Spring 2014 Bird Banding Season Results


The LLCC bird banding station had another busy seasion! We ended with 1391 birds of 82 species … the highest number of species we had in the 3 previous banding seasons was 70!  Check out the final report: LLCC BBS Spring 2014 Report

Thanks again to all for your time and support of this project that exposed some 200 LLCC students to biology in action!

Our fall banding season will begin the last week of August!

Campus Bird Count

Last Saturday, Professor Tony Rothering conducted the official spring bird count for campus. He documented 60 species including:

Canada Goose 8, Mallard 7, Double-crested Cormorant 21, Great Blue Heron 2, Green Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 1, Cooper’s Hawk 1, Least Sandpiper 5, Mourning Dove 4, Chimney Swift 7, Red-headed Woodpecker 3, Red-bellied Woodpecker 8, Downy Woodpecker 2, Eastern Wood-Pewee 1, Eastern Phoebe 1, Eastern Kingbird 11, Warbling Vireo 2, Red-eyed Vireo 3, Blue Jay 5, American Crow 17, Purple Martin 1, Tree Swallow 3, Barn Swallow 2, Cliff Swallow 10, Black-capped Chickadee 3, Tufted Titmouse 2, White-breasted Nuthatch 1, House Wren 3, Carolina Wren 2, Swainson’s Thrush 7, American Robin 30, Gray Catbird 12, Brown Thrasher 3, European Starling 15, Cedar Waxwing 7, Golden-winged Warbler 2, Tennessee Warbler 10, Nashville Warbler 1, Common Yellowthroat 1, American Redstart 1, Magnolia Warbler 1, Blackburnian Warbler 1, Yellow-rumped Warbler 3, Black-throated Green Warbler 2, Chipping Sparrow 5, Song Sparrow 8, Lincoln’s Sparrow 1, Swamp Sparrow 3, White-throated Sparrow 2, White-crowned Sparrow 10, Northern Cardinal 14, Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3, Indigo Bunting 2, Red-winged Blackbird 13, Common Grackle 40, Brown-headed Cowbird 4, Baltimore Oriole 6, House Finch 6, American Goldfinch 4, House Sparrow 3

Green Celebration tomorrow!

Please join us for a Green Celebration in the Workforce Careers Center Wed., April 23, 4-4:45 p.m.

Displays will feature solar and biodiesel trainers, bio-fueled go-cart, campus prairie, LLCC Environmental Club and Sustainability Team, along with “solar-powered snacks.”

At 4:30 p.m., LLCC Board Chair Justin Reichert will announce new green initiatives of the college and unveil the LEED plaque for the Workforce Careers Center.

Biology Professor Tony Rothering holds a Cooper’s Hawk caught on campus last Wednesday

Cooper's HawkThe Cooper’s Hawk belongs to a group of raptors called accipiters.  They have short, broad wings and long tails and specialize on foraging on other birds. Because of their maneuverability and predatory nature, they are often thought of as the “fighter planes” of the bird world.  This hawk has the ability to fly through a woodland and, literally, snag birds right off of their perches.  They also will regularly stake out backyard feeders and capture inattentive birds.  This particular species is about the size of a crow with females being larger than males (typical with most birds of prey).  This species is found in Illinois year around and their numbers have been increasing as of late.

Prairie Burns on Springfield Campus complete

burn smallAs you may have noticed, we took advantage of a calm and sunny day on Saturday, April 5 to conduct the controlled burns to our prairies. Fire is a natural part of the ecology of native prairies and is a vital tool to the establishment and maintenance of these areas. Although at first glance the blackened ground looks barren, it absorbs sunlight, warming the soil to promote germination of the native plants. The burning also serves to discourage non-native plants and woody species that compete with the more desirable natives. It also releases and recycles nutrients that are vital to new plant growth.

The controlled burns are a coordinated effort of LLCC’s Facilities Services department, biology classes and the LLCC Environmental Club. The burns have been approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Spring 2014 bird banding season

The spring 2014 bird banding season will be starting next Monday (3/24) and will continue through Friday, May 24.  Vern Kleen, LLABB bander/coordinator, and Tony Rothering, professor of biology, will be banding from sunrise until about 11 a.m., Monday through Friday and most Saturdays.

Please contact Tony if you have any questions or concerns at 6-4933 and please join us at the banding station if your time allows!!

Christmas bird count/fall bird banding report

LLCC continues to be a mecca for birds. Tony Rothering, professor of biology, conducted a campus bird count on Dec. 22 and recorded:

Great Blue Heron  1

Downy Woodpecker  1

Northern Flicker  1

American Kestrel  1

Song Sparrow  1

Red-tailed Hawk  2

Ring-billed Gull  2

Tufted Titmouse  2

White-breasted Nuthatch  3

American Robin  4

House Finch  4

Red-bellied Woodpecker  5

Black-capped Chickadee  6

Mourning Dove  6

American Goldfinch  7

White-throated Sparrow  10

Northern Cardinal  16

Blue Jay  17

Dark-eyed Junco  47

House Sparrow  60

American Crow  192

European Starling  260

Canada Goose  490

Also, below is a link to the bird banding report for this past fall (2013) as generated by Vern Kleen.  Some of the highlights from Prof. Rothering: we captured 1902 birds of 70 species over 64 banding days (we averaged 30 birds per day).  Our high day was Oct. 18 on which we captured and banded 194 birds (mostly goldfinches)!!  From a cummulative standpoint … after 3 banding seasons (fall 2012, spring and fall 2013), we have captured ~ 3600 birds of 94 species!

Between classes and individuals, we had 200 LLCC students visit and/or assist at the banding station this fall.  We hope this number will continue to grow!

MS — LLCC BBS Fall 2013 Report


Chemistry and Environmental clubs host Haunted Lab

haunted lab

LLCC’s Chemistry and Environmental clubs hosted a Haunted Lab for K-5 students the evening of Oct. 3o. About 200 children, parents and grandparents attended the event where a mad scientists, dracula and other masqueraders (LLCC students) performed spooky science experiments and/or introduced their guests to special critters as they explained the evolutionary process.  Click HERE to view photos from the event.