Morning Birding at Hallam Lake and John Denver Sanctuary Sanctuary List
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 8:30AM - 11AM
Weather: Cloudy and cold
Location: Hallam Lake and John Denver Sanctuary
Winter is always a wonderful time to study bird behaviors and observe the many foraging and winter coping strategies they use. Today's behavioral highlights were actively foraging dippers in the lake and the river, geese and ducks maintaining their 104F body temperatures with a layer of freshly fallen snow on their backs, and a snipe resting and feeding among the shallow channels of water in the sedge marsh at the John Denver Sanctuary. The snipe inspired questions about this species' breeding strategy: the nest is a robust scrape lined with soft plant materials located at the edge of a marsh or on a dry hummock, and both parents care for the fledglings. We also observed large flocks of crows that flew over and a belted kingfisher with its fish prey. At one point, the two dippers at Hallam Lake flew by the group very closely in a high-speed chase. Today's mini lesson was a book recommendation: The Sun Is a Compass by Van Hemert, a wonderful story of wilderness travel and adventure in the Northwest and Alaska written by a biologist who incorporates many bird and other nature observations throughout the book. Join us on January 5th for the next Morning Birding outing at Hallam Lake!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Mark Fuller