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Birdwatchers Tally Christmas Day Count

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Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk (credit: Tim Wallace)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Birdwatchers are tallying their numbers for the annual Christmas Day bird count along Chicago’s lakefront.

As WBBM 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, in Jackson Park.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

There were no rare bird sightings, Greenberg said. The opportunity provided more of a chance to see what was out on a cold, still Christmas morning, such as the golden-eye duck.

“The listeners that are familiar with woodcock or nighthawks, which give this little nasal, buzzy, ‘Pank! Pank!’ – golden-eye give the same sound, and if it wasn’t the winter and it wasn’t coming from Lake Michigan, you might be confused, but it’s a great little vocalization,” Greenberg said. “If anybody is out on the lakefront, and you’re looking out and you see ducks, or really just staring at the beauty of the whole thing, keep your ears alert for the odd little, ‘Pank! Pank!’ sound, and it’s a very light way that they’re kind of golden-eyed.”

Also sighted were 1,200 merganser ducks. They were spotted between the Adler Planetarium and Navy Pier.

Greenberg also reported spotting a canvasback duck, a harlequin duck, a redpoll finch and a yellow-bellied sapsucker.

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