Looking back on the spring of 2020.

Sadly, it is once again time to put an end to the Longshore Flight Survey for the season.  There will still be great birding opportunities in the Indiana Dunes area year-round though.  First we’ll start with the last few days.

45-55 species has been the typical count for the last few days.  The most numerous migrant, Cedar Waxwings, have consistently had counts in the hundreds in the last few days.  Today’s was the highest with 517.  A few other species that still appear to be migrating by the tower include: Double-crested Cormorant, Blue Jay, Chimney Swift, Red-headed & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, American Goldfinch, Eastern Kingbird, and a few others.  One highlight from today was a sub-adult Bald Eagle that flew east along the lakeshore.

Here are the lists of birds counted from the past few days…

5/30/2020                           5/31/2020                     6/1/2020


Now we can take a look back at this entire spring, just like this House Finch.


In the spring of 2020, 210 species were found by the tower.  Using at least my own personal data, the total number of birds I counted here this season was 191,736.

Let’s break this down by month.

# of species      # of individuals (my personal count)

March                  101                  117,804

April                     136                  38,157

May                      167                   34,873

June 1st               55                      902

This spring, there were two species found at the tower that have never been found here before.  They were Northern Shrike on 3/24 & Cattle Egret on 5/15.

About 62 species either broke or tied their single day high count records for the tower this spring.

A minimum of two Western Kingbirds flew by the tower this spring, one on 5/18, & one on 5/23.  After a longer than normal streak of about 4 years with no sightings of White-winged Dove, 2 flew by the tower on 5/24.  On 5/2, 8 Smith’s Longspurs flew by the tower; this doubled the previous high count, and they had not been seen here since 3 years prior.  Easily the greatest highlight of 2020 was Common Raven.  I had one fly by the tower on 3/13/2019, this was the first confirmed Raven in Indiana since 1953.  In 2020, there were 6 days that either one or a pair of Ravens flew by the tower between mid-March & mid-April.

Those are the best highlights I can recall this year.  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next year!

3 thoughts on “Looking back on the spring of 2020.

  1. Thanks, Kyle, for another great year of watching and reporting on the birds. I look forward to your posts and learn so much each time. I hope the rest of 2020 is safe, happy and eventful for you wherever your travels take you next!

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