Back to All Events

Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:30pm

Event date:

Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

 We discovered a pair of Cedar Waxwings on a berry bush inside the gate to the Japanese Garden.  They were at eye level and very nonchalant about our presence.  A new nest was found just outside the Japanese Garden, although not occupied.  There were numerous Cedar Waxwings on Wooded Island. 

A pair of Baltimore Orioles was seen feeding young at the nest opening on the southeast side of the Island. Let’s hope the nestlings are orioles and not cowbirds.

No Eastern Bluebird sighting today. The goal post that was the site of nesting material was found on the ground in the soccer field.  They may have found another nesting spot.

The low flying Turkey Vulture over the north end of Bobolink Meadow was a surprise.  A black bird gave it the bum’s rush. On Cornell Drive, a crow took up the escort duties out of Jackson Park.

The frog was chilling in the North Lagoon (Columbia Basin), in the northwest corner along the wall.

Guess who has returned to build a home along the south end of Wooded Island? Yep! A big beaver was seen swimming with a fresh branch from a willow tree. 


BIRDERS:      (1) Marian N., (2) Bruce McC., (3) Tracy W., (4) Laurel R., (5) Eric G., (6) Tobias G., (7) Chelle G., (8) Karin C., (9) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 am. to 11:15 a.m.          

PLACES:        Wooded Island & Bobolink Meadow

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 74 – 81 F. Breezy. Winds SW 20 – 30 mph


  1. Canada Goose  83     Molting continues

  2. Mallard  12     7 ducklings swimming with an adult female fore and aft.

  3. Double-crested Cormorant  1     Solo fly over.

  4. Great Blue Heron  1     All three nests in nearby Oakwood Cemetery have young. Sort of a Phoenix bird, arising from among the dead. (joking a bit)

  5. Green Heron  1

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  4

  7. Turkey Vulture  1     Big Surprise! Flying low over Bobolink Meadow, east to west. Chased by blackbird. Seemed to follow Cornell Drive heading north. Saw red face. Feather fingers extended.

  8. Cooper's Hawk  1

  9. Ring-billed Gull  4     fly overs

  10. Caspian Tern  1

  11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2

  12. Downy Woodpecker  1     Male

  13. Eastern Wood-Pewee  1     Reported by Eric.

  14. Eastern Kingbird  3

  15. Warbling Vireo  2

  16. American Crow  4

  17. Purple Martin  10     Happy sounds from on and near their white condos.

  18. Barn Swallow  20

  19. Cliff Swallow  12     A few nests completed under MSI south portico and eaves.

  20. Black-capped Chickadee  2

  21. House Wren  2

  22. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1

  23. American Robin  3

  24. Gray Catbird  1

  25. Cedar Waxwing  14     Nest located NW of entrance to Japanese Garden

  26. Yellow Warbler  8

  27. Song Sparrow  1

  28. Northern Cardinal  1

  29. Indigo Bunting  3

  30. Red-winged Blackbird  2     chased Cooper's Hawk.

  31. Brown-headed Cowbird  3

  32. Baltimore Oriole  4     Some birders observed female feeding young at nest. East side of Wooded Island.

  33. American Goldfinch  1


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.

Photos were taken by Tracy Weiner on June 10, 2017 during our Walk.

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.

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 57th Street 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: 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 Parking Lot is preferred. There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 56th to 59thStreet.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Chicago Audubon Society Representative

Earlier Event: June 3
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 17
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report