Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Birds at the Airport


Over the past few years, Curt Caslavka and I have occasionally discussed birds that nest in the fields of Middleton Municipal Airport. Biking or birding from the sidewalk along Airport Road, I often spotted Bobolinks, Grasshopper Sparrows, Dickcissels and other grassland species. To our dismay, the fields were often mowed before the end of breeding season. But this year Curt took the initiative to contact airport personnel and eventually obtained permission to conduct a birding survey on the entire property. At his suggestion, they even said they would try to delay the mowing for as long as they could. Curt called me after he conducted his first survey and we were both pretty surprised by the numbers!

Date: July 9th, 2008

Areas Surveyed: Eastern portion, northern portion along grass runway, and central area north of buildings.

Song sparrow (19)
Grasshopper sparrow (10)
Savannah sparrow (64)
Bobolink (24)
Eastern Meadowlark (48)
Red-winged Blackbird (104)
Northern Flicker (1)
Barn Swallow (23)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (2)
Common Yellowthroat (8)
Sedge Wren (15)
Red-tailed Hawk (2)
Sandhill Cranes (4)
Dickcissel (1)
Killdeer (6)

Date: July 17th, 2008

Area Surveyed: Far west side beyond runway.

Song Sparrows (4)
Savannah Sparrows (22)
Eastern Meadowlark (10)
Bobolink (11)
Common Yellowthroat (2)
Barn Swallow (10)
Tree Swallow (11)
Red-winged Blackbird (24)
Sedge Wren (2)
Eastern Kingbird (2)
Willow Flycatcher (1)
Killdeer (2)
American Goldfinch (1)
Gray Catbird (3)
American Crow (2)
American Robin (1)

Bobolink © 2008 Mike McDowell

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