CHICAGO AUDUBON REGULAR AUTUMN BIRD WALKS TAKE PLACE EVERY SATURDAY IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER AT 8:00 a.m. It’s migration time and the birds are passing through! Come join us to view the migratory birds as we walk through the beautiful woods surrounding the Nature Center. All levels of birders are encouraged to attend. The walk leaders always welcome questions. For information or if you need directions, call the Chicago Audubon office at 773- 539-6793. You do not need to be a member of Chicago Audubon to participate. Everyone is welcome!
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 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.*
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!
10:00 a.m. every second Saturday of the month.
These workdays are continuous throughout the year.
The Chicago Audubon Society sponsors regular monthly workdays at Skokie Lagoons every second Saturday of the month. Activities include buckthorn cutting, brush pile burning, and other management activities. Wear work clothes. Meet at the Tower Road parking lot, east of the lagoon bridge. For further information, please call Dave Kosnik at (847) 456-6368. Everyone is welcome!
Ian Cheney’s 2011 award winning documentary – The City Dark – gives audiences an appreciation of what is being lost as we live in a world that is increasingly filled with light pollution. Besides no longer being able to enjoy stars in a night sky or inquire about the cosmos by peering deep into space – there are real dangers to human health and the well-being of the planet when we live in a 24-hour light cycle.
Migratory birds fatally attracted to urban lighting, baby turtles disoriented and confused by beach front lights are all victims of the rapid introduction of excessive outdoor lighting that has occurred in just the last generation. Changing light in the environment is altering habitat in a way that is not good for nature and humans.
National Audubon, among other organizations, co-sponsors Delta Dispatches, an online newsletter that keeps us abreast of current environmental updates regarding Coastal Louisiana. This website is a great resource for the latest information on the region: www.mississippiriverdelta.org/