Back to All Events

Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Tue, 06/05/2018 - 1:03pm

Event date:

Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

Some of our regular birds must have been busy with other matters, than to check on the Saturday morning birders.  Raptors and woodpeckers were underrepresented.  It seems like a good summer for Indigo Buntings and Hummingbirds. Time will tell, if they found a home or are just passing through.

A couple of years ago, a young birder named Ben Sanders showed up for our Walk. He is not related to the “Colonel”, although they share the same birthdate. His dad dropped him off. At the end of the Walk, some of us were heading out to Indiana for brunch and more birding. Ben asked if he could join us. “Sure!” We packed into my car and off we went.  Along the way, we found out that Ben was hoping to break 100 in Life Birds.  Now we had a mission – To get Ben over 100 – and we did!  It was a flock of late afternoon Sandhill Cranes flying low over Lake Calumet in a southeast direction.

Since those early days, Ben got his driver’s license.  He delved deeper and deeper into the study of birds.  He volunteered at the Field Museum. Last summer he worked at an eco-lodge in Peru. He joined the Young Birder group of the Illinois Ornithological Society.  Ben would still join us on the Walks, but less frequently. This year Ben is working on a Cook County Big Year.

This was a momentous weekend in Ben’s life.  Karin D, Karin C. and I attended Ben’s Ceremony as he was accepted into the ranks of Eagle ScoutThe following day, Ben graduated from Evanston Township High School.  In his speech, Ben mentioned the experienced gained, early on, with the Birders of Jackson Park.  We are proud of Ben and his accomplishments; his steadfastness and determination. His future awaits him with great hope and promise.

BIRDERS:      18.       (1) Gary M., (2) Michael M. and sons (3) David M. and (4) Isaac M – new birders to Jackson Park, (5) Marian N., (6) Bruce McM.,(7) Jennie S., (8) Hal C and (9) Joann C., (10) Catherine G., (11) Eric G. and (12) Tobias G. on summer break from Cornell U., (13) Karin D., (14) David P., (15) Naomi P., (16) Randy S. and (17) Paul C. briefly part of group, and (18) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.         

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow, Lagoons and Soccer Field.

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Cloudy Cool. Temperature 58 – 61 F. Winds ENE 5 -10 mph.


  1. Canada Goose  53

  2. Wood Duck  3

  3. Mallard  9

  4. Great Blue Heron  2

  5. Green Heron  1

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  3

  7. Ring-billed Gull  4

  8. Caspian Tern  1

  9. Mourning Dove  1     On Wooded Island. Rare sighting on our walks.

  10. Chimney Swift  5

  11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  5     Did a couple "put a tail" on the birders?  More than one for sure.

  12. Eastern Wood-Pewee  1

  13. Willow Flycatcher  1     Near Turtle Island. Confirmed by sneezy song, "Fitz-bew", Maybe an allergic sneeze. Just joking.

  14. Great Crested Flycatcher  1     On Wooded Island. In open view. South west area.

  15. Eastern Kingbird  3

  16. Warbling Vireo  1

  17. Red-eyed Vireo  2 Seen at eye level and up close.  Maybe nest building, NW are of soccer field.

  18. American Crow  1

  19. Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1

  20. Purple Martin  3     More inside houses. Just waiting for warmer temperature and more bug activity.

  21. Barn Swallow  12

  22. Cliff Swallow  2     Only a single occupied mud nest attached to the roof of the Museum portico. Not like last year, when the place was covered with nests.

  23. Black-capped Chickadee  1

  24. House Wren  3

  25. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4     On nest.

  26. American Robin  8

  27. Gray Catbird  1

  28. European Starling  1

  29. Cedar Waxwing  5     In oak tree SE of Purple Martin Houses. Carrying nesting material. Silent.

  30. Common Yellowthroat  1

  31. Yellow Warbler  10

  32. Song Sparrow  1

  33. Northern Cardinal  5

  34. Indigo Bunting  6

  35. Baltimore Oriole  5     On nest

  36. Red-winged Blackbird  9

  37. Brown-headed Cowbird  4

  38. American Goldfinch  2


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.

Corrections, additions and comments are welcome.

Recordings are not used to attract birds.

This report will be documented 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. A high black metal iron fence has been erected on all four sides. The fence will remain in place until Darrow Bridge is completely rebuilt, which could be several years away. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe.

Birders meet on the east side of Darrow Bridge.

Saturday morning walks: Start at 8:00 a.m. covers a distance of two miles.  Birders walk counterclockwise around the Columbia Basin (North Lagoon) onto Wooded Island. Exiting Wooded Island at the south end, the birders walk along the soccer field and enter the south end of Bobolink Meadow. The Meadow’s path leads to the Music Bridge and back to the East Parking Lot. In late fall, winter and early spring, the birders check for birds on the lakefront and Outer Harbor near LaRabida Hospital, and the Inner Harbor.

Metered parking is available in the East Parking Lot that is accessible from South Lake Shore Drive. There is a Stop Light at Science DriveThis Stop Light is approximately 200 yards south of the major intersection with signs for Museum of Science and Industry. Make a turn at the 57th Street and Science Drive 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.

Birders meet in the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot.

Parking and 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: May 26
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 16
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report