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Wooded Island Bird Walk

  • Wooded Island, Jackson Park MSI South Parking Chicago, IL, 60637 United States (map)
Female American Redstart  Photo by Randy Streufert – Audubon Photography Award

Female American Redstart

Photo by Randy Streufert – Audubon Photography Award

Hello to All,

It was nice to see the Spotted Sandpiper on the tip of an island in the West Lagoon.  Water level remains high. Curious that no one reported hearing or seeing any woodpeckers.  Hopefully they are tending to eggs or young in nests and are keeping a low profile.

The flycatchers were frequent sightings.  Randy S. was hearing Adler’s Flycatchers and other flycatchers here, there and everywhere. But many birders are challenged for proper identification.  At the end of the Walk, I declared a new flycatcher species: ADFL = Another Damn Flycatcher.

Several new birders joined the group this morning, which is always fun.  Every sighting is a thrill and that feeling is contagious, even for us “seasoned birders”.

There was a sharp decline in the number of species seen today compared to last week. Spring migration is tapering off.

BIRDERS:      13        (1) Erin C., (2) Bruce McC., (3) Yvette C., (4) Denise A. who traveled by bus to join the Walk – new birder, (5) JJ K. – young birder & nature photographer, who has been attending bird walks sponsored by local birding clubs, (6) David P., (7) Chris R., (8) Heather H. a new birder, (9) Catherine G., (10) Jennie S., (11) Marian N., (12) Brendan W. Hyde Parker and new birder, and (13) Pat D

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

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Lagoons, Soccer Field populated with little soccer people and adults guardians, and Bobolink Meadow.

DISTANCE:   2 miles

WEATHER:   Sunny. Temperature 74- 78 F. Wind SW 10 – 19 mph.


1.      Canada Goose  28

2.      Wood Duck  6     Male & female south end of East Lagoon.

3.      Mallard  6

4.      Mourning Dove  1

5.      Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2     First one seen was SW of Darrow Bridge.

6.      Spotted Sandpiper  1     Spotted by Erin C. on an island in the center of the West Lagoon.  White shoulder notch was visible.

7.      Ring-billed Gull  5     Under count. Fly overs.

8.      Caspian Tern  1

9.      Double-crested Cormorant  5

10.  Great Blue Heron  2

11.  Green Heron  2

12.  Black-crowned Night-Heron  3     Among the branches overhanging the water at the south end of Wooded Island. Their usual hangout.

13.  Eastern Wood-Pewee  3

14.  Least Flycatcher  1

15.  Eastern Kingbird  6

16.  Blue Jay  3

17.  Purple Martin  15     None on the front porches of the White Houses. All were in flight bug grabbing.

18.  Tree Swallow  1     On broken down willow tree SW of golf shack.

19.  Barn Swallow  30     Collecting mouthful of mud on edges of poodles for nest material.  Many nests are built under Darrow and the North Bridge to Wooded Island.

20.  White-breasted Nuthatch  2     Jennie S. reported seeing the pair near a tree hole in the oak grove east of the Purple Martin Houses/North Pond.

21.  House Wren  2

22.  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1     In Japanese Garden. The nest seen last week disappeared.

23.  Eastern Bluebird  1     Male. Perched at eye level on short trees west of Darrow Bridge.

24.  American Robin  7

25.  Gray Catbird  3

26.  Cedar Waxwing  4

27.  American Goldfinch  1

28.  Song Sparrow  2

29.  Baltimore Oriole  4

30.  Red-winged Blackbird  2

31.  Brown-headed Cowbird  1     Heard by Jennie S. on west side of Darrow Bridge.

32.  Common Grackle  3

33.  Common Yellowthroat  2

34.  American Redstart  1     This female caused consultation to confirm. Thus the front and center photo this week.  She was not fanning her tail.  Seen in the Japanese Garden.

35.  Yellow Warbler  5

36.  Black-throated Green Warbler  1

37.  Wilson's Warbler  2

38.  Northern Cardinal  3

39.  Indigo Bunting  1     SW of golf shack. Male.


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