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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 12:19pm

Event date:

Saturday, August 5, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

Today the enthusiasm and camaraderie among the birders equaled the usual thrill of seeing birds.

Birders gathered early and introduced themselves. The group became aware that the Chicago Tribune had posted a video and article online that morning; the work of last week’s companions, John Kim, photographer, and Manya Brachear Pashman, reporter. The title of the article: “Birders keep eyes on projects that could alter Jackson Park.” Bryan Young quickly pulled out his smartphone, and read the article to the birders.  Bryan said that the article was picked up by Apple News. Manya and John did a great job of conveying the concerns of the birding community and others who want to preserve the habitat and quiet for which Jackson Park has been world renowned. Eric G. posted a link to the article on IBET.  It made the front page main article with photos on Monday, August 7th. We hope that our concerns will hold in check the “Obamaland” creep, spilling over Jackson Park. We will continue to voice our concerns and fight to protect the special natural areas and free public access to those areas.

BIRDERS:      17 + 1 canine. (1) Karin C., (2) Jennie S., (3) Bryan Y. & (4) Tatiana Y., - new birders to Jackson Park, (5) Gary M., (6) Dan H. & (7) Tere H., (8) Marian N., from Indiana, (9) Eric G. & (10) Tobias G. – leaving soon to start college at Cornell. We are going to miss his birding skills very much. (11) Karin D. the “angry birder” of Chicago Tribune fame, (12) Kim H. naturalist from Gibson Woods Nature Preserve in Hammond, IN, where a few of us show up every Saturday afternoon. (13) Julie S. who made the trip with Kim H., (14) Eric R. – who is spearheading community effects to save the South Shore Cultural Center’s nature sanctuary from the proposed PGA golf course, (15) “Copper” – our Golden Retriever pal, who loves birders and ignores birds, (16) Doug – Copper’s faithful companion, (17) Renate G., (18) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.         

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

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 70’s F., Mild westerly winds 5 to 10 mph


  1. Canada Goose  7

  2. Wood Duck  5     One adult female with four young nearby. Seen near the Music Bridge.

  3. Mallard  23     A family of eight were in the Japanese Garden pond. They stay on the rock near the Koi feeder.

  4. Double-crested Cormorant  6

  5. Great Blue Heron  4

  6. Green Heron  5

  7. Spotted Sandpiper  1     Near Darrow Bridge. Reported by Eric & Tobias G.

  8. Ring-billed Gull  2

  9. Herring Gull  1

  10. Caspian Tern  2

  11. Chimney Swift  6

  12. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2

  13. Downy Woodpecker  1

  14. Peregrine Falcon   1     Flying over Wooded Island heading west.

  15. Eastern Phoebe  3

  16. Eastern Kingbird  2

  17. Warbling Vireo  1     Heard

  18. Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2

  19. Purple Martin  7

  20. Tree Swallow  3

  21. Barn Swallow  2

  22. Black-capped Chickadee  1

  23. House Wren  1

  24. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1

  25. American Robin  7

  26. Gray Catbird  2

  27. European Starling  31     Large flock flying in synchronization.

  28. Northern Waterthrush   1     Spotted by Gary M. along the Japanese Garden shoreline.

  29. Yellow Warbler  2

  30. Chipping Sparrow  1     NE , on north side of North Bridge. In low shrubs.

  31. Song Sparrow  1

  32. Northern Cardinal  1

  33. Indigo Bunting  1

  34. Baltimore Oriole  2

  35. American Goldfinch  1

  36. House Sparrow  1


One rabbit and an Eastern Giant Swallowtail were spotted. Kim Harmon, from Gibson Woods, identified the butterfly for us. 


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 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: August 5
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: August 12
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report