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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:42pm

Event date:

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

A sizable and nice group of birders showed up for a summer morning stroll. A couple, who were new birders, came to meet the “Angry Birder” of Chicago Tribune fame: Wooded Island Regular, Karin Droegemueller.  We started with eighteen birders, but after three hours of walking, stopping, and staring, a few drop off along the way. I tell birders to stay as long as they can or wish.  If we had access across Darrow Bridge that would cut down the distance and shorten the time. But access is years away, so we do the best that we can, under the circumstances.

Nothing new to report bird wise.  A Pied-billed Grebe waited for the birders at the southeast edge of the East Lagoon.  The Green Herons are still around the North Basin.  Mother Wood Duck and her youngsters remain in the East Lagoon. A juvenile Bald Eaglerested on a snag on Wooded Island this past Tuesday. I think it was an Eastern Kingbirdthat kept dive bombing the young galoot, and drove it off the Island.  Tyrannus tyranus is an apt Latin name, as is the common name, Kingbird. Just because it wears a white skirt on its’ tail, does not mean it is a sissy.

BIRDERS:      18        (1) Marian N., (2) Karin C., (3) Jennie S., (4) Eric G., (5) Dan H., (6) Bruce McC., (7) Steve B., (8) Janet F., (9) Lee S., (10) Maury B., (11) Maija B., (12) Dan L., (13) Tracy W., (14) Emilie S., (15) Erin C., (16) Meal K., (17) Karin D., (18) Pat D.

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

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

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 67 – 74 F., Wind North 10 – 15 mph


  1. Canada Goose  28

  2. Wood Duck  6

  3. Mallard  16

  4. Pied-billed Grebe  1     Swimming & diving in the SE corner of the East Lagoon, west of the golf shack & east of Turtle Island.

  5. Double-crested Cormorant  5

  6. Great Blue Heron  3

  7. Green Heron  5

  8. Red-tailed Hawk 1     Reported by Dan L. Seen flying over Bobolink Meadow towards Wooded Island.

  9. Ring-billed Gull  1

  10. Caspian Tern  2

  11. Downy Woodpecker  1

  12. Peregrine Falcon  1

  13. Eastern Phoebe  4

  14. Eastern Kingbird  6

  15. Warbling Vireo  1

  16. American Crow  3

  17. Purple Martin 18     Staying near houses. Later ventured with young around Heron Island.  We are going to miss their gurgling sounds.  Nature's music.

  18. Barn Swallow  3

  19. Black-capped Chickadee  1

  20. White-breasted Nuthatch  1

  21. House Wren  1

  22. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  3

  23. American Robin  4

  24. Gray Catbird  1

  25. European Starling  17

  26. Cedar Waxwing 3     Center of Wooded Island.

  27. Yellow Warbler  1

  28. Song Sparrow  1

  29. Northern Cardinal  2

  30. Indigo Bunting  1

  31. Baltimore Oriole  3

  32. House Finch  1

  33. American Goldfinch  3

  34. 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 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 19
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report