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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Thu, 06/11/2015 - 8:35pm

Event date:

Saturday, June 6, 2015 - 8:00am to 10:30am 



Hello to All,

The beaver was seen swimming with a leafy branch in its jaws in the North Lagoon.

Turtles were numerous, sunning themselves on logs.

Killdeer were seen occupying a nest on the mudflats. A fledgling was scurrying on the banks. 

European Starlings have nested in the nesting box at the south end of Bobolink Meadow. This is the first time I have seen the box used for nesting. Three hungry mouths poked out of the opening. An adult landed on the top of the box with a long worm in its beak. But it was just too much of a meal for the babies to handle. There was a collective sigh from the birders when the worm was dropped and landed in the tall grass below. Off the adult went to find another meal.

A piece of art by Yoko Ono has been gleefully accepted by the Park District and will be built on the elliptical lawn west of the Japanese Garden. The piece has a name, “Sky Landing” but no design description has been made public. According to Yoko Ono, “I want the sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again.” Yoko Ono will be on Wooded Island for a ground breaking ceremony this Friday, June 12th.It is an “invitation only” event for special people. Instillation will take place next summer. My hope is that the design will function as a bird perch.

BIRDERS:      16        Mary N. M. and Eric S., Laurens and Marilyn M., Kurt E., Mark N. and Sandra N., Ben S., Ilze G. and Cedric B. visiting from Australia, with their granddaughter Catherine, Bruce M., Karin C., Karin D., Eric G. and Pat D.

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

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow and East and North Lagoons      

WEATHER:    Partly Cloudy. Temperature 57 – 69 F., Wind NNE 5 – 10 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 a least several or all the birders.

  1. Canada Goose – X. Saw a half dozen well grown young with parents, walking the mudflats.

  2. Wood Duck – 4. Two male. Two female.

  3. Mallard – 4. One set of parents had nine ducklings in tow.

  4. Blue-winged Teal – 1.

  5. Double-crested Cormorant – 2. Fly overs.

  6. Great Blue Heron – 2.

  7. Green Heron – 1.

  8. Black-crowned Night Heron – 6.

  9. Cooper’s Hawk – 1. Flew over the Meadow toward Wooded Island.

  10. Killdeer – 2 plus a fledging! Saw an adult sitting on a nest created in a shallow of the mudflat.

  11. Spotted Sandpiper – 4.

  12. Ring-billed Gull – X. Occasional fly overs.

  13. Monk Parakeet – 1. Near the nest at the golf shack. Lots of empty apartments in the nest.

  14. Chimney Swift – 1.

  15. Hairy Woodpecker – 1.

  16. E. Wood Pewee – 1.

  17. Willow Flycatcher – 1. In the meadow. Calling out “fitz-bew!”Loud & clear.

  18. Great Crested Flycatcher – 1. Heard by Eric G.

  19. Warbling Vireo – 1.

  20. Purple Martin – 2.

  21. Tree Swallow – 1. Exchanged its arrival cape of green for one of blue.

  22. N. Rough-winged Swallow – X.

  23. Cliff Swallow – X. Numerous nests can be seen in the edges and corners of the 63rd St. Beach House, all on the east side, safe from wind and rain.

  24. Barn Swallow – X.

  25. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 1.

  26. European Starlings – X.

  27. Yellow Warbler – X. Nesting.

  28. Song Sparrow – 1. Heard.

  29. Swamp Sparrow – 1. Seen and heard.

  30. Northern Cardinal – X.

  31. Red-winged Blackbird – X.

  32. Brown-headed Cowbird – 2.

  33. Baltimore Oriole – 2. On nest.

  34. American Goldfinch – 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. 

Noteon 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.

Birders meet in the East parking lot, and walk around the North Lagoon/Basin and across the south steps of the Museum to get to Wooded Island.

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

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 east of Darrow Bridge and 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 lot is the preferred one, as it is located nearest the Darrow Bridge. The southwest parking lot would require that the entire Wooded Island be walked northward, and to cross the North Bridge to reach Darrow Bridge.  There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 59th to 56th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: May 30
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 13
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report