Eric Secker on 7/30 reported via IBET: ...there is still a nice population of Common Nighthawks here in the Elgin / West Dundee area. It's hard to pinpoint distinct populations without being in a lot of places in the same night, but I believe there are at least 4 pairs in the area.

On June 12th, I had four flying over at Judson University in north Elgin and on July 6 I had three fly over. We have 1 or 2 fly over on almost a nightly basis.

On June 30th I had four, two at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee and two more along the Fox River in West Dundee (different birds as I could still hear the mall pair as I drove back towards the mall). I believe there is also a pair somewhere in Elgin south of I-90 in the industrial area there. Other than the mall pair, most of these other birds would go unnoticed if I didn't live right nearby. They also seem to be active and flyover like clockwork between 8pm and 8:30pm.

Yesterday with the cold weather, we had a Common Nighthawk dive right in front of our car. It was flying a foot or two over the road on Rt. 31 just south of I-90.

One evening this month we also watch a pair fly in very low and hunt over one of the marshes at Jelkes Creek in Sleepy Hollow (again around 8:30pm). A lovely sight on a summer evening.

There are also small groups elsewhere along the Fox River in Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles. The fact that they favor these riverside towns would seem to support the theory that food source is part of the attraction and not just habitat on building rooftops.

Diane Hansen on 7/30 reported via e-mail: I stopped above the South Elgin dam yesterday morning before Jazzercise having been uncharacteristically early. Turned out to be a great chance to see a couple of new birds...First there was an immature Green Heron then a few minutes later an immature Black-crowned Night Heron. Hoping for more exciting finds I stopped after class as well to find and adult Green Heron.

Immature Green Heron

Immature Green Heron photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Immature Black-crowned Night-heron

Immature Black-crowned Night-heron photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Marion Miller on 7/29 reported via e-mail: Ruby-throated Hummingbird activity is increasing as juveniles begin visiting our feeder and flowers in our Batavia backyard.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird photo courtesy Richie Miller

Kurt Frieders on 7/29 reported via e-mail: Although things have been fairly slow recently, we did welcome back a Ruby Throated Hummingbird to our yard (in Aurora township) last week. It is a mature male that has been hitting our honeysuckle, cardinal flower, and fuchsia each day including today. This is about the same time that we get them in our yard each year. There is also a subdivision near our house where a Mute Swan has given birth to five cygnets. We also did get several good looks at Savannah Sparrows at Nelson Lake along with some Catbirds and most of the other characters you would expect.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow photo courtesy Kurt Frieders

Mute Swan and cygnets

Mute Swan and cygnets photo courtesy Kurt Frieders

Chris Madsen on 7/28 reported: You can't call yourself lucky when on your umpteenth visit to Burnidge Forest Preserve you finally see (and not just hear) one of the Clay-colored Sparrows that has been reported there for at least two months.

Clay-colored Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Barb Rask on 7/24 reported via e-mail: Look what I found roaming around our neighborhood [north of St. Charles] this morning.........

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane family photo courtesy Barb Rask

Chris Mussachio on 7/22 reported via e-mail: Finally close enough and got a shot of this speedy little Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper at Buffalo Park. Wow, patience really does pay off.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Mussachio on 7/20 reported via e-mail: Had a surprising fly over today by an Osprey at Buffalo Park. I think all the people fishing & boating kept it from fishing there.


Osprey photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Mussachio on 7/18 reported via e-mail: Unbelievable action at Buffalo Park. Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Green Heron, Cedar Waxwings, 4 Red-Headed Woodpeckers, 2 Belted Kingfishers, and even a Fox. Also witnessed a Great Blue Heron get stuck between tree branches in the water and a Great Egret looked as if wanted to help out its friend. Once it realized it does not have hands, it just stayed around until the heron was free. It was amazing.

Great Blue Heron, Great Egret

Great Blue Heron being coaxed by Great Egret photo by Chris Mussachio

Red Fox

Red Fox photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Brendon Lake on 7/18 reported via IBET: Hey all, I just...found a very interesting Red-Tailed Hawk sitting on one of the telephone poles across the street from D and M Plastics on French Road in Burlington. People have been describing a peculiar looking and large raptor in that area to me for some time now, and this was the first I had seen of it. I was only able to get drive-by views of its front and back, but from what I saw it looked like a pretty good candidate for a Krider's Red-Tailed Hawk to me. The head was very light in color, and somewhat in contrast to its back, and the front had only very faint streaking. I probably didn't have enough time to look at it in great detail, but it was a very impressive hawk to me! It was definitely not a typical Red-Tailed Hawk.

Chris Mussachio on 7/17 reported via e-mail: Made it to Tyler Creek Forest Preserve to hide from the sun & heat, but it did not help. Luckily I did come upon an Eastern Wood-Pewee and a Juvenile Rose-Breasted Grosbeak while there. I am hoping this little one has not been abandoned because it was calling for its parents the whole time I was there and they never showed up.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Wood-Pewee photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeak photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Brian Pohrte on 7/12 reported via e-mail: For the past week I've noticed a Double-Crested Cormorant who likes to perch on a light post just outside of the Charlemagne Subdivision on Kirk [across from St. Charles East High School]. I saw that these are uncommon on your Kane County Bird Checklist, so I thought you might like to know. From what I can tell, it is a non-breeding adult.

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant photo courtesy Brian Pohrte

Chris Mussachio on 7/9 reported via e-mail: Checked on the Red-headed woodpecker's nest today in Carpentersville and found 2 adults, but using a different hole than a couple of weeks ago. So, is this the same birds or a new pair with a new nest? They did not tell me, so your guess is as good as mine. Did not hear or see any babies while there. Also had the usual suspects there fishing and having great success. Got lucky with a Belted Kingfisher.

Red-headed Woodpeckers

Red-headed Woodpeckers photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher with lunch photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Ed Vedral on 7/7 reported via e-mail: Catbirds have built a nest in a dense bush outside my basement office. They laid 2 eggs and the chicks are now hatched. To take a picture of them, I have to get on a ladder. The catbirds do not like me looking at their nest. This is the first time I have found their nest, although they have been around for years.

Gray Catbird eggs

Gray Catbird eggs and chick photos courtesy Ed Vedral

Gray Catbird chick

Al Stokie on 7/7 reported via IBET: ...we drove along Chapman Rd near Burlington in Kane Co & it came as a surprise that the usually hard to find SWAINSON'S HAWK was hunting & not very high in the air. It's almost never that easy as I usually have to make 2 or 3 trips to find that species...

Diane Hansen on 7/5 reported via e-mail: Stopped just above the South Elgin dam this morning and heard some interesting calls. After a long search of a nearby tree I saw this Gray Catbird which is a new bird for me.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Jack Pomatto on 7/3 reported via e-mail: Tuesday, 7/2/13 an unusual out of season visitor to my thistle feeder ( in S.E. St. Charles ) caught my attention. A Pine Siskin visited and has not returned up to this point. It was accompanied by a single American Goldfinch. I did some cursory research and found one Siskin spent the summer in our area in 1982 and another late sighting was reported for June 29, 1974.

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin photo courtesy Jack Pomatto


This page last updated Monday December 02, 2013.

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