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Cofrin Center for Biodiversity

Point au Sable Bird Survey: May 17, 2010 by Erin Gnass

With bright sunshine, nearly 60 degrees in temperature, and northerly winds over the weekend, we found many new species and the most total species observed for the season in one morning-a total of 59 species! We observed approximately a dozen Common Goldeneyes performing mating rituals off shore near a few American White Pelicans. A dozen Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, Mallard Ducks, and screeching Caspian Terns passed along shore and overhead through the morning. Spotted Sandpipers and Sandhill Cranes also continue to use the Point. Despite many of the interesting species we observed today, we found a few broken American Robin egg shells, which we have found a few times around the Point. Sadly, the eggs might have blown out of different pair’s nests during some intense wind or rain storms that we have had this April and May.

Of the newest arrivals were Red-eyed Vireos, Yellow-throated Vireos, Least Flycatchers, and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers! While I stumbled upon a Northern Waterthrush out in the open, Aaron spotted our season’s first Black-billed Cuckoo high in an aspen tree, laying fairly still along a branch. We later found it lower in a shrub, perhaps resting after arriving to the Point overnight. And one short of our record of total warbler species observed in one day for the season, we observed 13 total warbler species this morning, including Northern Waterthrush, Tennessee, Golden-winged, Magnolia, American Redstart, Palm, Blackburnian, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat, Black-and-white, Ovenbird, and Nashville Warblers. We continue to observe Warbling Vireos, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Swamp Sparrows, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, House Wrens, Bald Eagles, Baltimore Orioles, Song Sparrows, and many more interesting and magnificent species of birds.

Observers:  Erin Gnass and Aaron Groves (Thank you very much, Aaron, for accompanying and helping me this spring season and best of luck with your Cofrin student research summer field work!)