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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:38pm

Event date:

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

The injured juvenile Great Blue Heron was a sad sight to see as we walked across the steps of the Museum. How the dislocated wing happened is anyone’s guess.  Like juveniles of any species, inexperience and bad luck are double troubles.  I have noticed more window strikes recently, involving juvenile birds.  Jennie S. called the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors and returned to help them, along with Karin C., when they arrived.  The bird was easily captured. We are very lucky in Chicago to have such a great resource. They respond quickly and have the skill to make a safe capture and transfer to a rehabilitation facility.  Please keep their number in your contact list:

Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (773)988-1867

The juvenile Orchard Oriole was a great find!

The Great Crested Flycatcher, perched nearby, but kept its back towards us. Its’ “bright yellow underbelly” is so pretty, in contrast to the “cinnamon wings and tail.” (Description by Roger Tory Peterson) When it belts out a call, its head feathers spring up in salute to the world.

BIRDERS:      15        (1) Jennie S., (2) Gary M., (3) Marian N., (4) Bruce Mc C., (5) Paul C., (6) Karen H., (6) Eric G., (7) Chris {M. C.}, (8) Eric C. = new to Hyde Park but not new to birding, (9) Chris R., (10) Rick R. – long time; no see,(10) Karin D., (11) Karin C., (12) Peter K., (13) Raman S., (14) Emilie S. (15) Pat D.

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

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

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 68 – 75 F. Wind NNE 10 – 15 mph


  1. Canada Goose  134     121 were bordering the North Lagoon (Basin) mostly resting on the Museum steps leading down to the water. Another dozen were in the West Lagoon.

  2. Wood Duck  1 Female

  3. Mallard  27 includes 8 juveniles

  4. Double-crested Cormorant  4

  5. Great Blue Heron  6     One juvenile was injured with a dislocated right wing. Bird Monitors called and responded. Bird was easily captured. Appeared weak and emaciated. Transported to Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for evaluation and care. This bird was leaning against the baluster wall of the Museum. Was able to walk but not fly.

  6. Green Heron  1       

  7. Black-crowned Night-Heron  4

  8. Killdeer  1     Heard.

  9. Ring-billed Gull  3

  10. Herring Gull  1

  11. Caspian Tern  2

  12. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 1     56th & Stoney Island per Paul C. (Every bird counts!)

  13. Chimney Swift  1

  14. Downy Woodpecker  3

  15. Eastern Wood-Pewee  1

  16. Eastern Phoebe  4

  17. Great Crested Flycatcher 1     Perched in a tree SE of Darrow Bridge.

  18. Eastern Kingbird  3

  19. Northern Rough-winged Swallow 8     Juveniles with adults. Juveniles perched on branches hanging on for dear life, with chirping food orders to parents.

  20. Purple Martin 12     On, near or in Houses, NE of Darrow Bridge.

  21. Barn Swallow  2

  22. Cliff Swallow 20     Mud nests attached to ceiling and ledges of south portico of Museum.

  23. Black-capped Chickadee  2

  24. House Wren 1     Belting out its song like the Ethel Merman of birds, near the Japanese Garden.

  25. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  4

  26. Eastern Bluebird  2     Male & Female. Still trying to make the metal cross bar of the soccer nets their home.

  27. American Robin  10

  28. Gray Catbird  2

  29. European Starling  1

  30. Cedar Waxwing 16     A flock of a dozen were in the center of Wooded Island.

  31. Yellow Warbler  3

  32. Chipping Sparrow 1     In grove SE of Darrow Bridge.

  33. Song Sparrow  3

  34. Northern Cardinal  4

  35. Indigo Bunting  1

  36. Red-winged Blackbird  1

  37. Brown-headed Cowbird 3     Eric G. reported observing a Yellow Warbler feeding a juvenile Cowbird.

  38. Orchard Oriole  1    Juvenile. A “pop up" in Bobolink Meadow, from a shrub along the water's edge.  Paul C. quickly called out the identification.  Great find of the day! Seen by many birders, after identification and short flight.

  39. Baltimore Oriole  1

  40. House Finch  2

  41. American Goldfinch  1

  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.

Humble heron photo by yours truly.

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 24
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: July 15
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report