Back to All Events

Wooded Island Bird Walk

  • Wooded Island, Jackson Park - MSI South Parking Lot 1800 Columbia Drive Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)

Hello to All,

The Big Story on this Bird Walk, aside from the high count of Cedar Waxwings, was the fact that two birders traveled far to join our Walk.  The Wooded Island Regulars love to have birders from afar join our Walk.  We are alert to call out and point out our resident birds, because for our visitors, those birds may be a Lifer.  We all had a great time, birdwatching and enjoying each other’s company.

BIRDERS:      13        (1) Marian N., (2) George G., (3) Cathy F., (4) Brandon E. W. – winner of the Most Improved Birder in one week. Brandon showed serious preparation for this week’s Walk. (5) Liz M., (6) Alan M. – experienced birder from New Jersey, with a keen hearing skill for bird sound identification. Volunteer at the Cape May Observatory. (7) Vincent S. – another experienced birder from France, who arrived in Chicago just yesterday, and despite jet lag, made it to the Walk at the start. (8) Karin D., (9) Catherine G., (10) David P., (11) Tracy H., (12) Jennie S., and (13) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.         

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

DISTANCE:    2 miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 70's F. Wind SW 10 - 15 mph, turned NE at 11 a.m. and felt the drop in temperature.


TOTAL SPECIES COUNT:  43 (+1 other taxa)

1.     Canada Goose  42

2.     Wood Duck  2     Males. East Lagoon.

3.     Mallard  10     3 ducklings included in count.

4.     Chimney Swift  3

5.     Ruby-throated Hummingbird  3

6.     Ring-billed Gull  12     Fly overs

7.     Caspian Tern  2

8.     Double-crested Cormorant  3

9.     Great Blue Heron  2

10.  Black-crowned Night-Heron  2

11.  Downy Woodpecker  2

12.  Eastern Wood-Pewee  3

13.  Alder Flycatcher  1     seen & heard.

14.  Willow Flycatcher  1     Heard & reported by Alan M. a Cape May Observatory volunteer.

15.  Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Trail’s Flycatcher)  1 Eastern Phoebe  3

16.  Great Crested Flycatcher  1     Heard. Reported by Alan H. of NJ. who has great audio talent with bird sounds.

17.  Eastern Kingbird  5

18.  Warbling Vireo  2     Seen & Heard

19.  Red-eyed Vireo  1

20.  American Crow  2

21.  Purple Martin  5+   On White House porches and in the air.  Male & Female birds.

22.  Tree Swallow  1     Near old willow tree, SE corner of East Lagoon.

23.  Barn Swallow  33     Under count.

24.  Cliff Swallow  3

25.  House Wren  2

26.  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  9

27.  Eastern Bluebird  2     Male. Near east side of Darrow Bridge. Another at the SE end of East Lagoon.

28.  American Robin  13

29.  Gray Catbird  7

30.  European Starling  5

31.  Cedar Waxwing  43     Large flock of approximately 25 in flight. Smaller groups were perched on trees. Mostly silent

32.  House Finch  3

33.  American Goldfinch  1

34.  Baltimore Oriole  5

35.  Red-winged Blackbird  4

36.  Brown-headed Cowbird  3

37.  Common Grackle  1

38.  Common Yellowthroat  2

39.  Magnolia Warbler  1     In the center of Wooded Island, near an Indigo Bunting.

40.  Yellow Warbler  12

41.  Northern Cardinal  4

42.  Indigo Bunting  3

43.  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.

Birders meet on the east side of Darrow Bridge.

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 Science Drive. This 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: The East Parking Lot is preferred. There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 56th to 59th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Chicago Audubon Society Representative

Wooded Island Bird Walks