11 December 2011

Birds and the Outdoors - George Lake Species

This article is especially interesting and valuable as it denotes species for a small lake present nearly seven decades in the past. Its habitat was suitable for several species which have not been recorded in the area for many decades. This place was eventually destroyed, being filled so houses could be built.
Miles Greenleaf. February 19, 1943. Dundee News 8(7): 4.

Miss Alice von Bergen, 683 J.E. George Boulevard, an ardent bird student, has been kind enough to furnish this department with a list of more than fifty birds she saw at and near George Lake, on Underwood Avenue, from May to November, 1942.

The list in itself is interesting, but is valuable in another way, for it indicates just how close to us are these large numbers of feathered folk to make an observational hike doubly enjoyable.

Miss von Bergen is very fortunate in having a terrain like George Lake and its adjacent underbrush, trees and fields for the purpose of bird study, as the combination might attract almost anything that flies, during migration.

Anyway, we are deeply indebted to Miss von Bergen for the list, which does not include a few hawks, owls and other birds she saw but could not completely identify. Here it is:

Crow, English Sparrow, Robin, Brown Thrasher, Purple martin, Red-Winged Blackbird, House Wren, Goldfinch, Bluejay, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Kingbird, Arkansas Kingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Myrtle [Yellow-rumped] Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Redstart, Bronzed Grackle, Starling, Meadow Lark [most likely the eastern species], Least Flycatcher.

Mourning Dove, Black and White Warbler, Maryland Yellowthroat, Catbird, Cowbird, Chickadee, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, Northern Flicker, Chimney Swift, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Rusty Blackbird, Barn Swallow, Hairy Woodpecker, Slate-Colored Junco, Dickcissel, Cardinal, Phoebe, Chipping Sparrow, Cuckoo (kind not indicated), Blue-Wing Teal, Pied-Bill Grebe, Killdeer, Mallard, Night Hawk and Great Blue Heron.

Miss von Bergen in strictest honesty says that she did not see the last two on the list, but were told they were present, by a party accompanying her.

Likewise her list of "partial" identifications included Wood Thrush, Franklin's Gull, Tennessee Warbler, Chestnut-Sided Warbler and Olive-backed Thrush.

As she herself indicates, this list could not be complete, for many "regulars" are missing, but it is a mighty fine job of observation, just the same. It also gives a hunch to bird students of Dundee, and West Omaha as to a likely spot for study in the future.

Thank you, Miss von Bergen.

Miss Von Bergen Reports the Willet

Checking birds around and along the shore of George Lake, Miss Alice Von Bergen, 683 J.E. George Boulevard, has during the past year or more acquired a right imposing list. Now this contributor comes up with identification of the Willet, a very unusual semi-palmated shore bird, which she recently saw at the lake. The Willet remained but one day.

Other birds noted near the lake by Miss Von Bergen are the Black Tern, Solitary Sandpiper, Tree Swallow, Harris Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrow.

May 21, 1943. Dundee News 8(20): 4. A portion of the column.