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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sun, 10/18/2015 - 3:20pm

Event date:

Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

The noise from heavy equipment was a constant companion for most of the Walk. The work crew was laying the substrate layer for the concrete path around Wooded Island.

A highlight was the escape flight of a Red-tailed Hawk, being pursued by a single American Crow.  This crow struck the raptor several times on the back in flight.  Once the hawk was out of air space, a flock of twenty Cedar Waxwings burst into flight heading south. The hawk was heading north. Birds display such amazing behaviors.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch was a nice find by Eric, as was his ability to locate the vocal Eastern Towhees.

BIRDERS:      13.       Jennie S., Mark N., Sandra N., Tina A. new birder from Beverly neighborhood who read our reports on the Chicago Audubon Society website, Leo H., Caroline H., Roger F., Karin C., Karin D., Berthold H., Eric G., Tracy W., and Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.         

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow with view of the East Lagoon and east side of Wooded Island

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 52 – 67 F., Wind SW 10 – 15 mph


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.

  1. Canada Goose – X. A group of six was wearing new neck tags. We seldom see any of the geese who were tagged last year which numbered around 150 birds.  We have not seen “Mother Goose” (white head and neck patches) and her mate since spring. It appears that eradication of a bird deemed a nuance by “those in charge” is effective.  I get a kick out of seeing a flock standing behind a golfer getting ready to swing.  It would be fine with me to transform the underutilized eighteen hole golf course into a full nature preserve. That would take some of the sting out of the destruction of Wooded Island by turning the landscape back to 1893.

  2. Wood Duck – 5.

  3. Mallard – 1.

  4. Pied-billed Grebe – 1.

  5. Double-crested Cormorant – 6.

  6. Great Blue Heron – 2.

  7. Black-crowned Night Heron – 1. Adult.

  8. Red-tailed Hawk – 1.

  9. Ring-billed Gull – X.

  10. Mourning Dove – 2.

  11. Chimney Swift – 60.

  12. Belted Kingfisher – 1. Female.

  13. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 3.

  14. Northern Flicker – 2. One was a male.

  15. American Crow – 3.

  16. Black-capped Chickadee – 2.

  17. Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1. Great find by Eric G.  He heard the call and was able to locate the nuthatch at the north end of Bobolink Meadow.

  18. Brown Creeper – 1.

  19. Golden-crowned Kinglet – X.

  20. American Robin – X.

  21. Cedar Waxwing – 20 in one flock.

  22. Yellow-rumped Warbler – X.

  23. Palm Warbler – 3.

  24. Eastern Towhee – 2. Together. North end of Bobolink Meadow.

  25. Chipping Sparrow – 2.

  26. Field Sparrow – 1.

  27. Song Sparrow – X.

  28. White-throated Sparrow – X.

  29. White-crowned Sparrow – X.

  30. Dark-eyed Junco – 4.

  31. Northern Cardinal – 1.

  32. American Goldfinch – 6.

  33. House Sparrow – 1.

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: October 3
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: October 17
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report