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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:33pm

Event date:

Saturday, June 17, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

The rain gods held their powers in check so we would have another nice summertime bird walk. 

The Great Crested Flycatcher was on a bare branch near the top of a tree in the center of Wooded Island.  It looked marvelous.  The Cedar Waxwings were mostly on the Island. An adult was occupying a well hidden nest near the Japanese Garden. Cowbirdswere in abundance too, which always is a concern for what eggs are in our breeding birds’ nests. Glad to report that our pair of Eastern Bluebirds was seen together on the crossbar of the soccer field nest.  I believe that the adults attending the youth soccer games do not realize that our bluebirds are nesting in the crossbar. They take the metal frame down when supervising games.  No games today.

The male Indigo Bunting was clinging to a plant near the ground, at the south end of Wooded Island.  Eric G. noticed it first.  Raman, Tracy and I were only a few feet away from the bird.  It stayed long enough for Tracy W. to take some photos then off it flew; later to be spotted on its’ high exposed perch on a snag south of the Old Rose Garden.

male singing Dickcissel, in breeding plumage, has been in Bobolink Meadow for a few days. He was in the trees along the golf driving range fence.  Some birders believe that there may be two Dickcissels in the Meadow. This is a rare find in Jackson Park.  Normally they are found in a much larger meadow or field.


BIRDERS:      8          (1) Eric G., (2) Tracy W., (3) Kevin V., (4) Roger F. and his daughter (5) Maia G., (6) Raman S., (7) Chris R., (8) Pat D.

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

PLACES:        Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Cloudy. Temperature 68 – 78 F. Welcome breeze SE 10 – 15 mph.


  1. Canada Goose  83

  2. Wood Duck  2     In flight over the East Lagoon.

  3. Mallard  10 – including 6 ducklings

  4. Double-crested Cormorant  3     In flight.

  5. Great Blue Heron  5

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  6

  7. Killdeer  1

  8. Spotted Sandpiper  1     Viewed from Music Bridge.

  9. Ring-billed Gull  1

  10. Caspian Tern  3

  11. Chimney Swift  2

  12. Eastern Wood-Pewee  2

  13. Great Crested Flycatcher  1     Middle of Wooded Island.

  14. Eastern Kingbird  3

  15. Warbling Vireo  1

  16. Red-eyed Vireo  1

  17. American Crow  7

  18. Purple Martin  15

  19. Barn Swallow  10

  20. Cliff Swallow  7

  21. Black-capped Chickadee  2     Heard south of Japanese Garden.

  22. House Wren  2     One was on the lamp light SW edge of Japanese Garden.

  23. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1

  24. Eastern Bluebird  2     On the cross bar of the frame for the soccer net. Since last week the frame was back up and our pair of bluebirds has returned.

  25. American Robin  10

  26. Gray Catbird  3

  27. European Starling  1

  28. Cedar Waxwing  8     Adult sitting on nest near Japanese Garden. Well hidden.

  29. Yellow Warbler  9

  30. Song Sparrow  1

  31. Northern Cardinal  1

  32. Indigo Bunting  2

  33. Dickcissel  1     Possibly two. Middle section of Bobolink Meadow in the trees that border the golf driving range.  The adult male was in breeding plumage and singing.

  34. Red-winged Blackbird  3

  35. Brown-headed Cowbird  14

  36. Baltimore Oriole  2

  37. American Goldfinch  2

  38. 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.

Photos were taken by Tracy Weiner on June 17, 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 10
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 24
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report