22 June 2010

Grassland Birding at Kankakee Sands

This past weekend, I went on a field trip with South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society to Kankakee Sands (and briefly Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area) in Newton County, Indiana. Kankakee Sands is a nearly 8000-acre restoration area where prairie (ranging from dry to wet) is the target plant community. Many of the grasslands where we were birding are still quite weedy botanically, but the birds didn't know the difference.

Dickcissel (Spiza americana), shown below, and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) seemed to be the most common birds, singing incessantly while we were birding.

Our bird list for the morning:
Northern Bobwhite (heard only)
Great Blue Heron (while driving)
Turkey Vulture (while driving)
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane (while driving)
Ring-billed Gull (while driving)
Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Bell's Vireo (heard only)
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Field Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Henslow's Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Blue Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
American Goldfinch


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Scott .. you certainly saw quite a list of birds .. and how great they're restoring the prairie land in that part of Indiana.

Thanks .. love the news ... Hilary

Scott Namestnik said...

Hi Hilary. Yes, we had a good morning at Kankakee Sands... we missed the Upland Sandpiper there, though.