Back to All Events

Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sun, 11/29/2015 - 6:05pm

Event date:

Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 8:00am 



Hello everyone,

It was a chilly and dreary morning with only four intrepid birders making the trek through the meadow.  I’d like to say that our efforts were made worthwhile by a wonderful, rare sighting, but I’m afraid I can’t say that…it was our usual residents for the most part.  But, we love our resident birds and are always happy to see them!

We also attended Lauren Umek’s tour of the Wooded Island at 10:00am.  The paths and overlooks are complete, the plantings around the edges of the island are finished, and a burn was conducted last week.  The latest estimate of the opening of the Island to the public is next June, after Yoko Ono’s sculpture is expected to be installed.

After that, Pat, Karin C, Karin D, Tracy and I went to Jasper-Pulaski State Wildlife Refuge for our annual visit with the Sandhill Cranes.  Pat led us on a drive on the back roads around the power plant, and we came across a field with hundreds of cranes.  They were eating, flying in and out, and dancing beautifully.  We then went to the overlook in the park and watched thousands of them fly in to socialize for the evening.  What a spectacular sight!  This was Tracy’s first visit to J-P and she was thrilled with the experience.

Here’s the stats for the day:

Weather:  Cloudy, breezy, high 30s.

Birders:  4 on the regular walk:  Bruce, Karin D, Karin C and Jennie


  • Canada Goose

  • American Tree Sparrow

  • Female Hooded Merganser

  • Mallards

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker

  • Downy Woodpecker

  • Chickadee

  • Crow

  • Goldfinch

  • A few gull flyovers

Jasper-Pulaski:  about 8000 Sandhill Cranes. Unfortunately, no Whoopers were spotted.

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. 

Note on 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.

Note on 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 59th to 56thStreet.

Best of Birding to all,

Earlier Event: October 31
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: December 12
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report