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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:27pm

Event date:

Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

If you only have a few minutes to be in the company of wild birds, just sit on the bench near the Purple Martin Houses and watch their aerial acrobatics and listen to their soft, gurgling sounds as they speak to each other; in the air; on their front porches.  The experience will do wonders to your mental and physical wellbeing.  Petting the head of Copper, our Golden Retriever, who visits with us each week, is another relaxer.

We are not a rigid organized marching band of birders. We wander; we meander; we chat about this, that and the other. We stay as long as we can.  We like it this way; sharing sightings with those nearby, and then moving on.  I speak with pride when I describe our Walks as loosey goosey. We each create our own outdoor adventure, among a friendly group that resembles an ameba far more than a paramecium in motion.

Set the clock on Saturday morning and come join this group of bird lovers.

BIRDERS:      17        (1) Marian N., (2) Bruce McC., (3) Cathy W., (4) Jennie S., (5) Mark W., (6) Eric G., (7) Tracy W., (8) Kevin V., (9) Barbara S. and her sister (10) Sarah M., visiting, (11) Karin C., (12) Karin D., (13) Roger F., (14) Carol H. and daughter (15) Karen H., (16) Liz M., (17) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.         

PLACES:        Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow

DISTANCE:    2 miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Summertime! Temperature 70’s F. Winds faint or none, S 5 – 10 mph


  1. Canada Goose  44     Molting off long flight feathers.

  2. Wood Duck  4     Two male/female pair in East Lagoon

  3. Mallard  6     Two females with combines seven ducklings.

  4. Great Blue Heron  3

  5. Green Heron  1

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  4

  7. Killdeer  1     Heard near Darrow Bridge.

  8. Spotted Sandpiper  1

  9. Ring-billed Gull  12     flyovers

  10. Caspian Tern  3     At one point the trio was actively fishing together in the SW corner of the East Lagoon.

  11. Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1     Reported by Mark W. in Bobolink Meadow.

  12. Chimney Swift  8

  13. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2

  14. Downy Woodpecker  1     South end of Bobolink Meadow

  15. Eastern Wood-Pewee  3     One seen by Mark W. Two heard by Mark and others.

  16. Willow Flycatcher  1     Heard in Bobolink Meadow by Mark W.

  17. Eastern Kingbird  6

  18. Warbling Vireo  4

  19. Red-eyed Vireo  1     Wooded Island.

  20. American Crow  9

  21. Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1

  22. Purple Martin  12

  23. Barn Swallow  3

  24. Cliff Swallow  50     Flocks of 8 to 12 seen gathering mouthful of mud along Heron Island shore, then flying north to the Museum portico ceiling to create nests.  Adults observed in nests.

  25. House Wren  1

  26. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1     near old Rose Garden on Wooded Island.

  27. Eastern Bluebird  1

  28. American Robin  10

  29. Gray Catbird  8

  30. European Starling  6

  31. Cedar Waxwing  7

  32. Yellow Warbler  6

  33. Song Sparrow  2

  34. Northern Cardinal  3

  35. Indigo Bunting  2     One near Darrow Bridge. The other stood proudly on the top of a snag SW corner of Wooded Island.

  36. Red-winged Blackbird  4

  37. Brown-headed Cowbird  5

  38. Orchard Oriole  1     First year male. Bobolink Meadow, middle section.

  39. Baltimore Oriole  2

  40. House Finch  2

  41. American Goldfinch  4

  42. 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. Mark W. and Eric G. provided their combined lists.

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 59th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: May 27
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 10
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report