Back to All Events

Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sun, 02/28/2016 - 4:03pm

Event date:

Saturday, January 9, 2016 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

As some may know, I have been away for a while; far away for this birder who left migration to others years ago.  For a month I visited Argentina, Falkland Islands (Malvinas, respectfully to my Argentine friends), South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula.  I will try not to lace my reports with too many references about this adventure, but I will encourage all with a pulse to go on such an expedition before your time on earth runs out.  It may seem like a sizable coin to drop for such an adventure to a place seen by few. Put the ticket on plastic and go. It is unsecured debt and if you don’t come back, the banks can’t come after you.

The Wooded Island birders proclaimed that my presence was missed. More so was my scope, a community property for sharing, especially now that the lakefront and harbors are an added extension to the walk back and forth through Bobolink Meadow. I hear that plans are afoot to make Jackson Park a carnival place, with an Obama Theme Park motif. Kudos to Rahm.

Not many birds were found in Bobolink Meadow. The male woodpeckers, Downy and Hairywere around. A few Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals, and American Goldfinch were around. Single American Tree and Song Sparrows showed up.

The palest pair of Canvasbacks was along the west wall of the Outer Harbor. A half dozen Redheads were at the south end. Eric G. checked out the Inner Harbor and found a group of Common Goldeneyes and Red-breasted Mergansers. The southeast corner held a flock of American Goldfinches.Mark W. spotted a solo Common Merganser just off shore from the beach around 58th St.

BIRDERS:      7          Eric G., Mark W., Jennie S., Karin D., Karin C., Rick R., Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.          

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow, Lakefront, Outer Harbor & Inner Harbor

WEATHER:   Overcast. Temperature 40 degrees F & falling. Wind WNW 5 – 10mph


  1. Mallard – 1. Outer Harbor.

  2. Canvasback – 2. Outer Harbor.

  3. Redhead – 7. Outer Harbor.

  4. Common Goldeneye – X. Lake, Outer & Inner Harbors.

  5. Common Merganser – 1. Lake.

  6. Red-breasted Merganser –X. Lake, Outer & Inner Harbor.

  7. Ring-billed Gull – X. Fly overs and on docks in Harbors.

  8. Herring Gull – 2. Outer Harbor.

  9. Downy Woodpecker – 2. Males around Bobolink Meadow. 1 heard Outer Harbor.

  10. Hairy Woodpecker – 1. Bobolink Meadow.

  11. American Crow – 1.

  12. American Tree Sparrow – 1.

  13. Song Sparrow – 1.

  14. Dark-eyed Junco – 3.

  15. Northern Cardinal – 3.

  16. American Goldfinch – 18.

X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

This is a group report, with many birders contributing to the list. Most of the birds were seen by at least several or all of the birders.

Corrections, additions and comments are welcome.

Recordings are not used to attract birds.

This report will be recorded on eBird as a group report for the Wooded Island Bird Walks.

The Walks are free and open to one and all. They are held year round. Newcomers are warmly welcomed. 

Darrow Bridge: Darrow Bridge has been barricaded by the Department of Transportation. No one can cross. A high black metal iron fence has been erected on all four sides. It appears that the fence will remain in place until Darrow Bridge is completely rebuilt, which could be more than a year. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe.

The Walks start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Birders meet in the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot. Wooded Island is closed off by a fence while work in being done. Birders walk through Bobolink Meadow and view the eastside of Wooded Island and the East Lagoon.

Please note: The Wednesday morning Walks have been decommissioned. An informal group often meets, but the start time varies and the distance traveled can be curtailed.

Metered parking is available in the East Parking Lot that is accessible from South Lake Shore Drive at 57th Street (labeled Science Drive on a small blue street sign). There is a Stop Light at 57th Street. Make a turn at the Stop Light towards the Museum. Turn Left (south) at the intersection of Science Drive and Columbia Drive. Go through the parking lot to the west end.

Parking and Lots: While restoration is ongoing, heavy equipment has taken over half of the east parking lot, off of South Lake Shore Drive, and half of the southwest parking lot which has an entrance off of Hayes Drive (63rd St.) and just east of Cornell Drive. Birders will be able to find metered parking in both lots. The East Parking Lot is preferred. There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 56th to 59th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: January 2
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: January 16
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report