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

Winnebago Co. on Sunday morning

I joined Al Stokie and Bob Erickson on a morning circuit of Winnebago County this morning.  We started at Rock Cut SP at 0700 in the parking area about 100 yards up the road from the spillway parking lot.  Could not find Cerulean Warblers there (we did have a singing Chestnut-sided Warbler), but we did find 2 Ceruleans in the picnic ground on the south side of the dam in the Bur Oak opening there.  We then walked west on the Rock Cut trail and found an Acadian Flycatcher.  On the way out of the park on the main road going toward IL 173, a White-eyed Vireo was singing about half way between the nature preserve hardwood forest and the intersection for the campground. 

We could not locate the Bell’s Vireo that I found 10 days ago along the equestrian trail on the N side of Hart Road.

From Rock Cut, we drove to Sugar River FP and met Lee and Lynda Johnson.  We located a singing Yellow-throated Warbler, and heard another Acadian Flycatcher, but could not find a Yellow-crowned Night-heron. 

Several Grasshopper Sparrows were singing along Haas Road opposing the parking area for the Sugar River Alder FP, but no Lark Sparrows were heard or seen.

Finally, we ended up at Bloom School in Rockford around 10:15 a.m.  In one hour, we saw 2 adult Broad-winged Hawks, an adult Cooper’s Hawk, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, a TV, and an immature Red-shouldered Hawk (!).  Finally, after an hour, a male Mississippi Kite flew over.

Website Upgrade Update

I am in the process of upgrading the website/blog for NCIOS so things will look rather funny/different for a day or two (hopefully not longer and most likely shorter). There’s a high probability that your user password (for those who post) was reset and hopefully emailed to you automatically. You will have to update the password or if that doesn’t work I can manually issue a password and then you can change it.

Otherwise, you are free to post away as normal and I will be working on getting everything looking the way it should again (all the posts “should” be there but with export/import some could have been lost).

The main site of NCIOS (the non-blog portion) should be 100% good at this time.


Eddie Callaway, NCIOS web administrator.

report on Whooping Cranes at Nygren

The cranes were still present as of late afternoon today.

Dan and I recorded the bands on the 5 Whooping Cranes and reported them to the International Crane Foundation. Here is the info they sent back:

Thank you so much for contacting us about the 5 whooping cranes you observed and for recording all of the color bands on their legs.  Crane #1 is 29-08, Crane #2 is 12-07, Crane #3 is 8-05, Crane #4 is 1-04, and Crane #5 is 14-05.  This is an unusual grouping because these birds were not associating with each other prior to starting migration on Sunday. 

#’s 1-04 & 8-05 are a breeding pair, 1-04 is a 5 year old male, and 8-05 is a 4 year old female.  They spend the winter in TN and nested unsuccessfully for the second time this spring.  They started migration from the Necedah NWR on Sunday AM but not with the other birds. 

#’s 12-07 & 14-05 are a 2 and 4 year old male who only recently joined up when they both moved south from where they’d spent the spring and summer.  We didn’t know they were migrating on Sunday – just that they were no longer at their last known location but I’m guessing they actually did fly Sunday AM, otherwise I’m not sure how all these birds met up and ended up at the same place – even so it still seems pretty unlikely and yet pretty cool that these 5 all ended up together.  I think 12-07 & 14-05 both spent last winter at separate locations in FL – they’ll probably go back to FL but they’re not as locked in on a winter location as the pair mentioned above.

#29-08 is a 1 year old male – he learned how to migrate south last fall behind ultralight aircraft so this is his first fall migration on his own.  I would normally expect him to return to FL and to the area he spent last winter in the release pen but he may be influenced by these other birds that he’s traveling with so we’ll have to wait and see.  He started migration from near Necedah Sunday AM but wasn’t with the pair so somewhere along the way all 5 of these birds – probably originally in 3 separate groups met up in the air and all ended up at the same place.

It’s unclear to me from other reports we’ve gotten whether these birds are still there or if they’ve moved on.  If you visit this area again or hear of any reports of these or any whooping cranes please let me know.  Also please let me know if you have any questions about these birds, I’m happy to answer them or at least try.

Thanks again,
Sara Zimorski
Aviculturist/WCEP Tracking and Winter Management Team Co-chair

International Crane Foundation
E11376 Shady Lane Road/P.O. Box 447
Baraboo, WI 53913-0447 USA
608-356-9462 x154 / Fax: 608-356-9465
Visit our website!

Gull Frolic Update

URGENT NOTICE – Car Pooling for NCIOS February 21, 2009 Field Trip Canceled

Due to the Winter Storm Warning for Northern Illinois, effective 11 p.m. February 20 through 6 p.m. February 21, and the hazardous driving conditions that are anticipated, NCIOS CANNOT OFFER CAR POOLING TO THE ANNUAL GULL FROLIC at Winthrop Harbor. Therefore, we will NOT meet at 8 a.m. at Menards on Route 173.

However, THE GULL FROLIC IS STILL BEING HELD, for those who wish to attend individually.

Swarovski 80HD Spotting Scope for Sale

Today I got a message from Brian Leaf of Severson Dells which explained an unfortunate accident that occurred to Mary Kay Rubey, an excellent wildlife photographer from right here in Rockford.

Her message:

“I’m selling my spotting scope to pay some unexpected medical bills. It’s a Swarovski AT 80 HD with 20x-60x zoom angled eye-piece. If you know anyone who is interested, please let me know.”

Not wanting to post her phone number, you can call Brian Leaf at Severson Dells if you are interested and he can relay the information. His number: (815) 335-2915.

The scope with eyepiece retails new for around $2,830. Swarovski is a top-of-the-line optic company and it is terrible for Mary Kay Rubey to have been injured.

– Eddie

Kites still present

Wednesday at about two o’clock the kitelet was still present in the top of a tree in the schoolyard. It was fed a cicada and a praying mantis by one of the adults while I watched. I stopped in the school and talked to the front office staff. I offered to prepare a display panel on the kites with some photos, a range map and a couple of paragraphs about MKs in general and these MKs in particular. The staff thought that was a great idea. I’m going to put it together and it will go in the library which all students visit once a week. Never let a “teachable moment” slip by!