Bird Count

The birds at Goose Pond Sanctuary welcomed the first day of spring on a beautiful day.

Photography Credits: Arlene Koziol

Photography Credits: Arlene Koziol

A bird count along Prairie Land and Goose Pond Road found 570 tundra swans, 300 Canada geese, 80 canvasbacks, 36 greater white-fronted geese, 30 snow geese, 10 sandhill cranes, and 2 gobblers walking along the wetland.  Many more white-fronts and Canada geese were feeding in the surrounding picked corn fields when the count was conducted and were not included.

Other species present included northern pintails, northern shovelers, green-winged teal, lesser scaup, and ring-necked ducks. 

Last week, a merlin was present at Goose Pond.  American kestrels are also common this spring.

Written by Mark and Sue Foote-Martin, Goose Pond Resident Managers.

Goose Pond Breeding Birds of 2016

One of the highlights of 2016 was finding 51 species and 1,633 pairs of breeding birds at Goose Pond Sanctuary and at the adjacent 65-acre Manthe farm.  Most of the data was gathered from Heather Inzalaco’s master project with additional data provided by us.

Over 460 acres of restored prairie were surveyed and this large acreage accounts for the bulk of the breeding pairs. Grassland birds found included:

Goldfinch nest, Photo by Maddie Dumas

Goldfinch nest, Photo by Maddie Dumas

  • ring-necked pheasant - 28 pairs, 
  • northern harrier - 2, 
  • sedge wrens - 62, 
  • common yellowthroat - 212, 
  • clay-colored sparrow - 128,
  • savanna sparrow - 1, 
  • song sparrow - 302,
  • dickcissel - 23, 
  • red-winged blackbird - 365, 
  • eastern meadowlark - 46, 
  • brown-headed cowbird - 17, and
  • American goldfinch 47.

Check out this Friday Feathered Feature post to learn more about the breeding bird point count project at Goose Pond!

Goose Pond Fall Survey - September-November

Leucistic Canada Goose, Photography by: Arlene Koziol

Eleven species of waterfowl were found at Goose Pond on November 10th.  The highlight was seeing a rare leucistic goose.  Leucism is a very unusual condition whereby the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly.  As always, mallards (3,000) and Canada geese (2,000) were the most numerous.  The count of 41 tundra swans is low for the second week in November and will probably increase when winter weather hits North Dakota.  Ring-necked ducks (131) and pintails (51) are easy to find.  Sandhill crane numbers have been around 80 for the past six weeks.  See the table for other numbers.  Also seen were three northern harriers hunting the uplands around the pond and one adult bald eagle that was duck hunting. 

To enlarge the data table please click on the icon at the bottom right-hand of the spreadsheet.