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Wooded Island Bird Walk

  • Wooded Island, Jackson Park 6401 South Stony Island Avenue Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)

Photo from

Photo from

Hello to All,

As you can see, the egg-yolk yellow, large black eyed, big fella all around, Prothonotary Warbler was the main attraction today.  A Prothonotary Warbler was spotted in the same place last week by five birders. This time all the birders got to see this special warbler. 

The massive migration of Double-crested Cormorants along the lakefront was never ending.

We may have an Eastern Bluebird family again this year. Male and female pair was flirting around the east side of the North Lagoon, but the flirting stage may have past.  They were looking for real estate to nest.


BIRDERS:      22+      (1) Marian N., (2) Steve B., (3) Gary M. and nephews (4) Joshua W & (5) Joseph H., (6) Chris R. from MSI, (7) Cara S. & (8) Susan S. new to the Bird Walk, (9) Jennie S. who made a beeline to the Prothonotary Warbler reported by Glyn D. on display at the south end of Wooded Island, (10) Yvette C., (11) Marek P., (12) Bruce McC., (13) Eric G., (14) Jose M., (15) Karin D., (16) David P., (17) Catherine G., (18) Christina H., (19) Liz M., (20) Glyn D. who tipped us off to the location of the Prothonotary Warbler, (21+) other birders met along the way, who shared sightings, including the 1200+ Double-crested Cormorant migration north along the lakefront, and (22) Pat D.

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

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

DISTANCE:    2 miles

WEATHER:    Cloudy. Temperature 47 – 51 F. Wind ENE mph


1.     Canada Goose  10

2.     Wood Duck  2     North Lagoon (Columbia Basin)

3.     Mallard  8

4.     Ruddy Duck – 1  Female. East Lagoon. Reported by Glyn D.

5.     Pied-billed Grebe  1  

6.     Chimney Swift  20

7.     Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1     Reported to in in the Japanese Garden.

8.     Ring-billed Gull  5

9.     Double-crested Cormorant  1500     Large flocks flying over Lake Michigan shoreline heading north.  Large spring migration.

10.  Great Egret  1     What the heck! Low altitude, leisurely flight over the East Lagoon, along Japanese Garden, which remains soaked, with high water level.

11.  Black-crowned Night-Heron  6     Five were perched in the branches overhanging the water at the south end of Wooded Island, providing security for the Prothonotary Warbler, Magnolia Warbler and Yellow Warbler.

12.  Red-headed Woodpecker  2     North end of Bobolink Meadow. They do venture out to other parts of Jackson Park and across to Wooded Island.

13.  Downy Woodpecker  2

14.  Least Flycatcher  1     Reported by Eric G. north end of Bobolink Meadow.

15.  Eastern Phoebe  1

16.  Warbling Vireo  2     Seen. Not heard, like during all of  summer.

17.  Blue Jay  4     A silent trio briefly perched above us. SW corner of Darrow Bridge. The fourth one, seen later, spoke.

18.  American Crow  2

19.  Northern Rough-winged Swallow  8

20.  Purple Martin  15

21.  Barn Swallow  27

22.  Cliff Swallow  X     Two new nests noted under the portico roof, south side of Museum of Science & Industry.

23.  Black-capped Chickadee  2

24.  Red-breasted Nuthatch  1     In the woods at the north end of Bobolink Meadow.

25.  House Wren  3

26.  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  15

27.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3

28.  Eastern Bluebird  2     A pair. Male & Female. In oak trees along the east side of the North Lagoon (Columbia Basin)

29.  Swainson's Thrush  1

30.  Hermit Thrush  1     Center of Wooded Island.

31.  American Robin  25

32.  Gray Catbird  7

33.  European Starling  10

34.  American Goldfinch  9

35.  Chipping Sparrow  2

36.  White-crowned Sparrow  11     A flock of 8 were long the SW corner on the south side of MSI. On the concrete path and adjacent grass.

37.  White-throated Sparrow  1

38.  Song Sparrow  1

39.  Baltimore Oriole  2     Liz M. spotted a female going to her nest at the south end of Bobolink Meadow.

40.  Red-winged Blackbird  10     One aggressive bird was giving chase to a crow.

41.  Brown-headed Cowbird  4     A group of  outside of the Japanese Garden.

42.  Ovenbird  1     Center of Wooded Island.

43.  Black-and-white Warbler  2     Working the branches over the water on the SW side of Darrow Bridge. Another in the woods at the north end of Bobolink Meadow.

44.  Prothonotary Warbler  1     South end of Wooded island. Among the branches dipping into the water. East side of the South Bridge. In the company of a Magnolia Warbler and a Yellow Warbler.

45.  Nashville Warbler  1

46.  Common Yellowthroat  6     The "Masked Warbler". Male.

47.  American Redstart  4     Male. Branches over water SW corner of Darrow Bridge. Elsewhere on Walk too.

48.  Magnolia Warbler  1     Hopping on branches overhanging water at the south end of Wooded Island.

49.  Yellow Warbler  10

50.  Palm Warbler  14

51.  Pine Warbler  1     In the oak trees along the east side of the North Lagoon (Columbia Basin) After much study, good views, and consultation with field guides and observers, confirmed identification.  We are careful and cautious group of birders, striving always for intellectual honesty.

52.  Yellow-rumped Warbler  3

53.  Northern Cardinal  4

54.  Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1     Male. In tree adjacent to east parking lot where the birders gather.

55.  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