Our Goose Pond Sanctuary habitat includes restored prairie, spruce and cedar shelter belt/cover unit, two corn food plots and shrub plantings. The Wildland habitat in Wyocena includes restored prairie, oak savanna with brush piles, and a large red pine plantation on our neighbor’s land.
We have observed the following species in the past two weeks at the two sites: ring-necked pheasant, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk, rock pigeons, mourning doves, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, blue jays, American crows, black-capped chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, American tree sparrows, dark-eyed junco, northern cardinals, house finches, common redpolls, pine siskins, American goldfinches, and house sparrows. It is interesting to note the different feeding times of species. At Wildland, turkeys arrive around 8:00 a.m. and have fed and moved on in 30 minutes while cardinals feed heavily just before dark. Some people ask how we count large numbers of doves. At Goose Pond, the doves line up on the power line making for easy counting.
In the local area there are hundreds of horned larks and Lapland longspurs along roadsides that are easy to count. We will also try and find Eurasian collared doves west of Arlington.
If you want to get involved, know that bird counts for the GBBC can be conducted anywhere, and are not restricted to back yards like the name might suggest.
Click here to see how you can help on this citizen science project!
The data for the GBBC is available for review as quickly as it is entered. Stay tuned for our results, which we will post on the MAS website soon!
By Mark and Sue Foote-Martin, Resident Managers, Goose Pond Sanctuary.