The program, Climate Change and Birds in the Chicago Area, will be presented by Doug Stotz, Senior Conservation Ecologist of the Field Museum: Over the past several decades the flora and fauna of the upper Midwest have begun responding to increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. This presentation will focus on how climate change affects the timing of migration and breeding and what additional changes are expected in the wintering and breeding range of birds in the Chicago region. The full spectrum of environmental factors to which birds may be responding will be covered—and which of these factors may be the most important to plan for in the future. Light refreshments and socializing at 7:00 p.m. The presentation begins at 7:30. Chicago Audubon programs are always open to the public. Membership is not required. Bring family and friends to join us for this important program. We look forward to seeing you there.
Special Bird Walk Skokie Lagoons. September 12, 7:30 a.m. Chicago Audubon is sponsoring a bird walk that will precede the regularly scheduled monthly Skokie Lagoons Workday. Everyone is welcome to the Walk and then you are also welcome to join us for the Workday which begins around 10:00 a.m. For the Walk, meet at Tower Road parking lot in Winnetka, east of the lagoon bridge. For information and directions, please contact John Elliott at (708) 567- 4363.
It's time for our yearly sale of bird seed! As you may know, the seed that you purchase through Chicago Audubon's Annual Seed Sale is much higher in quality than the seed available at grocery, pet, or discount stores. Also, forty percent of the total purchase price is tax deductible. This higher quality seed is excellent for the birds, and the proceeds from the Sale are a very important source of support for our ongoing educational efforts and projects. If you have never ordered seed this way before, please consider joining us this year—it’s great for the birds!
YOU MAY VIEW THE PRODUCT LIST AND PLACE AN ORDER BY clicking here. This form can be used for either credit card orders or it can be printed out to mail in with your check. In either case, be sure to fill in all the contact information required and to indicate your choice of pickup location. If you prefer to pay by check, print out the form that appears when you click on the link and fill in all the information (but not the card information) and mail the printed form and your check to: Chicago Audubon Society, 5801-C North Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois 60646. If you prefer, you can place your order over the phone with a credit card by calling the office at (773) 539-6793. If you are connected to voice mail when you call, leave a message with your name and phone number (only) and the Administrator will return your call as soon as possible.
Dates to remember: Deadline for Ordering is Monday, October 19; Pickup day is November 14 between 9:00 a.m. and Noon. Please be sure to indicate your choice of pickup locations on the order form:
The Nature House/Erva Tool at 3100 W Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60622 OR Good Earth Greenhouse & Café at 7900 W Madison St River Forest, IL 60305. For more details, please click on "Read More" just below.
An important change in the Chicago Audubon Premium mix: Our premium birdseed mix has historically been comprised of 40% white millet, 35% black oil sunflower, 15% cracked corn, 5% safflower and 5% peanuts. This mix is by far our most popular seed available during the sale. In order to be kinder to the planet and to upgrade the premium mix to benefit the birds, we have decided to substitute the GMO cracked corn with recleaned wheat. Recleaned wheat is a favorite for most birds and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, as well as helping birds gain weight. We are happy to be able to offer this higher quality seed at the same price as last year for the Premium mix. We believe your birds will be happy too!
This walk will be led by John Elliott, Chicago Audubon Board member, to represent Chicago Audubon’s support of the celebration of the Cook County Forest Preserve District’s Centennial. Meet at the shelter at the far west end of the grove entrance on Wolf Road. The entrance to the grove road is a small road approximately one-quarter mile south of 31st Street in Westchester. Our walks are always open to everyone. Membership is not required. For further information or if you have questions, contact John at 708-567-4363.
"This network of pools, channels and islands winds between Winnetka, Northfield and Glencoe. With public boat access (boasting some of Cook County’s best fishing), biking and hiking trails and picnic areas, this well loved, wooded preserve offers peaceful retreats and activities around every bend. The Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve covers 894 acres." Cook County Forest Preserve District fpdcc.com.
THE SKOKIE LAGOONS -- By John Elliott, Chicago Audubon Society Conservation Committee
Long before there was a forest preserve, before a settlement called Chicago was founded on the prairie, before Jean Baptiste DuSable built a trading post on the Chicago River, when explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet made the first recorded passage by Europeans over the Chicago Portage, a grand old bur oak much like the one pictured here would have already been a maturing tree. Known to relatively few, the original still stands today surrounded by a tangle of buckthorn on the western edge of Erickson Woods preserve of the Skokie Lagoons.
When the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the Skokie Lagoons during the great depression of the 1930’s, the region gained a fishing, boating, hiking and biking recreation area—at the cost of losing a diverse marshland home to many wild creatures. From Willow Road to Lake-Cook Road in Winnetka the only remnants of those original communities is a sedge meadow and the neighboring grand old oak that lie between the levee and drainage channel of the lagoons. Over the years much of the land was overrun by buckthorn and other invasive species of marginal value to wildlife. After the lakes of the lagoon system were dredged and rehabilitated in the 1990’s, some hardy volunteers took on the challenge of remedying at least a small portion of past neglect. Chicago Audubon’s Jerry Garden was the first volunteer steward to work on removing invasive species at a lagoon site along Tower Road in Winnetka, beginning at the shore just east of the parking area along Tower Road. After Jerry left us for Alaska, Dave Kosnik and Daniel Kielson took over as stewards. A few years later, Gary Morrissey also joined the stewardship team. In the past few years, work has been concentrated north of Tower, working east towards Forestway Drive. Buckthorn has been removed from much of the target area. While buckthorn removal remains a regular workday activity—and a favorite of many volunteers—there is a renewed emphasis on follow-up work. Even though “it’s not as much fun,” Dave says, follow up maintenance is defense against recolonization and is now a very important task. In spring, control of garlic mustard is also needed.
Birdathon! 2015 was great fun! Here is how it worked this year: Birdathon teams combed Cook County (or Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane or Will) on the specified dates. This year those dates were Saturday, May 16 or Sunday, May 17 (or both if you had the energy). The teams identified as many species as they could within one day within the county of their choosing. This year the team Fields Flickers identified the most species (156) in the designated time period and will gain possession, for one year, of the coveted Beecher Cup.*
Our annual Eagle Optics Day was held in April at North Park Village Nature Center and a good time was had by all! Once again, we thank the Eagle Optics experts for their willingness to answer questions and give guidance about optic equipment of all kinds. We thank them for their generous donation to Chicago Audubon of a portion of all sales.
Feeder Placement for Reducing Window Strikes—Placement of feeders within three feet of a window or more than 30 feet away from a window are the safest positions. When feeders are close to a window, a bird leaving the feeder cannot gain enough momentum to do itself harm if it strikes the window.
Book Review by Gail Goldberger
A CENTURY OF CHANGE
ILLINOIS BIRDS: A CENTURY OF CHANGE
is published by the Illinois Natural History
Survey Special Publication 31, 2010, and
can be found at
Commissioned by the Illinois Natural History Survey, data compiled from bird counts at three fifty-year intervals, and repeated at the same locations, make up the oldest standardized survey in the nation.
Chicago's Jackson Park.
Every Saturday at 8:00 a.m.
These wonderful walks continue throughout the year. Bring binoculars, field guides, and dress for the weather. Meet at Clarence Darrow Bridge, just south of Museum of Science and Industry. To read a Chicago Tribune article on Wooded Island by Barbara Brotman from September 5, 2012, click here!