Bill Koch on 1/31 reported via e-mail: Today at 1:30 I visited the baseball fields by the Elgin DMV just south of Rt 20. They are located right by the Fox River on the West side.
There were "Seven Swans A - Swimming" in the unfrozen area on the west side. 7 Mute Swans total with both Adults and Immatures. 2 Bald Eagles were in the trees above 2 very cold looking Great Blue Herons.
Others birds in the small area included many Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneye, Mallards, and Ring-billed and Herring Gulls.

Jon J Duerr FP had the usual winter birds along with 4 Eastern Bluebirds getting a drink of water on the ice in the middle of the river.

Mute Swans

Mute Swans photo courtesy Bill Koch

Bob Andrini on 1/31 reported via e-mail: Today (Monday) while monitoring Norris Woods in St. Charles, I was surprised to hear an Eastern Bluebird singing - spring might be on its way (after the BIG snow tomorrow). 9 other species were seen.

Bill Koch on 1/30 reported via e-mail: On my way out to Elburn Forest Preserve today I viewed a Northern Harrier cruising the prairie area of Corron Farm just south of McDonald Road. I saw it at 12:30 and 2:45pm At Elburn FP in the Black Alder trees by the train tracks there was a large group of Pine Siskins. I took the time to view each bird and found a single Common Redpoll in the group. On my way out I ran into Tim Balassie. We found possibly another group of Siskins and found what I believe to be a different Common Redpoll. This one didnít have as much red on the breast area. If you go to Elburn to look be careful. There is a lot of ice under the snow by the tracks because it was flooded back there earlier in the year.

Tim Balassie on 1/30 reported via e-mail: Both a Northern Pintail and a Gadwall spotted yesterday at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve.

Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail photo courtesy Tim Balassie

Jim Narovec on 1/29 reported via e-mail: Eagle spotted in a tree along the east bank of the Fox River south of [Dundee's] Main St. bridge lunchtime on 1/29. Talked to a few people who spotted one flying from here to up by the C'ville Dam. Was also told several were seen along the river near the Library in Elgin and around South End Park in W. Dundee.

Laura Werner on 1/28 reported via IBET: A stroll with my dog at the Dick Young FP in Batavia this afternoon revealed one robin piping away in the tree tops, and a vocalization that I think was a Pine Siskin, a slightly upward tiltiing, buzzy call. I tentatively identified it as a siskin immediately upon hearing it, recalling the sound from when I had them at my birdfeeder daily in Nevada. When I got back to my car, I listened to the audio recording, which seemed to match. However, I never did sight the bird (and I didn't have my binoculars anyway, having accidentally left them behind.)

Probable siskin was heard on the east side of the lake loop, where the path parallels Nelson Lake Rd.

The usual suspects (Tree Sparrows, Juncos, Chickadees, etc) were in great abundance, as well. :)

Oh! And just as an aside, I've been seeing about a dozen Wild Turkey in the corn stubble on Orchard Rd just north of the Rt 30 intersection. Must be good eats, they've been out there almost every day.

Christopher Cudworth on 1/28 reported via IBET: A flurry of bird activity late morning here in Batavia, which felt like feeding in anticipation of predicted snow. That's happened frequently of late.

Most notably a flock of 10 robins and cedar waxwings feeding on remaining berries of our crabtree out front.

Jim Narovec on 1/27 reported via e-mail: One Eagle spotted in a tree along the east bank of the Fox River south of Main St. bridge lunchtime on 1/27. Saw it about a 1/2 hr later further south on the West Bank in West Dundee. Same Eagle appears to hanging out in the area, as a coworker has seen one the last few days in the same area and time of day.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle photo courtesy Jim Narovec

Barbara Bernard on 1/25 reported via e-mail: Two bald eagles, both in a tree, immediately south of the South Elgin bridge, (State Street) at 7:38 this morning, (1/25/11). One adult and one juvenile on the East side of the river.

Rick Lambert on 1/24 reported via phone: At Big Rock Forest Preserve this morning, Rick spotted two small groups of Eastern Bluebirds. One was near the scout cabins, the other near the quarry. Rick also reported a Northern Harrier at the preserve.

Jackie Bowman on 1/24 reported via e-mail: Chris and I were out by the Fox River along side the water treatment facility in Geneva. We had great looks at a female Mallard, a male Hooded Merganser, and a female Black Duck with her male hybrid American Black Duck/Mallard.

American Black Duck

American Black Duck photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Gloria Dimoplon on 1/22 reported via e-mail: January 22, 2011. Margaret Mechtenberg called to say that she and Roger observed a Rough-legged Hawk this morning at the Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary in West Dundee. For more on Jelke Creek and directions to the parking area click on the following link: http://www.dundeetownship.org/.

January 20, 2011. Margaret also reported that she saw a Ruby Crowned Kinglet at SEBA in the wooded area just past the baseball fields. This is may be the same bird that Jane McMillan and others observed on Saturday's (Jan. 15) KCA field trip.

Ann Wilson on 1/22 reported via e-mail: Saw a mature bald eagle today at Geneva's Island Park, about a block south of State Street bridge. Crows were chasing it as it soared over the river before seeking refuge in a tree on the west side of the river.

Julie Long on 1/20 reported via e-mail: There is a dark morph snow goose hanging out with the Canadian geese on the Fox River at Batavia quarry park. On Wed. it was in the section next to the beginning of the drive into the parking area. There also was a kingfisher, bald eagle, robin, and at least 4 common mergansers in/near the river stretch next to the road into the parking lot.

Kurt Frieders on 1/20 reported via e-mail: I just saw four Common Mergansers on the Fox River right off of the Montgomery Road Bridge. There were three very nicely colored up drakes and one hen. On my way back across the bridge I spotted a bunch of Mallards along with a small group of Common Goldeneye. There were several nice drakes in the group.

Ron Dickenson on 1/19 reported via e-mail: Near the Batavia quarry today:

Great Blue Herons

Six Great Blue Herons huddled against the cold along the Fox River.
Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson.

Paul Mayer on 1/19 reported via e-mail: This morning along the Fox River between St Charles and Geneva there were four Hooded Mergansers and what appears to be a second or third year Bald Eagle. The mergansers were at the foot of Devereaux Way in the open water behind the city building at the warn water discharge. Accompanying the mergs were several Mallards and a few coots. The eagle was perched in a tree at the Geneva dam. I'm guessing closer to a third year bird as the head showed quite a bit of white above the eye and it had a very noticeable triangular patch on its back when seen in flight. Field guides are not very consistent on these points.

Jonathan Bobbe on 1/16 reported via IBET: The Eagles were hanging out just north of the Elgin Library, by a waste-water treatment plant. At the north end of the open water across from the Library. There were three total.

Cathy Martens on 1/15 reported via e-mail: This morning at 11:30 there was a mature bald eagle perched in a tree alongside Keslinger Rd. (at Brundige) in Geneva. I pulled over to watch it, and after a few minutes it flew off to the north. Mill Creek is nearby, but this area is several miles from the Fox river.

Bob Andrini on 1/14 reported via e-mail: The Northern Shrike is still hunting the fields of Aurora West Forest Preserve.

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Ron Dickenson on 1/13 reported via e-mail: This immature, almost mature,  eagle was along the Batavia river walk by Batavia city hall today.

Bald Eagle

Fourth-year(?) juvenile Bald Eagle photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Ron Dickenson on 1/12 reported via e-mail: At least 2 Bald Eagles near the Batavia quarry today, an adult and an immature.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Common Goldeneye

John Janunas captured these Common Goldeneye in flight along the Fox River in January

Jim Narovec on 1/10 reported via e-mail: 2 Eagles spotted north of the Dam in Carpentersville on the west bank of the River on 1/9.

Bald Eagle

Marion Miller spotted this Bald Eagle in Batavia in December

Kathleen O'Deen on 1/9 reported via e-mail: Today my 4 yr old daughter and I took a trip out to the Batavia quarry to see a Bald Eagle. Just as we were headed back to the car after an hour of looking, one flew by on the other side of the fox river. But then flew back next to us along the bank! about 50 ft away.! It was about 3pm and awesome she got to see her 1st bald eagle..

Great day!!

Christopher Cudworth on 1/8 reported via IBET: Yesterday morning I followed directions to find the Northern Shrike at Aurora West forest preserve off Hankes Road west of Aurora.

The bird like most shrikes was very active, animated and visible. It hunted the far eastern edge of the preserve, just east of the toy plane airfield. Urp...

...The shrike exhibited the most interesting understory behavior when pursuing something in a hawthorn. Hanging almost upside down, tail up so you could see the striking white markings. It would hobble about and through the tree eyeballing things. I did not see it capture prey. Then it would fly up to a perch and look around some more. When moving from perch to perch it executed the perfect "shrike dip" that is a hallmark of the bird's behavior, dropping down at a 45 degree angle, flying low to the ground and ascending in a swoop.

Then it moved off east toward Verona Ridge subdivision. I checked out the sign that said "Future Extension of Indian Trail Road" where the subdivision's westerly road ends. Hope that's not a warning the road is planned to bisect the preserve. The shrike would not like that. Nor would I.

Kim Girard on 1/6 reported via e-mail: Wednesday and Thursday, around 2 pm - Great Western Trail, west of Brown Road. Very vocal male kingfisher hanging out near the creek. Got some great looks at him and today, saw him perched on a branch with a small fish in his beak!

Bob Andrini on 1/6 reported via e-mail: Among the 21 birds seen on the ramble this morning at the Batavia Quarry was this Winter Wren.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Darrell Shambaugh on 1/6 reported via IBET: Tuesday an immature BALD EAGLE soared overhead above Route 25 in Geneva.

Today I found the recently posted NORTHERN SHRIKE at Aurora West Forest Preserve. Aurora West seems to be a favorite spot for Northern Shrikes.

Matt Dagley on 1/5 reported via e-mail: I spotted a Bald Eagle today in North Aurora approx 2 miles west from Woodmans. It was alone and hung out for over three hours. I have spotted one flying over a year ago but I have never seen one hang around.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle photo courtesy Matt Dagley

Ron Dickenson on 1/5 reported via e-mail: Six Eagles down by the Batavia Quarry today 2 adults 4 immatures.

George Kruchten on 1/5 reported via e-mail: [Bald Eagles] This morning near Elgin Library 3 Adults and 8 Immatures

Ron Dickenson on 1/4 reported via e-mail: Seeing this immature Cooper's Hawk along the Riverwalk near the dam in Batavia today.

Immature Cooper's Hawk

Immature Cooper's Hawk photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Mark Bowman on 1/3 reported via e-mail: At WEST AURORA FP Chris and I found the NORTHERN SHRIKE on the east side. There were goldfinches, juncos and chickadees also present [shrike food]. The shrike was not real cooperative for pics however.

At BLISS WOODS, we saw a few PURPLE FINCHES in with a group of house finches. Also spotted was one BARRED OWL with a RED-TAILED HAWK cruising around

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike photo courtesy Mark Bowman

George Kruchten on 1/3 reported via phone: Ten(!) Bald Eagles near the Elgin Public Library today.

Christopher Cudworth on 1/2 reported via IBET: A brown creeper visits our two big maples in our back yard at mid-day. I'm setting up to get a photograph of the bird next weekend now that I know he/she is so consistent. My wife says he is there at almost the precise same time when the sun is out.

Marvelous, underrated birds, creepers.

Anyone interested in almost guaranteed goldeneyes should visit the Fox River between the sewage treatment plant on Route 25 and the walking bridge/Illinois street [in St. Charles]. They're there as long as it's cold out and the river's frozen downstream.

Angela A. on 1/2 reported via e-mail: I spotted 3 Goldeneyes and a Kingfisher on the Fox River near Mooseheart yesterday...Also, today we spotted a bald eagle flying over the Fox River about .25 mile north of the dam in North Aurora.


This page last updated Wednesday February 16, 2011.

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