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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 05/29/2017 - 3:28pm

Event date:

Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

We birded for four hours because the birds were everywhere we walked. Birders stayed as long as they could. A few “star” warblers graced the Island, including a handsome male Blackburnian Warbler and a Canada Warbler.

For the first time that I can recall, Cliff Swallows were scooping up mouthfuls of mud and pasting the material to the upper ledges and south portico entrance ceiling of the Museum. In past years, they built numerous nests on the ceiling of the 63rd St. beach house. Some nests were made under the North Bridge to Wooded Island; space shared with Barn Swallows. Nest building by swallows is a most favorable omen for the Museum.  Swallows symbolize renewal and revival.  Their nests on eaves foretell of success, happiness and good fortune for those that dwell within the building.  DON’T MESS WITH NESTS!

Northern Flicker was spotted carrying food into a tree hollow, by Karen H, Caroline’s daughter from Albuquerque, and an excellent birder.  The old tree is located at the southwest point near Darrow Bridge. The nest hole is at the end of a sizable main branch. Look east for find it.

BIRDERS:      16        (1) Liz M., (2) Gary M., (3) Marie Christina D., (4) Bruce McC., (5) Karen H., daughter of Caroline H. visiting from Albuquerque, New Mexico, (6) Marian N., (7) Eric G., (8) Tobias, G., (9) Jennie S., (10) Roger F., (11) Chris R., (12) Maury B. and (13) Maija B. from Naples, Florida, (14) Karin D., (15) Karin C., (16) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Four hours! Lots to seek, see, and find.        

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Lagoons, and Bobolink Meadow

DISTANCE:    2 miles

WEATHER:    Mostly sunny. Temperature 58 to 65 F. Occasional mild NE breeze.  Perfect weather for looking for birding.

TOTAL SPECIES COUNT:   60 (+ 1 other taxa) total

  1. Canada Goose  14

  2. Mallard  1     1 Male,1 Female

  3. Double-crested Cormorant  1

  4. Great Blue Heron  2

  5. Green Heron  3

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  5

  7. Cooper's Hawk  1

  8. Killdeer  1     Heard by Eric G.

  9. Ring-billed Gull  4

  10. Caspian Tern  1

  11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  7

  12. Downy Woodpecker  1

  13. Hairy Woodpecker  1

  14. Northern Flicker  1     Entering and leaving nest sight.

  15. Olive-sided Flycatcher  3     One near the east parking lot. One near the old rose garden on Wooded Island. One near the Meadow.  Unless it was just one tagging along with the birders. :)

  16. Eastern Wood-Pewee  1

  17. Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's Flycatcher) 

  18.  Least Flycatcher 1

  19. Eastern Phoebe  2

  20. Yellow-throated Vireo  1     Reported by Eric G.

  21. Warbling Vireo  2

  22. Red-eyed Vireo  2

  23. American Crow  3

  24. Northern Rough-winged Swallow  9

  25. Purple Martin  7     Male & female on porches of Houses (3) and aloft.

  26. Tree Swallow  1

  27. Barn Swallow  2

  28. Cliff Swallow  6     building mud nest under the south ledges and portico of the Museum.

  29. Black-capped Chickadee  2

  30. House Wren  2

  31. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3

  32. Eastern Bluebird  1     Soccer Field. Spotted at end of pipe supporting net. Attempted to nest in the pipe in the past; perhaps 2 years ago. Good Luck! Hope the scoring is low.

  33. Veery  1     Reported by Jennie S.

  34. Swainson's Thrush  1

  35. American Robin  6

  36. Gray Catbird  2

  37. European Starling  2

  38. Cedar Waxwing  3     Reported by Eric G (2) fly overs & (1) by Karin C. in Meadow.

  39. Black-and-white Warbler  1

  40. Mourning Warbler  1

  41. Common Yellowthroat  3

  42. American Redstart  3     1 Female

  43. Northern Parula  1     Observed by experienced two birders: Marian N. and Tobias G.

  44. Magnolia Warbler  6

  45. Blackburnian Warbler  1     Male

  46. Yellow Warbler  9

  47. Chestnut-sided Warbler  2

  48. Black-throated Green Warbler  3     This was the count from a 4 hour, two mile walk around the lagoon, through Wooded Island from three sides, and through Bobolink Meadow.

  49. Canada Warbler  1

  50. Wilson's Warbler  9

  51. White-crowned Sparrow  2

  52. Song Sparrow  4

  53. Northern Cardinal  6

  54. Indigo Bunting  2

  55. Red-winged Blackbird  2     1 Male, 1 Female

  56. Common Grackle  3

  57. Brown-headed Cowbird  6

  58. Baltimore Oriole  4     1 Male, 1 Female

  59. American Goldfinch  1

  60. House Sparrow  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.

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 Drive.This 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 59th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: May 20
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 3
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report