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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sat, 04/28/2018 - 4:43pm

Event date:

Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 8:00am 



Hello everyone,

It must be Spring -- we had a wonderfully large group of birders join us for today's walk, including three regulars who we haven't seen since the fall (welcome back Bruce, Renate and Tracy!).

It was a walk that illustrated the happy and sad aspects of the natural world, reminds me of the challenges that our birds face each day, and increases my admiration of their strength and endurance.

The sad stuff:

We found a dead and decapitated red-breasted merganser next to the Columbia basin. One of our local predators must have killed it and then something must have scared it off because it didn't finish the meal.

Karin D alerted us to a Canada Goose that tried to go under a wrought-iron fence behind the museum and was stuck, and her mate was pacing back and forth looking concerned. She couldn't back out because a clump of feathers was caught on the fence posts on both sides of her body. Karin, Eric and I freed her from under the fence, but she was obviously very weak and had an injury around her shoulder area. Her wings seemed to be fine, however. Renate saw her on Sunday morning and she was sitting in a corner of the grassy area where we left her, so perhaps with some rest she'll be OK.

Paul Clyne reported three Common Loons in the west lagoon on Friday and when we arrived on Saturday there was one remaining, but unfortunately it didn't look healthy. It was swimming too high in the water, the feathers didn't look quite right, and it didn't dive during the twenty minutes or so that I was watching it. Perhaps it too just needed a bit of rest after a long migration.

The happy stuff:

Spring migration has begun! We saw Eastern Phoebes, Kinglets (both types), Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blue-winged teal, Black-crowned Night Herons and many other beautiful birds in their breeding plumage. It's so nice to see them all again after a long, cold winter.

Birders: 20! Marian, Bruce, Tracy, Eric, Gary, Raman, Catherine, David, Renate, Jennie, Karin D, new birder Ann, and 8 more people whose names I can't remember - my apologies. I didn't expect to have so many new people on a chilly April morning so I didn't bring a pen and paper. Unfortunately, all the new folks had to leave early but I hope they'll join us again.

Weather: cloudy, low 40s, but dry with little to no wind.

Many thanks to Eric for sharing his eBird list with us:

Jackson Park, Chicago--Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area
Apr 21, 2018
8:03 AM
1.50 miles
159 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes

X Canada Goose
5 Wood Duck
11 Blue-winged Teal
X Mallard
X Red-breasted Merganser
1 Common Loon
1 Pied-billed Grebe
28 Double-crested Cormorant
5 Black-crowned Night-Heron
3 Cooper's Hawk
2 American Coot
X Ring-billed Gull
2 Herring Gull
1 Caspian Tern
1 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
5 Downy Woodpecker
5 Northern Flicker
1 woodpecker sp.
7 Eastern Phoebe
7 American Crow
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1 Barn Swallow
6 Brown Creeper
5 Golden-crowned Kinglet
8 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
3 kinglet sp.
8 Hermit Thrush
18 American Robin
8 European Starling
1 Palm Warbler
2 Yellow-rumped Warbler
3 Dark-eyed Junco
1 White-crowned Sparrow
6 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
2 sparrow sp.
4 Northern Cardinal
12 Red-winged Blackbird
5 Brown-headed Cowbird
4 American Goldfinch
4 House Sparrow
20 passerine sp. -- Flock flying south

Number of Taxa: 43

Good birding to all,


Earlier Event: April 14
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: April 28
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report