Back to All Events

Copy of Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 8:46pm

Event date:

Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 8:45pm 



Hello to All,

To quote Yogi Berra, it was “déjà vu all over again.” We recall with dismay the height of spring migration a couple of years ago, when the Park District cut down a huge mulberry tree near Darrow Bridge. The warblers were flying forth from the tree as birders watched. This past Monday, the contractors for the Park District/Army Corps of Engineers cut down the mature tree on Heron Island that was the favored perched for the State Rare Bird, the Bohemian Waxwing. That put an end to any and all sightings of this phenomenal bird’s respite in Jackson Park.

Wooded Island is now drastically denuded. Heavy equipment roads have been created. The work crews were busy cutting down the few remaining trees along Cornell Drive.  If anyone thinks that the Obama Library will not be built on Cornell Drive, I am taking bets.

The highlight this morning was the energetic Merlin that cut a hypotenuse flight pattern across the water from the 63rd St Beach to the turnaround at North of LaRabida. It perched in a tree near the center of the yacht parking lot. We were able to observe it well through our scopes. Mark Webster took a great photo of the Merlin and of an adult male White-winged Scoterthat was in the channel connecting the Harbor and the Lake. A photo of each is attached to this report.

BIRDERS:      14.       Leo H., Caroline H., Jennie S., Mark W., Randy S., Eric G., Karin D., Matthew W., Mike V., Erica W., Haider S., Edith H., Paul C., Pat D.

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

PLACES:        Denuded Wooded Island and Islets, Ice Capped Drained Lagoons,

Bobolink Meadow with extensive tree and shrub removal along the north shoreline.

66th St. Outer Harbor and Lakefront

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature low 30’s F., Wind SSW 15 – 20 mph 


Randy Shonkwiler shared his eBird Reports:

Jackson Park, Chicago--Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area, Cook, US-IL Mar 7, 2015 8:02 AM - 9:39 AM

Protocol: Transect

1.62 mile(s)

12 species (+2 other taxa)

 Canada Goose  36

Common Goldeneye  2     male + fem. 59th St. Harbor

Sharp-shinned/Cooper's Hawk  1     Adult

gull sp.  1

Downy Woodpecker  5     2 m., 2 fem., 1 ? all on Wooded Island

Hairy Woodpecker  1     not sexed; flew off from Music Court Bridge area.

Monk Parakeet  3     Briefly at driving range nest

American Crow  6

White-breasted Nuthatch  2

Brown Creeper  1

White-throated Sparrow  2

Northern Cardinal  8     All heard only; all but 1 singing

House Finch  1

House Sparrow  3

 Jackson Park, Chicago--Inner/Outer Harbors, Cook, US-IL Mar 7, 2015 9:44 AM - 10:47 AM

Protocol: Point Count

16 species (+1 other taxa)

 Canada Goose  44

Mallard  6     4 m., 2 fem. harbor

Redhead  6     4 m., 2 fem. L. Mich

Greater Scaup  7     2 m. (1 imm.), 4 fem. all but 1 pair on L. Mich.

Lesser Scaup  7     3 m., 2 fem. and 2 not sexed (seen by another member of my party)

White-winged Scoter  8     5 ad. m., 1 imm. m. (with two white blotches on left side of face but only a bit of white below eye on right side of face!), 2 imm./fem.

Common Goldeneye  2     1 m. OH; 1 fem L. Mich.

Common Merganser  2     male + fem. OH

Red-breasted Merganser  20     16 m., 4 fem.; all but 1 fem. L. Mich.

Ring-billed Gull  81     Ads.

Herring Gull  6     3 ads., 1 3rd cyc., 1 2nd cyc. (I think), 1 1st cyc.

gull sp.  3     Up high

Merlin  1   Female (I think)

American Crow  2

Black-capped Chickadee  1

Dark-eyed Junco  1

Northern Cardinal  1     Heard only

 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.  Come to Darrow Bridge to meet with the other birders.

Noteon Darrow Bridge: Darrow Bridge has been barricaded by the Department of Transportation but there are openings at each end that allows for foot traffic. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe. Birders continue to meet on Darrow Bridge at the start times, even during the multi-year restoration of Wooded Island and other areas within Jackson Park.

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

Birders gather on Darrow Bridge, which is located south of the Museum of Science and Industry.

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 near Darrow Bridge.

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 58th to 56th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: February 28
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: March 14
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report