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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 4:45pm

Event date:

Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

Spring must be here because the Purple Martins returned this morning!  We didn’t see any at 8:00am when we began our walk but by the time we got back to the parking lot area they had arrived.  In addition, the number of Rough-winged and Barn swallows increased later in the morning as there seemed to be twice as many at 10:00am as there were at 8:00am as Renate, Karin and I walked home via the pathway behind the museum.

We also had at least a dozen flocks of Double-crested Cormorants fly over the Island on their way north – that was fun to watch.

We had a beautiful Hooded Merganser in the Columbia Basin who was following a female Mallard around, looking lovesick. Poor guy is apparently a bit confused.

The most exciting event of the morning occurred as we were leaving to go home. A few of us spotted a Turkey Vulture swooping in over the Columbia Basin. It’s fairly unusual to have a vulture in the park, and the fact that it was flying in so low was pretty unusual too. But, we then saw the Cooper’s Hawk that was in hot pursuit of the vulture. The hawk chased the vulture south, around trees, up, down and then back across the Columbia Basin after which we lost sight of them. It was a spectacular aerial display! Unfortunately, not all members of our group saw it since many had left the area by that time. I think the hawk made its opinion of the vulture very clear so I doubt if the vulture will visit us again.

BIRDERS:  Eric, Sandy, Steve, Bruce, John, Sean, Erin, Kirsten, Jennie, Karin D., David, Catherine, Renate, plus Doug and Copper.   

TIME:    8:00am to 10:00am             

WEATHER:  Sunny, but chilly. Temperatures in the low 40s with a brisk wind.

Many thanks to Eric for sharing his e-bird report:             

X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

Jackson Park, Chicago--Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area

Apr 28, 2018

8:03 AM


1.50 miles

110 Minutes

All birds reported? Yes

Comments: Adult deer in lawn bowling area


X Canada Goose

5 Wood Duck

5 Blue-winged Teal

X Mallard

1 Hooded Merganser -- Male, courting a female Mallard

2 Red-breasted Merganser

2 Pied-billed Grebe

1 Horned Grebe

156 Double-crested Cormorant

2 Great Blue Heron

14 Black-crowned Night-Heron

1 hawk sp.

1 American Coot

1 Killdeer

X Ring-billed Gull

3 Herring Gull

2 Caspian Tern

1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

5 Northern Flicker

2 American Crow

11 Northern Rough-winged Swallow

4 Purple Martin

6 Barn Swallow -- Probably an undercount

4 Brown Creeper

1 Golden-crowned Kinglet

5 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

X kinglet sp.

12 American Robin

4 European Starling

1 Palm Warbler

1 Yellow-rumped Warbler

2 Song Sparrow

1 Swamp Sparrow

3 Northern Cardinal

1 Eastern Meadowlark

5 Red-winged Blackbird

4 Brown-headed Cowbird

5 American Goldfinch

7 House Sparrow


Number of Taxa: 39

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 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. A high black 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.

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.

Directions:  Exit Lake Shore Drive at Science Drive, which is the stoplight just south of the major 57th Drive intersection by the Museum of Science and Industry.  Turn Left (south) at the stop sign at the intersection of Science Drive and Columbia Drive. Go through the parking lot to the southwest end.  Metered parking is available and birders meet in the southwest corner of the east parking lot.

Best of Birding to All,      


Earlier Event: April 21
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: May 5
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report