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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Patricia Durkin on Sat, 11/15/2014 - 6:12pm

Event date:

Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 9:30am to 11:15am 


Jackson Park, Chicago -- Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area, Cook, US - IL

Jackson Park, Chicago -- Inner/Outer Harbors, Cook, US - IL Nov 15, 2014

Hello to All,

The weather report was worse than the actual experience, thanks to the sunny skies. We did feel the cold blowing over the water of the Outer Harbor, but the Island provided shelter.

Following on the luck of finding an owl last week, we tried very hard to make a sleeping juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, with its head tucked into its feathers, into an owl, but Eric ventured closer to the bird and the owl idea was dismissed.

It was still nice to have two species of herons around the lagoons. Hawks were working the Island. There were at least two Cooper’s Hawks. We saw one being chased by crows. It glided to the ground on the center footpath, just a few yards from the north entrance. We figured that it had nabbed a bird. But Edith and Karl went down the path to check. They discovered the hawk perched on a ground log, with plenty of whitewash on it. This must be the roost for the Wooded Island Cooper’s Hawk.

A photo of the roost site is attached, along with my Saturday morning canine pal “Copper”, who managed to get the whole supply of “Beggin’ Bits” off me before we parted.

Paul Clyne told us about a male Ruddy Duck in the Outer Harbor. We made a brief stop there to see him, and then on to breakfast.

A large flock of American Robins were taking a respite near the South Bridge. European Starlings also had huge flocks in flight.

Jasper-Pulaski Sandhill Crane Adventure Schedule:

pNext Saturday, November 22nd, a group of us will travel to Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Refuge in northeast Indiana, to view the Sandhill Cranes. There are now over 8,000 cranes staging there. We leave Chicago in the early afternoon, in order to arrive as the cranes, in the thousands, fly into a large pasture, for an evening social hour. The sound of their bugling call, their grace in flight, and their parachute landing, is a sight that will remain in your inner core of favorite memories for your lifetime. I will attach a short video I took a year or two ago of the cranes gathering at eventide.

There are several cars going. We usually make a rest stop on the way down, and gather for supper at a small town restaurant on the way home. We are warmly welcomed to join the trip and supper on the way home. If you are interested in coming, and need directions to Jasper-Pulaski, please contact me. If you can join the group supper, please let me know so we can give the restaurant a count. Jennie Strable is making the supper arrangements. Last year she found a wonderful place on the way home. The food was great and we were treated with exceptional kindness and hospitality.

BIRDERS 12. Rick R., Edith and Karl H., Laurel and Stuart R., Karin C., Caroline and Leo H., Eric G., Roger F., Jennie S., Pat D.

TIME 8:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

PLACES Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow and Outer Harbor

WEATHER Sunny. Temperature 26–32 F. Wind SW 5-10mph.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

Jackson Park, Chicago--Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area, Cook, US-IL

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

  1. Canada Goose X

  2. Mallard X

  3. Hooded Merganser 9 East Lagoon

  4. Red-breasted Merganser 3 West Lagoon

  5. Pied-billed Grebe 1 East Lagoon. Looks like it has a cotton ball on its tail.

  6. Horned Grebe 4 Two in West Lagoon and two in the 59th St. Marina.

  7. Double-crested Cormorant 4 In flight and in the East Lagoon.

  8. Great Blue Heron 1 Fly over of Wooded Island, west of the Japanese Garden.

  9. Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 Roosting on a branch over the water of the East Lagoon. Seen NE from the North Bridge.

  10. Cooper's Hawk 2 Discovered a log roosting site on Wooded Island. Cooper's on log. Abundant whitewash.

  11. Ring-billed Gull X

  12. Herring Gull 1 West Lagoon.

  13. Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 South end of Wooded Island. Reported by Karin C.

  14. Downy Woodpecker 1 Wooded Island. NW corner of North Bridge.

  15. American Crow X Kept busy chasing hawks on Wooded Island

  16. Black-capped Chickadee X

  17. Hermit Thrush X Several west of the Rose Garden on Wooded Island.

  18. American Robin X Large flocks in migration.

  19. European Starling X Large flocks in migration. Huge flock on grassy areas of east parking lot.

  20. Cedar Waxwing X Flock reported by Eric G.

  21. Fox Sparrow 1 Great view. Perched at eye level in mature oak west of Rose Garden on Wooded Island.

  22. White-throated Sparrow X

  23. Dark-eyed Junco X

  24. Northern Cardinal 3

  25. American Goldfinch X Heard

Jackson Park, Chicago--Inner/Outer Harbors, Cook, US-IL Nov 15, 2014 11:00 AM-11:20 AM

  1. Mallard 2

  2. Greater Scaup X

  3. Bufflehead X

  4. Red-breasted Merganser X

  5. Ruddy Duck 1

  6. Horned Grebe 1

  7. Ring-billed Gull X

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. Birders always show up near Darrow Bridge at the start times. Newcomers are warmly welcomed.

Note: Darrow Bridge has been barricaded by the Department of Transportation but there are openings at each end that allows forfoot traffic. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe. Birders continue to meet on Darrow Bridge and scan the lagoons and trees while the group comes together.

The Walks start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, and at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday.