Birders Make Annual Christmas Count Along Lakefront

CHICAGO (CBS) — Birders making their annual Christmas Day count along the Chicago lakefront tallied more than 50 species of birds yesterday.

At one point, the birders were on the peninsula near the Adler Planetarium, chumming: throwing bread out, hoping to attract gulls.

And Joel Greenberg, who’s been compiling the Christmas Count for 15 years, says they were seeing the gulls common to the Chicago lakefront.

And then, something not-so-common showed up. An Iceland Gull.

“A beautiful adult Iceland gull, which are pearly gray, the whole bird, with a little bit of darker edgings and the light feathers,” said Greenberg. “Just a beautiful bird.”

“And then a moment later, somebody else yelled, ‘Oh, a Great Black-Backed Gull!’ These are gulls from the East Coast that are big and have mantles,” said Greenberg. “That is, the top of the bird, the wings and the back, are black.”

“So for a few minutes there was this amazing buzz of excitement,” said Greenberg.

Greenberg says this year’s lakefront count found more than 50 species of birds.

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