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Annual Christmas Day Bird Count Kicks Off On Lakefront

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Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk (credit: Tim Wallace)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Birdwatchers are tallying the results of the annual Christmas Day count along Chicago’s lakefront.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

Longtime birder Joel Greenberg and his group started Christmas Day at the lakefront near La Rabida Children’s Hospital.

“The lake was slushy. A lot of it was chunks of ice sort of heaving with the water,” said Greenberg. “There were gulls perched on these larger ice cubes. And a lot of ducks managed to find spaces in between these little icebergs.”

And among them was a duck they don’t normally see.

“We had one of our better birds. It’s a duck called the canvasback,” said Greenberg. “There are a couple of youngsters in the count, the Gyllenhalls, and Ethan Gyllenhall spotted this male canvasback sleeping. So that’s one we usually don’t get.”

Greenberg says the Chicago Christmas count also recorded goldeneye ducks, a harlequin duck, a redpoll finch and a yellow-bellied sapsucker.

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