Website Update in Progress . . .

A message from Eddie Callaway, the webmaster (7/29/14):

I am currently working on editing the NCIOS website to make it possible for administrators to update the site as needed. This should hopefully make it easier for appointed users to change info in the “calendar of events” and what is displayed on the homepage.

Some things might be broken and I am open to suggestions for improvements. I plan on attending the September meeting and we can discuss who needs access to make site changes and get that squared away.

Eddie Callaway

Snowy Owls Still Hanging Around House

As of Sunday we are still getting periodic visits of Snowy Owls by (and on) our house outside Genoa. There are at least two; I believe one to be an immature male and the other an immature female.

Combined, my wife and I have spotted one or the other or both nearly a dozen times now, often on the nastiest of days which there have been many! Sunday produced high winds.

Here is a video I shot from the garage window and then from the dining room window. The owls have been using the roof as a hunting perch but move around a lot.

If the video embed doesn’t work, go here to see video.

Email me if you want directions (I don’t really want to post my address on here).

Rock Cut CBC Results (12/26/12)

Only 9 counters braved the chilly, overcast weather which we saw light flurries and afternoon sun.

We found 5,474 individual birds of 46 species with 3 more count week species. Some highlights included 2 Red Crossbills, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, a lone Great Blue Heron, Lapland Longspur, and Hermit Thrush plus a flock of 100 Sandhill Cranes. A big miss was American Robin. We also had our highest year yet of Horned Larks despite the lack of snow.

This was the 5th count for ILRC and our average species total is a little over 44.

American Black Duck 1
American Coot 3
American Crow 76
American Goldfinch 39
American Kestrel 3
American Tree Sparrow 79
Barred Owl 2
Black-capped Chickadee 61
Blue Jay 17
Brown Creeper 2
Canada Goose 3535
Cedar Waxwing 25
Common Goldeneye 5
Cooper’s Hawk 2
Dark-eyed Junco 174
Downy Woodpecker 25
Eastern Bluebird 4
European Starling 554
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Great Blue Heron 1
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Hermit Thrush 1
Herring Gull 2
Horned Lark 87
House Finch 59
House Sparrow 256
Lapland Longspur 1
Lesser Scaup 3
Mallard 125
Mourning Dove 47
Northern Cardinal 60
Northern Flicker 2
Northern Harrier 1
Nothern Shrike 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Pine Siskin 6
Red Crossbill 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 14
Red-tailed Hawk 7
Ring-billed Gull 17
Rock Dove 13
Sandhill Crane 100
Song Sparrow 1
Tufted Titmouse 5
White-breasted Nut. 15
Wild Turkey 35

Count Week
Belted Kingfisher
Brown-headed Cowbird

-Eddie Callaway

Upland Sandpiper Sighting

I’m relaying this sighting from Fred Stillema:

On Friday, July 7 Hilda and I were traveling along Highway 24 in the vicinity of Fairbury when I spotted an Upland Sandpiper sitting on a fencepost next to a soybean field.

The temperature was about 105 degrees, the highway was busy, but we turned around, pulled off the road and got a picture. When I got out of the car to try and get a lower camera angle the bird flew, called, and disappeared. So I got back in the car and we turned around and slowly approached the same spot and the bird was back. There were soybeans on both sides of the road, but the one field had a wide, grassy waterway.

If this bird was on territory the chicks may have been in the grass, or perhaps trying to find some shade under the soybeans. I had not seen an “Uppy” in at least 20 years and thought I would share it.

Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count (112) Final Results

Here are the results from the Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count [12/28/11] (CBC #112). I was delayed tallying them do to the CBC website being upgraded.

The big highlights were a GOLDEN EAGLE and a ROSS’S GOOSE. We also tallied 7 more species than our high year (the first year of the count). Notable misses were the “roadside snow birds”: Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, and Horned Larks because we had no snow!

Thanks to all that participated!

No. Species
1 American Black Duck 2
2 American Coot 2
3 American Crow 111
4 American Goldfinch 58
5 American Kestrel 4
6 American Robin 69
7 American Tree Sparrow 135
8 Bald Eagle 5
9 Barred Owl 2
10 Belted Kingfisher 3
11 Black-capped Chickadee 247
12 Blue Jay 38
13 Brown Creeper 20
14 Bufflehead 2
15 Cackling Goose 101
16 Canada Goose 5712
17 Canvasback 1
18 Cedar Waxwing 346
19 Common Goldeneye 8
20 Cooper’s Hawk 1
21 Dark-eyed Junco 237
22 Downy Woodpecker 76
23 Eastern Bluebird 13
24 European Starling 403
25 Golden Eagle 1
26 Great Blue Heron 1
27 Great Horned Owl 4
28 Hairy Woodpecker 9
29 Hermit Thrush 3
30 Herring Gull 68
31 House Finch 64
32 House Sparrow 151
33 Mallard 260
34 Mourning Dove 46
35 Northern Cardinal 129
36 Northern Flicker 16
37 Northern Shrike 2
38 Pileated Woodpecker 1
39 Pine Siskin 3
40 Purple Finch 1
41 Red-bellied Woodpecker 35
42 Red-breasted Nuthatch 9
43 Red-tailed Hawk 17
44 Ring-billed Gull 17
45 Ring-necked Pheasant 1
46 Rock Pigeon 109
47 Ross’s Goose 1
48 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
49 Song Sparrow 1
50 Tufted Titmouse 9
51 White-breasted Nuthatch 56
52 Wild Turkey 26
53 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
54 Yellow-rumped Warbler 19
CW Lesser Black-backed Gull

Compiled by Eddie Callaway

Proposed Pine Tree Removal in Area Forest Preserves

I got a message from Tom Hartley, Director of Land & Development for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District. He is seeking community input especially from NCIOS and other birders about the impact this may have on bird habitat.

The links below are of the areas being proposed in three forest preserves [each is a PDF sized around 600KB]:

Pecatonica River
Roland Olson

Please direct all opinions on this matter to:

Tom Hartley

And please share this info with anyone you think knows these areas in the birds found there.

Eddie Callaway

Deer Run Field Trip Recap – 10/16/2010

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 I led a field trip to Deer Run Forest Preserve. We had 15 participants and spent about 3 1/2 hours hiking. We had quite a few good birds including a flyover Bald Eagle and a flock of around 10 Rusty Blackbirds. The Rusties were lifers for several.

Sparrows were plentiful with White-throated, White-crowned, Song, Swamp, Field, Chipping, and Vesper (which was also a lifer for some). We also observed a flock of Eastern Bluebirds for a long time.

Total species: 43

Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed the beautiful weather and wonderful birds. If you missed out, Deer Run is an excellent place to hike even if the birds are not plentiful.

Moody Road Merlin

Sunday morning Tim and I were looking for shorebirds on Moody Road (barely any water and only a lone Great Blue Heron). But, at the end of the road heading east we spotted a falcon harassing crows. We pursued the bird and I got this photograph of what we determined to be a Merlin. (Prairie subspecies??) [Side note: look at the bloodied feathers near the feet!]


We also checked Sugar River and found a small flock of Ovenbirds (6+) all chattering away plus a Blue-winged Warbler. We checked Oliver Road and found one American Golden Plover amongst Killdeer and Canada Geese.