Date: 2/23/17 10:14 am
From: <Vera.Leopold...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET GBBC sightings at Killdeer Wetlands/Bartel
Hello all,

A very late post, sorry for that -- but we had a nice Great Backyard Bird Count walk with my father at Killdeer Wetlands and Bartel Grassland for an hour on Sunday morning. Highlights were:

- About 50 Red-winged Blackbirds (all males or young males) sitting on the new metal bridge at Killdeer Wetlands and flying down to feed together in the waterlogged areas nearby. Only three birds seemed to be on territory so far, over at Bartel. Wonderful to hear them.
- Small groups of American Tree Sparrows and a lone Song Sparrow, singing quietly
- A female NORTHERN HARRIER hunting low over Killdeer Wetlands to the northeast
- A group of 11 flyover NORTHERN PINTAILS, mostly males - they passed low enough for GREAT views
- Loose grouping of 100+ SANDHILL CRANES flying north just as we headed back to the car

It was our first time seeing the new "orientation circle," bridge, and signage at these sites. They're attractive metal with poetic etched messaging. Looking forward to visiting this year-round, and well done to those who were involved!

Good birding,

Vera Miller
Downers Grove, IL

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