Fermilab History and Archives Project

Natural History - Wildlife Signs of Summer


Mated Swans
Mated Swans
Fermilab Fountain
Fermilab Fountain
Buffalo and Doe
Buffalo and Doe

Summer has arrived on the Fermilab site. Signs of the season include the turned-on fountain atop the auditorium roof; swans and other water birds skimming Swan Lake and a deer that has joined the buffalo herd. The fountain, shut down during cold weather, was reactivated last week. Forty-five feet in diameter and about 141 feet in circumference, it spews 750 gallons of water per minute through 144 nozzles. Water treated with an anti-foaming agent is recirculated from a 15-inch deep pond 24 hours daily. Five three-quarter horsepower pumps are in operation and three others will be added as they are received from the manufacturer. Since the fountain was installed in 1971, nozzle sizing and spacing has been altered to make the rooftop art object more esthetically pleasing. It encircles "Moebius Band," a stainless steel sculpture by Robert R. Wilson. Laboratory people participating in the fountain's development have been: D. Sauer, Site Services; F. Moore, D. Tokarz and K. Kittelson, Facility Operations; W. Froemming, foreman, Carpenter/Paint Shop; and Machine Shop personnel.

Taking up residence on Swan Lake in April were a mated pair of swans obtained from a rare-bird raiser in Hampshire, Ill. The birds are about three years old. Hopefully they will produce a family of cygnets in a few years. Special pens are provided for fall and winter housing. Bob Hall, lead groundsman and Vic Kerkman, buffalo herdsman, were responsible for helping the swans settle in at Fermilab. Initially, the birds were supplied a waterfowl/pheasant feed but now they live off the wild. Wild birds spotted on the lake have included Canada geese and muscovy and mallard ducks.

Roaming among the buffalo since last week has been a doe, female deer. Chuck Marofske, III snapped the accompanying photo of the deer feeding among the bison. According to Vic Kerkman, the doe had been seen feeding in woods near the buffalo farm's south pasture before moving in with the herd. Deer and buffalo traditionally are good neighbors, Kerkman said.

Source: The Village Crier Vol. 9 No. 26, July 7, 1977