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Seasons of Wildlife

Sand Pipers at TR

Biologists and volunteers perform seasonal wildlife surveys at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. Check here often for the latest sightings.

Fall Flight Surveys (Duck Counts)

Each week during fall migration biologists from the Illinois Natural History Survey fly over the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to count the number of waterfowl using the river habitat. These counts estimate the number of ducks and geese seen on the routes only, not the entire refuge. Survey numbers are used to describe general trends in the number of waterfowl resting and feeding on the refuge through the years. Survey results are used by managers, hunters and birdwatchers to monitor the progress of migration. Biologists use the number as a tool to assess waterfowl use (often referred to as carrying capacity) in response to management actions. Waterfowl use is influenced by off-Refuge factors such as continental populations and habitat and weather conditions throughout the flyway. On the refuge, food availability and the extent of human disturbance greatly influence the number of birds present.

To view weekly waterfowl numbers from the Illinois Natural History Survey visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/surveys/Pages/MRAerialSurveys.aspx. The labels in the survey that relate to the refuge are Swan Lake, Gilbert Lake, and Batchtown Refuge.

Refuge Bird Surveys

A volunteer or a staff member perform weekly bird counts to monitor our wetland management activities. Click on weekly reports below to find out what birds are here throughout the year.

 
 Weekly Bird Count
 
2014 2013 2012
Jan. 17, 2014 Jan. 3, 2013 Sept. 7, 2012
Jan. 23, 2014 Jan. 9, 2013 Sept. 12, 2012
Feb. 12, 2014 Jan. 17, 2013 Sept. 20, 2012
Feb. 19, 2014 Jan. 23, 2013 Oct. 4, 2012 
Feb. 26, 2014 Jan. 31, 2013  Oct. 12, 2012 
March 5, 2014 Feb. 6, 2013  Oct. 17, 2012
March 20, 2014 Feb. 14, 2013 Oct. 24, 2012 
March 26, 2014 Feb. 20, 2013  Oct. 31, 2012 
April 1, 2014 March 1, 2013 Nov. 7, 2012 
April 11, 2014 March 7, 2013 Nov. 14, 2012
April 18, 2014 March 15, 2013 Nov. 23, 2012 
April 23, 2014 March 21, 2013 Nov. 29, 2012
  March 29, 2013 Dec. 6, 2012
  April 5, 2013 Dec. 27, 2012
  Nov. 1, 2013  
  Nov. 14, 2013  
  Nov. 19, 2013  
  Nov. 27, 2013  
  Dec. 2, 2013  
  Dec. 24, 2013  

 

Other Volunteer Surveys   

A number of volunteers visit the refuge during spring and fall bird migrations. They see a large variety of bird species as they travel to the different refuge divisions. Check back soon to see their most recent sightings.

May 6, 2015

8 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
1 Gadwall
5 Mallard
11 Blue-winged Teal
2 Wild Turkey
175 American White Pelican
8 Great Blue Heron
10 Great Egret
7 Cattle Egret Notes: A cluster in the weeds on Pump Station Rd. Studied with Swarovski scope and keyed out with 1) the size next to a Great Egret 2) thick yellow bill and 3) salmon - colored breeding plumage.
12 American Coot
5 Black-necked Stilt Notes: Mudflat just East of boat ramp near Refuge Office.
3 Semipalmated Plover
4 Killdeer
3 Solitary Sandpiper
22 Greater Yellowlegs Notes: Most were observed on Pump Station Rd. And near the Boat Ramp
76 Lesser Yellowlegs Notes: Most were observed on Pump Station Rd. And near the Boat Ramp
8 Dunlin
64 Least Sandpiper Notes: One large group in flight, then landed on Pump Station Rd. Wetlands others at levee gate and boat ramp
10 Pectoral Sandpiper
1 Long-billed Dowitcher
3 Wilson's Snipe
7 Mourning Dove
1 Red-headed Woodpecker
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Pileated Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
3 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Eastern Kingbird
1 Blue-headed Vireo
3 Warbling Vireo
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1 Tree Swallow
20 Barn Swallow
2 Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Carolina Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
5 American Robin
12 European Starling
3 Prothonotary Warbler
3 Common Yellowthroat
4 Savannah Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow
3 White-crowned Sparrow
5 Northern Cardinal
1 Indigo Bunting
2 Dickcissel
40 Red-winged Blackbird
2 Common Grackle
7 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 Baltimore Oriole
20 House Sparrow
5 Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Last Updated: May 11, 2015
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