Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory

Headquarters at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

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Waterbird Watch

WGLBBO Spring 2018 Waterbird Watch Results

Top Ten Species and Total for All Species

Red-breasted Merganser - 32,331

Bonaparte's Gull - 15,301

Greater Scaup - 14,246

Herring Gull - 14,253

Common Tern - 13,266

Ring-billed Gull -12,351

Double-crested Cormorant - 5,967

Long-tailed Duck - 5,548

Lesser Scaup - 5,037

Common Loon - 4,240

Total for all species - 151,874
























































































































































FALL 2017 WATERBIRD WATCH UPDATE

by William P. Mueller

Calvin Brennan has finished his Fall 2017 season as Waterbird Watch technician.

Here are the top ten species tallied at the Waterbird Watch. The season period ran from September 1 to December 5. We stayed at the Watch site longer this fall, due to the reasons mentioned below.

Top Ten Species:

  • Red-breasted Merganser – 157,711
  • Ring-billed Gull – 17,541
  • Double-crested Cormorant – 7,788
  • Herring Gull – 7,007
  • Mallard – 2,303
  • Long-tailed Duck – 1,882
  • Greater Scaup – 2,258
  • Lesser Scaup – 1,179
  • Common Loon – 977

Total of all individuals of all species: 219,747

Total species: 172. This number includes some rare species.  Especially noteworthy species were Harlequin Duck, Neotropic Cormorant, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Arctic Tern.

The total is the highest out of the past 7 seasons.

Calvin return to start the Spring season on March 1.

Please visit Calvin at the WGLBBO blind just south of the rocky point on the shoreline (south of the main beach). He will be there in spring for six hours per day, Monday through Saturday, starting at dawn.

 

Changing Migration Timing for Diving Waterfowl

Diving ducks are migrating later, reflecting frequently-delayed freeze-up in areas to the north of us here in Southeast Wisconsin.

Temperatures are staying relatively mild well into late November, with the result that species such as Greater Scaup do not appear in large numbers until December, weeks later than formerly. 

More reading on this topic:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781852/

http://www.ducks.org/conservation/public-policy/climate-change-and-waterfowl/how-climate-change-affects-waterfowl-flyway-impacts

FALL 2017 WATERBIRD WATCH UPDATES

The Waterbird Watch got started with a bang the first week of September with sightings of both a Parasitic Jaeger and a Neotropic Cormorant. Neotropic Cormorants are seldom seen beyond their northernmost range of Texas and, occasionally, the Great Plains. More recently, WGLBBO technician Calvin Brennan spotted an Arctic Tern, another bird seldom seen in this area.

A cool fact: "In Mexico, Neotropic Cormorants reportedly often fish cooperatively, forming a line across swift-flowing streams and striking the surface with their wings, causing fish to flee, whereupon the cormorants dive and pursue them." www.allaboutbirds.org

Calvin will continue conducting daily counts at the watch site at Harrington Beach State Park through December 5. A wonderful new development for this fall was the construction of a permanent blind for the Watch, which was installed by the Harrington Beach State Park staff. This brings our operation to yet another milestone.

Please visit Calvin at the WGLBBO blind just south of the rocky point on the shoreline (south of the main beach). He will be there this fall for six hours per day, Monday through Saturday, starting at dawn.

Final results of the 2017 fall Waterbird Watch will be shared in our January/February newsletter, as well as why unusual migrants are putting in a more frequent appearance in our area.

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