Vultures (2), Green Herons (2), an American Kestrel (Bison pasture), a House Wren (carrying food) and Cedar Waxwings (Sparrow Hedge). Dave

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Once again, the morning turned out to be all about Ospreys. A quick stop at Nest 2, on the east side of the Lab, just produced its lone juvenile feeding on a fish. After several minutes it flew off with neither adult found in the area. After a long walk in the Sparrow Hedge/Lakes Region, I wanted to check out the other Osprey Nests on the west side of the Lab. To my surprise I found six Osprey in the immediate vicinity of Nest 1. Upon Nest 1 was an adult, the next power pole contained two juveniles (I assume from Nest 1), the third pole contained one adult and one juvenile (I'm assuming from Nest 3) and finally several poles further down were a third adult (assumed to be from Nest 1). Rushing to the nearby Nest 3, I found the remaining adult and juvenile (from Nest 3) for a total of eight westside Ospreys. What I find most interesting is the apparent mingling between these two Osprey families. Upon leaving the Lab, at the East entrance, I stopped again at Nest 2. Now there were both adults and the lone juvenile, which gave a grand total of all 11 of the 2021 Fermi Ospreys. Some of the other birds of note for the morning were: Wood Ducks, Caspian Terns (at least 3), a Green Heron, Willow Flycatchers (several singing), Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Kingbirds, Bell's Vireos (2-appeared to be a pair), Purple Martins (still 2 at Dusaf Pond), Sedge Wrens, Marsh Wrens, a Brown Thrasher, Henslow's Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlark, Baltimore Orioles (several juveniles), a Yellow Warbler, Indigo Buntings and Dickcissels. Wally, while working a late assignment in the Lab on July 19th and 20th, reported Nighthawks foraging the skies on both evenings. Dave

Friday, July 16, 2021

Today I surveyed the status of the Osprey for a final count for the 2021 season. By next week it may be hard to determine their status as fledging has begun. Numbers are the same as last week: Nest 1 had 2 juveniles (1 fledged to nearby pole), Nest 2 had 1 juvenile (on edge of nest) and Nest 3 had 2 juveniles (1 fledged to nearby pole). This meant that the total Osprey juveniles produced for 2021 was 5, for a total of 56 for the 13 years of Osprey nesting in the Lab. The remainder of the morning was spent birding several areas around the Lab. The expected grassland birds were found were Sedge Wrens, Field Sparrows, Henslow's Sparrows (3), Eastern Meadowlarks and Dickcissels. Other highlights included Wood Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes, Yellow-billed Cuckoos (2, Sparrow Hedge and edge of Big Woods), Caspian Terns (2-again), Green Herons (2), Northern Flickers, Willow Flycatchers, a Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Purple Martins, Marsh Wrens, Cedar Waxwings and Indigo Buntings. Dave

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Wally's list of birds found during the 2nd week of July (9-16) included these highlights: Wood Duck, Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Cooper's Hawk, Great Horned Owl , Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Towhee , Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Yellow Warbler and Dickcissel. Dave

Thursday, July 8, 2021

A Post-Breeding survey showed these trends (only counting birds at survey points Jun 22 to Jul 8): Sedge Wrens (up from 15 to 22), Henslow's Sparrows (up from 8 to 11), Bobolink (from 0 to 1), Eastern Meadowlarks (down from 7 to 3) and Dickcissels (down from 23 to 11). Other interesting breeding notes included spotting a family of 3 Cooper's Hawks (2-Ad and 1-Juv) in and around the Lake Law Pines. Also, found was an Eastern Kingbird nest with both parents active in the area. Other interesting birds found included: a Pied-billed Grebe, Caspian Terns(2), a Green Heron, Osprey (unfortunately Nest 2 now had only 1 juvenile while both Nest 1 and Nest 3 still had 2 juveniles), a Willow Flycatcher, Bell's Vireo, Purple Martins (still 5 around Dusaf Pond), Sedge Wrens (4 additional), Marsh Wrens (14), a Brown Thrasher, Eastern Bluebirds (3), a Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrows (5), Henslow's Sparrows (2 additional), Bobolink (1 additional), Eastern Meadowlark (3-additional) and Dickcissel (4 additional). Donna mentioned seeing 2 Sandhill Cranes yesterday, July 7th. Dave

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Wally's first week of July (1-8) was highlighted by 2 great raptors. First was a Barred Owl heard in the Big Woods followed by another sighting of one of the Peregrine Falcons at Wilson Hall. His list of other notable birds included Wood Duck, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Green Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, American Kestrel, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, Yellow Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Dickcissel. Dave