Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013, Rainy and Warm With Some Nice Birds Today

Although rainy, it was warm and there were lots of birds today on Wooded Island. At least 3 Mourning Warblers, a few Canada Warblers plus another 10 warbler species. Lot's of Flycatchers, including Olive-sided. The swallows were in the parking lot. I wonder if the Rough-wings were using the goose poop for nest material or food. Lots of Cedar Waxwings in the Japanese Garden. A very mottled Song Sparrow. The squirrel had a pink-red tail.

Barn Swallow collected mud for a nest
Rough-winged Swallow on Goose excrement? Eating vegetation or nest?
Close-up of the Goose excrement-very green
One of several Waxwings in the Japanese Garden
Song Sparrow
Squirrel with red tail on the chip trail to the Rose Garden

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25th, 2013, Migration Winding Down But Good Mourning Warblers

Today was cool (50) and cloudy but some good looks at Mourning Warblers. We may have had 4 today. 

Song Sparrow with Museum in the background
Ring-billed Gull with a bad foot

Mourning Warbler

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013-A Good Connecticut Warbler Day

I had two good views of Connecticut Warblers. One near the Rose Garden and a second near the tennis courts. The Youtube below is of the warbler singing near the tennis court.


Great eye ring-Black and White Warbler


Magnolia Warbler

Good quiz bird? What is it. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013-A Petition to Save The Buffer Zone At the North Bridge Is Available to Sign

Tomorrow, I will have a petition available to sign off on:
If you are birding Wooded Island you might have an opportunity to sign the petition.



The buffer zone between Darrow Bridge and North Bridge to Wooded Island is in danger of being cut down. This habitat provides essential feeding and cover for both migratory and resident bird species. On May 15, 2013, at the height of spring migration, two mature mulberry trees were cut down in this small buffer zone. These trees had provided much needed protection and nutrients for many bird species.

We now petition the Chicago Park District to protect the remaining trees and shrubs in this small corner habitat.

Additionally, we petition the Chicago Park District staff to engage in direct and ongoing meetings and site inspections with members of the birding community that visit Jackson Park on matters of habitat preservation and enhancement.


NAME               SIGNATURE      ______ADDRESS_________________    


 Birds observed over the past few days included a Sedge Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, 28 Cedar Waxwings and several warblers including Canada and Black-throated Blue. Also check out the Youtube of a Northern Waterthrush. 

Grasshopper Sparrow
Cedar Waxwings

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Death of the Mulberry Tree! May 16, 2013

Evidently the birders of Jackson Park have no say in the habitat destruction continuing at the entrance to Wooded Island. Despite pleas from several birders, the trees are being cut and chipped. We evidently haven't reached the right person concerning the destruction. They chose to cut the tree in the middle of the migration season!
Mulberry Tree Falls to the Axe

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013-A Good Day For Warblers-18 Species

A warm day-80 degrees and some action. Not an incredible dripping from the trees action but a pleasant day. Highlights included a Worm-eating Warbler on the ground as well as a Canada and Mourning Warbler. We had a possum to start off the day.

Baltimore Oriole with beak in flower

A Green Heron With Some Green

One of perhaps 30 Redstarts
Black and White Warbler in motion

Black-throated Green Warbler
Shooting Stars

Great White Trillium still in bloom

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Trip to The Magic Hedge-Montrose-May 12, 2013

A very cold day with sun at least-40's for most of the day. There were some nice views of a few warblers even in the cold.  Wooded Island and the hedge sure look different from each other. Wooded Island is losing most of the coveted underbrush. The Magic Hedge still has plenty of cover for birds. Destroying trees surrounding Wooded Island can only mean less migrants each spring and fall.

Mother Cardinal with a piece of tissue for the nest
Grackle on a nest across from the Cardinal
Blackburnian Warbler

Empid Flycatcher

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cool out and little sun but a nice day for warblers, thrushes, woodpeckers, vireo's and grosbeaks May 11, 2013

Not expecting a good birding day we did have lots of species and the best warbler-thrush day of the year. Also, grosbeaks everywhere. It was a 5 thrush day with Wood, Hermit, Swainson's, Veery and Robin. Fourteen species of warblers with the highlight a nice Parula. Grosbeaks were everywhere. I believe we had more than a dozen.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak eating ? off the ground.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the Japanese Garden
Wood Thrush
Very close Yellow Warbler after complaining about the difficulty of photographing Yellow Warblers
Same bird very close
Add captionWarbling Vireo
Green Heron

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Destruction of Habitat Near Wooded Island-Jackson Park

Below are photo's of the continued destruction of trees lining the lagoons behind the Museum of Science and Industry as well as trees close to the approach to Wooded Island. Prime habitats for both migratory birds and nesting birds are being destroyed. Replacement plantings include cherry trees to "create beauty". Check out the youtube below. Most of the work recently has taken place during May in the middle of migration.


Birders make up the vast majority of folks that utilize Wooded Island and adjacent areas. Numbers included 24 in one group last Saturday (May 4) and 36 the week before (April 27). Every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the year there is a birding walk on Wooded Island. During the prime migrating seasons it is not unusual to see 50-75 birders per week walking through Wooded Island, The Prairie and the perimeter of the museum. No other group consistently utilizes the Island. Yet, birders have never had a voice concerning the major changes taking place.

Here is a series of photo's showing the destruction. The Red Dot Tree is still standing as of May 8.
May 6, 2013 behind the Museum
Previous cutting during May
A perspective of how much habitat is being removed. This tree has now been shredded. 
Red Dot Tree ready for the saw-Located at the approach to Wooded Island
The Tree that will will cut soon!

Wednesday May 8, 2013-A Sad Day For Forage Trees

The entrance to Wooded Island is soon to be "beautified" A few of the favorite trees among birders and birds will be put to the "ax". They have been red-dotted for destruction. They are located just to the left of the entrance bridge to Wooded Island. A favorite tree for warblers, sparrows and many other birds.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak was hanging out in this tree. The Grasshopper Sparrow was found on the lakefront.
Red-dotted tree-will be cut down
Sad to see the tree go!
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-was in the tree
Mourning Dove
First Hummer of the year
Grasshopper Sparrow found on the lakefront

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013-Birds This Week and the Destruction of Habitat

Check out the video of the destruction of trees surrounding the lagoon behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Several trees have succumbed to the shredder. These were trees that were frequented by migrating and nesting birds. They provided habitat next to the lagoon for fish and other wildlife. The trees will be replaced with cherry trees to provide color (not habitat) in spring. Included is an example of the beauty that is in jeopardy on Wooded Island.


Great White Trillium

Palm Warbler

Redheaded Woodpecker

Yellow-rumped Warbler