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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Thu, 07/02/2015 - 4:23pm

Event date:

Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 8:00am to 10:00am 



Many of our birders were out of town or otherwise occupied because we only had three participants on today’s bird walk.  Too bad the others missed it, because it was a beautiful morning and we had some nice birds.  After our regular walk some of us attended the tour of Wooded Island hosted by Lauren Umek of the Chicago Park District, and I’ve included a brief report and a link to some photos, below.

Birders:  Rodger F., Karin D. and Jennie.  Randy S., Caroline H. and Leo H. were also on the tour, and Karin, Randy and I stayed and helped plant sedge grasses in the area just east of the east lagoon after the tour.

Weather:  sunny, clear, in the 70s.

The birds:

Great Blue Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Mallard – one mom with 5 ducklings and another with 10 small ducklings

Hooded Merganser – 2 in Columbia Basin

Spotted Sandpiper

Kildeer – at least 2, very noisy and active

Baltimore Oriole

Warbling Vireo – 2 heard

Eastern Kingbird

Grey Catbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Yellow Warbler

House Wren – 2 heard

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

Chimney Swift

Tree Swallow

Purple Martin

Barn Swallow

Red-winged Blackbird

Northern Cardinal

Downy Woodpecker

American Robin

American Goldfinch

Indigo Bunting

Song Sparrow

The tour of the Wooded Island was well attended by community members – about 80 people were there and we were taken out in groups of 20.  Overall, the Island did not look as barren as I expected it to.  Although many trees were removed, the vegetation has grown in and it looks pretty lush.  Here’s a few notes on the information that was shared:

  • The main path on the east side of the island was moved 4 feet east to avoid running the path over the roots of the old oak trees.  This means that it does not follow the exactly path that was there in 1893, but it’s the same general path.  The main path will be paved in concrete.  The cross-paths will be covered in crushed rock.

  • They are waiting to see what plants come in naturally before decided what to plant.  The native vegetation that is planted will be fenced in for two years to protect it.  They will be creating different zones of plants, depending on the area.  Some of the zones will be dune, fringe wetland, sedge meadow and savannah.

  • Paths to new overlooks on the water’s edge were added.  There are 9 overlooks now, and more may be added if funds allow.

  • Grading was done to make a gradual transition from water to land.  Wetland plants will be planted near the water’s edge.

  • There was a disagreement regarding the fate of the old oak tree at the north end of the wooded area of the island.  The Olmstead people wanted it removed so that a path could be created that followed the original path exactly, and the environmental folks wanted the tree to stay (for reasons that are obvious to all of us).  Happily, the environmentalists won, the oak stayed and the center path was moved.

  • More turtle habitat is planned for the west lagoon.

Here is a link to my Flickr site with some photos from the Island:

Good birding everyone,


Earlier Event: June 20
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: July 11
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report