Sighting archives 2000-2004


December 2000:

Dec 29:  At least five White-throated Sparrows are wintering on campus, plus another two to four in the Craves yeard.

Dec 27:  Eight Yellow-rumped Warblers was a good flock to find on campus, especially since most of the fruit in the area has been stripped.  At least three Song Sparrows, a Brown Creeper and Carolina Wren were also found; two Carolina Wrens are wintering in the Craves yard in east Dearborn.

Dec 20:  A Brown Thrasher in the Craves yard is only the second winter record for Dearborn.  A Northern Flicker was also banded there today.  One White-throated Sparrow and 3 Song Sparrows were on campus; at least 4 white-throats have been at the Craves feeder in the last couple weeks, along with a couple of Song Sparrows.

Dec 6:  There is a Cooper’s Hawk wintering in east Dearborn, and another on campus.

Dec 5:  A lone Canvasback was found at the Ford Rouge Plant boat slip today, a bit early.

Dec 3:  Two Great Horned Owls were heard convering on campus.

Dec 1:  A late Common Grackle was in east Dearborn today.

October  2000:

Oct 31:  A Pine Siskin was heard today.

Oct 30:  An Ovenbird hanging out with some White-throated Sparrows was a new late date.

Oct 29:  Captured our first American Tree Sparrow today.

Oct 25:  A Red-breasted Merganser at Greenfield Village today was the first Dearborn record in 5 years.  American Woodcocks have been heard every morning on campus for the last week.  An Orange-crowned Warbler banded today was a new late date.  Fox Sparrows are increasing in number.  We have also seen a marked increase in cardinals lately; today we banded a male that was rather startling colored.

Oct 22:  Nice variety of birds today, but heavy on the kinglets and Hermit Thrushes.  A single Swainson’s Thrush was getting late.  Our 2nd Eastern Phoebe and Winter Wren of the season were nice to see.  An adult Bald Eagle was seen near Oakwood and the Southfield Fwy.  We recently banded a White-throated Sparrow with orange rather than yellow lores.

Oct 19:  A House Wren banded today ties the late date.  Two Purple Finches were the first for fall.

Oct 18:  A young Clay-colored Sparrow was the highlight of a busy day; this is only the second we have banded.  After a week’s lull, we caught 3 more Orange-crowed Warblers.

Oct 16:  A Common Nighthawk in west Dearborn is a new late date.  Our first Fox Sparrow was netted today, along with a late Indigo Bunting.  Another saw-whet owl was banded on Saturday night.

Oct 14:  Had our first two Northern Saw-whet Owls banded last night.  For more information on this banding program, see the link on the front page of the web site.  We’re still catching Nashville Warblers, and today we also had an Eastern Phoebe.  A House Wren at Greenfield Village is getting late.

Oct 11:  A Chestnut-sided Warbler banded today was a new late date.

Oct 10:  Lots of Golden-crowned Kinglets and various sparrows around.  Today was our first day banding over 10 White-throated Sparrows.  We also had one of the most popular birds amongst the banders, a Red-breasted Nuthatch. Nicest bird yesterday was a beautiful Blue-headed Vireo.

Oct 8:  It’s robin time, but when we aren’t battling them we are still getting Orange-crowned, Palm, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Today we had an unusual Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a juvenile bird with only a few orange crown feathers.

Oct 3:  We had a delivery overnight, consisting mainly of lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers (we banded 14), Palm Warblers, and Song Sparrows.  Several other sparrow species were also banded today, for a total of 60 birds, 30 of which were warblers.

Oct 2:  The season’s first Orange-crowned Warblers arrived today, along with a late Indigo Bunting, and a very late, very dull Cape May Warbler.

News from Holiday Beach in Ontario is that the Sharp-shinned Hawk we netted yesterday was indeed one of their birds banded earlier this fall!  I’ll pass on the exact date when I get the info.

Oct 1:  Dark-eyed Junoes arrived several days ago, but we’ve yet to catch any.  The first Hermit Thrushes of the season were banded today.  The highlight of the morning banding was a juvenile female Sharp-shinned Hawk that wore someone else’s band!  As soon as we track it down, we’ll post the information.

September 2000:

Sept 28:  A long-awaited flush of sparrows came our way today, modest in number but good variety: Our first Lincoln’s, Field, and White-crowned Sparrows were banded.  We also had 2 species we rarely band: Northern Parula and Winter Wren.

Sept 26:  Our first Yellow-rumped Warbler was banded today, along with a few White-throated Sparrows (at last), a small group of Ovenbirds, and 40-odd other birds of the usual suspects.  A male Northern Harrier flew over campus.

Sept 25:  We’ve not had the rush of birds being found further east, but there is still variety around (except those sparrows!).  Our first Golden-crowned Kinglets were in the Craves yard Sep 23.

Sept 22:  Finally snagged our first White-throated Sparrow, but the cold front did not produce the push of expected migrants, half of today’s birds were recaptures.  We did catch a Cape May Warbler, for our bird of the day.

Sept 20:  Things have slowed down a bit lately, but we heard our first Red-breasted Nuthatches on 18 Sept. and finally started catching overdue Gray-cheeked Thrushes on 19 Sept.  Migrant sparrows of any type are still conspicuously absent.

Sept 17:  The wind made netting difficult, but we had a nice treat today with a Golden-winged Warbler, rare in fall and our latest date for this species.  A Ruby-crowned Kinglet tied its early fall arrival date.

Sept 14:  Another great day before the rain began.  Still many warblers, with continued strong showings from Blackpoll and Nashville, and increased numbers of Tennesee today.  Sparrows have yet to really put in an appearance, and today we had our first migrant Swamp Sparrow.

Sept 13:  The cool front brought in a boatload of birds, with our first Connecticut Warbler banded today.  Other new arrivals were Palm Warbler, Northern Waterthush, and Common Yellowthroat.  Swainson’s Thrushes were abundant, and Nashville and Blackpoll Warblers were the most frequently banded.

Sept 11:  Yesterday we banded several Ovenbirds, and also our first Blackpoll Warbler.  Today we had a Black-throated Green Warbler…and there were many warblers around despite the drizzle.

September 7:  Yesterday we had our first big influx of warblers, including several Black-throated Blues, and a our first fall Philadelphia Vireo. Today a Mourning Warbler was banded.

September 5:  A Bobolink was in the Organic Garden, an unusual find. A Common Buckeye butterfly, a southern vagrant, was also observed.

August 2000:

29 August:  The season’s first Canada and Nashville Warblers were banded today.

28 August:  A Bay-breasted Warbler was banded today.  Green Darner dragonflies are on the move.

27 August:  Chestnut-sided, Wilson’s, and Blackburnian Warblers were in the Craves yard today.  The first noticeable movement of Common Nighthawks began at dusk.

24 August:  A Swainson’s Thrush was in the banding area today.

22 August:  The first fall Black-and White Warbler was banded today.

21 August:  The first fall Magnolia Warbler was banded today.

20 August:  The first fall American Redstart was in the Greenfield/Michigan Avenue area today, and a Northern Harrier was seen in west Dearborn.

August 16:  A (that?) Tennessee Warbler was banded today along with a Least Flycatcher, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was seen (we have very few fall records).

August 14:  Banding began today, and a Tennessee Warbler was seen.

August 11:  A Cooper’s Hawk seen near Rotunda and Greenfield is one of only a few summer records.

July 2000:

July 13:  We’ve received word that an adult female Indigo Bunting banded by RRBO on 27 May 1999 was found dead on 30 May 2000 in Nobleton, Ontario, which is just northwest of Toronto.  This is our second recovery of this species.  One might suspect that buntings should probably be in the vicinity of their nesting grounds so late in spring, so it might look like this bunting isn’t exhibiting much site fidelity.  A similar curious pattern can be seen with the other recovery, a male we banded on 13 May 1995 which was found dead in Bowling Green, OH on 6 June 1997.  It seems likely he must have nested in southern Michigan in 1995, yet was south of here in nesting season 1997.  Just a couple examples of the unexpected pieces of information learned from banding!

July 6:  A Brown Creeper was seen again in the same area where one or two have been found through at least early June.  It is likely they nested here again this year.

July 5:  Summer has been slightly soggy and uneventful.  The usual breeding birds are being found, and include suspected nesting by 3 pairs of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers.  American Woodcock are still being flushed in the banding area.  Four pairs of Wood Thrush have completed their first nesting.  Two pair were successful (one fledged one chick, the other fledged four) and are both on their second nests (two chicks in one nest, two eggs in the other).  The other pair both failed at their first nesting.  Of those, one pair now has three chicks (the male has disappeared and the female is raising them alone), and the other pair failed in their second attempt and is now on round three.

May 2000:

May 29:  Migration is really winding down.  In Sunday’s rain, only 33 species were recorded on campus, but later in the afternoon Fred McDonald found 2 singing male Orchard Orioles along the Rouge channel, both roughly between Southfield and Michigan Ave.  One was a second-year male (bander’s lingo meaning born last year, although birders often refer to this age as first-year) the other an after second-year male.  It’s interesting to note that Orchard Orioles were farily common summer residents around the turn of the century in this area.  Their declines over the last few decades is a bit of a mystery.  They nested regularly near the Henry Ford estate until a few years ago, one of the last really reliable places in the metro area to find them (they now seem most reliable at Crosswinds Marsh).  This year has seen an increase in the number of sightings in the region.

Today only a few migrants were around: Magnolia and Blackpoll Warblers, American Redstart, and Swainson’s Thrush.  However, we confirmed the presence of two Red-headed Woodpeckers in the swampy area along the Rouge, west of the UM-D/Henry Ford Community College border.  It’s perfect nesting habitat and at least one has been present for weeks.  This could be the first nesting on campus since the 1970s when they were bullied out by Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

May 24:  The season’s first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was found today.

May 20:  We banded a second-year male Orchard Oriole that had been singing near the Organic Garden (which borders Henry Ford Community College).  A Connecticut Warbler sang persistently in the “usual” place, along the edge of the meadow with the shagbark hickory in it (north of the Rose Garden on the way to Fairlane Lake).  Jim Fowler reported one from Greenfield Village as well.  An observer reported a possible Summer Tanager along Fairlane Drive near the Rose Garden gate.  And I watched a Red-tailed Hawk eat a banded American Woodcock!  He flew off with most of the bird, including the band.  Yesterday, Jerry Sadowski heard a singing Kentucky Warbler west of Fairlane Lake in the rain.

May 19:  We’ve been flooded and rained out banding the last couple days, but Jim Fowler reports a male Hooded Warbler at Greenfield Village today.

May 16:  The Prothonotary Warbler has hung around through today, either near the Pony Barn/banding station, or in the Rose Garden by the stone gazebo.

May 13:  High winds and the passage of a cold front kept numbers down today.  We did band a beautiful male Prothonotary Warbler today, an RRBO first after some near-misses in the past.  Also interesting were a female Hooded Merganser on the Rouge River (she’s been present for weeks) along with an American Coot.

May 11:  Today we recorded 22 warbler species, the most interesting being a “Brewster’s” Warbler along the meadow near the lake, the latest arrival being Wilson’s Warbler.  This afternoon, an Orchard Oriole was along the edge of the woods along Fairlane Drive between the Ford estate and the banding station.  So the good variety continues, although numbers have not yet reached a peak.  We did have our best banding day so far with 70 birds of 25 species.

May 10:  A Worm-eating Warbler was reported in the drizzle this morning by Fairlane Lake, one of 20 species of warbler we recorded without a regular survey before it started to rain.  We also banded our spring first Mourning Warbler, and an Osprey and a Philadelphia Vireo were also found.  In the evening, our first Common Nighthawks arrived.

May 8:  A Kentucky Warbler, found yesterday, is still on campus.  Yesterday it was on either side of the Great Meadow (between the Estate and Fairlane Lake), most reliable about 3/4 of the way to the lake on the east side.  This morning it was just past the north end of Fairlane Lake. Blackpoll Warblers in west Dearborn were new arrivals yesterday.  Today it was Gray-cheeked Thrush.  The Red-headed Woodpecker was also still present.  A Pine Siskin was found at a Dearborn feeder.

May 6:  Today we had 71 species; 20 were warblers.  Highlights were Black-billed Cuckoo (new early date), Red-headed Woodpecker (calling loudly and checking out dead snags in the swamp, it would be great if they would nest), and Cerulean Warbler, also down in the swamp. Warblers were:  GOLDEN-WINGED (1st of spring), TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW, CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, CAPE MAY (1st of spring),  BLACK-THROATED BLUE, YELLOW-RUMPED (still numerous), BLACK-THROATED GREEN,  BLACKBURNIAN, PALM, BAY-BREASTED (1st of spring), CERULEAN, BLACK-AND-WHITE, AMERICAN REDSTART (1st of spring), OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.

5 May:  73 species were recorded today, 18 of which were warblers.  Highlights were 2 Cerulean Warblers and a White-eyed Vireo.  We also had our first spring record for Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Canada Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Red-eyed Vireo.

4 May:  AnEastern Kingbird was our only new arrival today.

3 May:  The first spring Wood Thrush and Gray Catbirds were singing away today.  An Indigo Bunting was a day earlier than our previous early record.  A female Hooded Merganser on the Rouge River was a late date for Dearborn.  A Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Greenfield Village was the season’s first.

2 May:  New arrivals on campus today were Lincoln’s Sparrow,  Warbling Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, and Ovenbird.  At Snow Woods in west Dearborn new arrivals included Eastern Wood-Pewee, Swainson’s Thrush, Veery, and Chestnut-sided Warbler.

1 May:  Lots of White-crowned Sparrows today, both in the nets and in the bush, along with a good influx of White-throats.  We also banded a Least Flycatcher, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush.  Other new arrivals seen were Black-and-white Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, and Great Crested Flycatcher.  A Blue-winged Warbler was at Greenfield Village.

April 2000:

29 April — Some migrants finally arrived today.  At Snow Woods (a woodlot in Dearborn owned by Ford Motor Company and posted no trespassing) there were dozens of Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and some Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.  A Tennessee Warbler was on campus.

27 April — Swamp Sparrows finally show their little chestnut wings today.  Cliff Swallows have returned to underneath the Rouge River overpasses.

26 April — The first Palm Warbler of spring was seen today.

24 April — Another pair of Green-winged Teal were found on the Rouge River channel.  This species is not common in the city.  Chimney Swifts also arrived today.

23 April — House Wrens, Green Herons, and Barn Swallows showed up on the scene today.  The Osprey was still hanging around the lake.  A Great Egret was south of Rotunda near the River, our first for spring.

22 April — The Tricolored Heron was not relocated after the day it was found.  Today an Osprey was at Fairlane Lake.  Yesterday, there were 3 Blue-winged Teal, and a Pine Warbler.

20 April — A Field Sparrow in the meadow was the season’s first.

19 April — An adult Tricolored Heron in breeding plumage was found this morning by Jerry Sadowski on Fairlane Lake.  It was still present at noon.  It spent most of the time at the far north end of the lake, but was sometimes seen in other parts of the lake.  It was usually close to shore and sometimes hard to see unless actively foraging.  This bird is very shy and would flush — often into the woods — when approached even as closely as 50 yards.  If you look for this bird, please walk slowly and quietly. An early Broad-winged Hawk was also found.

18 April — A Louisiana Waterthrush found yesterday at the south end of Fairlane Lake was still there singing today.  A Bald Eagle flew over this morning. Barn Swallows arrived at Greenfield Village yesterday.

16 April — Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are prompt: Arriving today ties the early spring record, which has been recorded on 16 April in 4 other years.

14 April — New arrivals continue to trickle in.  Today had White-throated Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Hermit Thrush.  Six Hooded Mergansers were on the Rouge River on campus.  Yellow-rumped Warblers and Golden-crowned Kinglets are increasing in number.  An Eastern Towhee was seen by the Lake.

12 April — Pied-billed Grebes are building up on Fairlane Lake, with 8 there today.  A Swamp Sparrow was a new arrival.

11 April —  A Northern Rough-winged Swallow had slim pickings along Fairlane Lake upon its arrival today, a new early record (formerly 16 Apr 1989).

7 April — Return of the Yellow-rumped Warblers.

6 April — An American Coot and singing Winter Wren at Greenfield Village.  A Peregrine Falcon was also seen along the Southfield Freeway.

5 April — A Red-shouldered Hawk on campus.

2 April — A Tree Swallow was the pond at Oakwood and Beech, along with a pair of Bufflehead, an Eastern Phoebe, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Golden-crowned Kinglets, which are increasing in numbers.

1 April — A pair of Green-winged Teal was on Fairlane Lake; this is an uncommon bird here.

March 2000:

31 Mar: Two Hooded Mergansers were seen on the Rouge River on campus today.  A Cabbage White butterfly was found in the Springwells Park neighborhood, which is our first March date for this species.

30 Mar: Ring-necked Pheasants have really declined in the county the last few years, so hearing one in the banding area today was the first in some time.

27 Mar:  The first spring Eastern Phoebe was seen at Greenfield Village today.

26 Mar:  Golden-crowned Kinglets were seen in east Dearborn today.

23 Mar:   The American Woodcock have arrived back on campus and are dancing near the Organic Garden.  They nested last year.

21 Mar:  An unbanded Red-breasted Nuthatch in the Springwells Park neighborhood and a Fox Sparrow in east Dearborn may be spring migrants.

14 Mar: A male Bufflehead was at Greenfield Village again yesterday and today.

9 Mar:  A singing Eastern Meadowlark was along the Rouge channel near Rotunda. The first spring Pied-billed Grebe at Greenfield Village.

8 Mar:  A remarkably early Brown Thrasher (previous early date = 2 April) was found in the Springwells Park neighborhood.

6 Mar:  Two Bufflehead and a Ring-necked Duck were at Greenfield Village today.

4 Mar:  Hawk migration evident today, with a Peregrine over the Craves yard along with several Red-tailed Hawks, and 2 Rough-legged Hawks over campus.  Wood Ducks came back to campus today.

February 2000:

29 Feb:  Three Turkey Vultures seen over campus and at Greenfield Village are a week earlier than our previous early date.  A Yellow-rumped Warbler was also seen on campus; it may have wintered.

27 Feb:  The first American Woodcock are reported, a week earlier than our previous early date.

24 Feb:  Grackles and blackbirds arrived in Dearborn yesterday; today was the first Killdeer.

20 Feb:  A Peregrine Falcon was at the Ford Rouge Plant, along with 35 Canvasbacks and some Ring-necked Ducks.

18 Feb:  The White-winged Crossbill returned to the Craves yard for five minutes.

16 Feb:  A second Fox Sparrow joined the one present daily in the Craves yard, but disappeared after a few hours.

7 Feb:  A female White-winged Crossbill appeared briefly in the Craves yard yesterday; at about the same time Jim Fowler photographed a Merlin at Greenfield Village (perhaps the same bird seen in October).  A Fox Sparrow, 5 White-throated Sparrows, 6 Song Sparrows, 2 Cooper’s Hawks, and a Red-breasted Nuthatch were found on today’s survey on campus.  The sparrows were in the vicinity of the maintenance building of the Dearborn Country Club, which is on the opposite bank of the river from campus — the frozen river allowed a closer look.

4 Feb:  Two Gadwall were in the boat slip at the Ford Rouge Plant; this is only the second Dearborn record for this species.  The Ruddy Duck and Pied-billed Grebe remain there are well.  Pine Siskins are still with the goldfinch around Fairlane Lake, and the Fox Sparrow is still in the Craves yard.

January 2000:

23 Jan:  A female Northern Harrier along the Rouge channel provides our first winter record.  A Northern Shrike was also found in the same area.

17 Jan:  Things have certainly been quiet.  One to five Pine Siskins have been seen consistently feeding with goldfinch in the alders around the lake.  Today a male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was found, along with a single Yellow-rumped Warbler. The Fox Sparrow continues in the Craves yard.

1 Jan:  The Dearborn portion of the Detroit River Christmas Bird Count today tallied 45 species, including 5 Pine Siskins along Fairlane Lake.  Interesting waterfowl at the Ford Rouge Plant included Ruddy Duck, Lesser Scaup, and Pied-billed Grebe.  Two Black-crowned Night-herons were also found.

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