Birdathon Update and more

Greetings from the Indiana Dunes.  It’s been a long week or so since we last provided an update.  Truth be told, it’s the sad fact for so many blogs to wither away.  Fortunately, we’ve been able to capture and report on the migration in the dunes for four years now.  In the reality that has been the last two weeks, we have counted thousands of birds, hosted a very successful bird festival for the very first time, trained our staff for the upcoming season, dazzled in amazing warblers visiting the park, the nature center, and it’s feeders.  It’s now nearly 10 days since the festival ended and we’re now getting a chance to update everyone.

The birds continue to fly by the tower.  Brendan has logged many thousand neotropic migrants in the past week. Obviously todays cooler weather has put a damper on it, but there should be still some late movement coming through in the next week.  These include flycatchers, waxwings, late warblers, cuckoos, and some shorebirds. We’ll give an update soon on where we stand for the year.

In the cooler weather, both of the last two weekends, we’ve seen a multitude of warblers visiting the park feeders.  The bird bath and nearby shrubs have played host to many great species that can be seen from the comfort of the viewing bench.  Here’s a few below…. can you name them all!?  First 3 to name them gets a Dunes Birding Festival Bumper Sticker and Magnet!

bird6 bird1 bird2 bird3 bird4 bird5

Lastly, the Dunes birdathon just occurred this past weekend.  And.. what an interesting day for a birdathon.  An absolutely interesting day greeted Alexandra Forsythe, Matt Kalwasinski, Penny Starin, Kimbelry Ehn, and myself to tour the Lake Michigan Lakeshore searching for every bird we could find.  Despite concerns about hot weather and rain showers, we avoided nearly all of it, and only had a few sprinkles throughout the day.  The temperatures stayed low enough to keep bird activity going all day long.  We couldn’t quite make our new lofty goal of 170, but came close.  As luck would have it, we tied last year’s record of 165 species.  The day began with a peenting woodcock at Cowle’s Bog and ended after dark at the Gary Bald Eagle nest… just like last year.

We raised some funds for bird conservation and took the rare chance to be outside in nature for over 18 hours in a row! Despite all this, it’s amazing how many common birds you can miss. Our biggest misses this year… Belted Kingfisher, Barred Owl, and Veery!  Below is our full list for the day if you’re interested.  If you pledged, you’ll be getting all of this in the mail later in the week.

2015 Indiana Dunes Birdathon Results

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Northern Bobwhite
Ring-necked Pheasant
Wild Turkey
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Great-Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Sandhill Crane
American Coot
Common Gallinule
Semi-palmated Plover
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper
Semi-palmated Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
American Woodcock
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Common Tern
Forster’s Tern
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Monk Parakeet
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Screech Owl
Common Nighthawk
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Wood Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great-crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Bell’s Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Carolina Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Canada Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Henslow’s Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Eastern Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

165 species
Start Time: 2:35am
End Time: 8:25pm
Total Birding: 17 hours, 50 minutes


2 thoughts on “Birdathon Update and more

  1. I didnt get a notice about the bird-a-thon. I normally pledge to it.  Can you give me an address to send a donation?Jeannine Calderon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s