June 2007 Sightings


Sue Wagoner on 6/30 reported via e-mail: We again have a family of Cooper's Hawks in my neighborhood in Aurora -- last year I saw the nest and nestlings but this year they nested further down the road and I haven't seen their nest- however, they are using the same telephone pole as their dining table (straight across from my house)-- A couple days ago a parent (I believe it was the male) had caught some prey, landed on the pole and called- quite soon three "squeeling-screeching-whistling" young ones came flying in. The parent flew away and the 3 jostled for the meat-- (they all ended up eating)-- one would eat and another would grab the food with its talons and pull it away (SORRY to say I was not quick enough with my camera to get these glorious shots), but I did get this-- the food-holder when challenged would flare its tail and wings TO LOOK REALLY SCARY-- but they all did eat (there is a visibly stronger and bigger one of the three). I get a kick out of watching them-- see the big scary predator with some remaining baby fuzz on his head! What fun.

Two juvenile Cooper's Hawks at their "dining table." Photo courtesy of Sue Wagoner.

Chris Madsen on 6/26 reported: Although he was not vocalizing, the Northern Mockingbird was easy to find this evening at the entrance to the Campton Hills Park garden plots. For a time the bird was preening on top of the "IYC (Illinois Youth Center) St. Charles" sign along Campton Hills Road. (Take Route 64 west of Randall Road and turn left on Campton Hills Road.) During the time I was observing the bird, he would reposition every two minutes or so, flying 100 to 200 feet each time. In other words, he's active and easy to spot.

Scott Cohrs on 6/26 reported via IBET: This morning I was able to easily relocate the Northern Mockingbird that Chris Cudworth reported at the Campton Hills garden plots just west of St. Charles. The bird was hopping around in the garden in typical mocker fashion. Please see his previous post for directions.
A more exciting find (at least for me) was a Summer Tanager along the trail that winds west of the garden plots. I had never been to this site, so I parked near the picnic shelter and briefly walked the trail. The tanager was singing from a grove a couple hundred yards west of the shelter area at the intersection of 2 trails. This has long been a nemesis bird for me in the county, so I was quite happy to hear it. A Wood Thrush was also present in the same general area.

Eric Secker on 6/25 reported via IBET: I've been birding a few times lately at Burnidge FP during late afternoons and evenings. The grassland area west of the parking lot (central / west end of preserve) has a handful of HENSLOW'S SPARROWS, SEDGE WREN, DICKCISSEL, two YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS (distant), and other regulars.
Yesterday, I walked the trails east of the parking lot in the shrubland area and had a singing BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (just past a little curve where they cleared some buckthorn along the trail), another YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, 6-8 SEDGE WRENS, EASTERN TOWHEE, BROWN THRASHERS, GRAY CATBIRDS, YELLOW WARBLERS, etc.
I have also had a reliable pair (or couple pairs) of COMMON NIGHTHAWKS near the Springhill Mall on Route 31 north of Route 72 near East Dundee (north of I-90). The birds can be easily heard by parking at the Wendy's or Denny's on the west side of RT. 31 or parking in the strip mall across the street to the east.
The bridge on Walnut St. / National Ave. in Elgin (just south of the Casino) has been a good location for CLIFF SWALLOWS. There are at least 50 CLIFF SWALLOWS flying around at this location. I can't see the nests, but one can walk across the bridge and get wonderful views as they fly by below you.

Christopher Cudworth on 6/25 reported via IBET: While riding my bike east on Campton Hills (Road) Sunday morning a MOCKINGBIRD crossed the road directly to Illinois Youth Home entrance west of St. Charles/Kane County. This area is right next to the public garden plots at the St. Charles Park District and adjacent to the Campton Soccer and Football complex. Seconds after passing this bird I heard a short burst of startled song from the understory shrubs that could have been another mocker. Mockingbirds are not that common here at the north end of their published range.

John Baker on 6/24 reported via e-mail: Twice recently (Friday and today) I saw a Loggerhead Shrike sitting on the power line on the north side of Empire Rd just east of Arboretum (between SR 47 & Burlington Rd). Hard to believe, but there is no doubt on bird ID.
More mundanely, I had a House Wren in the back yard just now.

Scott Cohrs on 6/24 reported via IBET: Since it seems that Bell's Vireo is a target for a few people right now, I thought I'd mention that there is still one at Aurora West in Kane County. Today was the first time I was able to get there since late May, and the Bell's was singing in the same tree as it was 5 weeks ago. If you take the path from the parking lot towards the power lines, the vireo is present on the east side of the path as you break through the cottonwoods into the scrub area.
Thankfully it seems that the new subdivision construction hasn't affected the site too much as most of the breeding 'specialties' are still present. One (maybe 2) Clay-colored Sparrow was singing from the center of the preserve, as well as at least 3 Henslow's Sparrows in the tall grass near the north end of the preserve. Savannah and Field Sparrows were numerous, as well as E. Meadowlarks, Willow Flycatchers and Yellow Warblers.
The back woods yielded a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I have horrible luck with either cuckoo, so this was a highlight for me. An apparently weak-hearing Great-horned Owl responded to my horrible imitation.
On the way to Aurora West, there was a Pied-billed Grebe on the marsh in the Mirador subdivision on Deerpath. I have been meaning to check the site for nesting Ruddy Ducks as a pair was lingering into late May. Unfortunately, this was the first time I have been back since.

Christopher Cudworth on 6/19 reported via IBET: For the fifth consecutive year a pair of Cooper's Hawks has bred in one of three contiguous yards on our block in Batavia/Kane County. This year again they selected our 50 foot white pine tree in our back yard. Two years ago in this same tree they fledged four young. This year again they have four young hatched. The test of survival is always when they leave the nest. Last year one young bird succumbed to a collision with the neighbor's window. Their dog gently collected the dying bird and brought it to their porch. Which is odd, because the dog tears to pieces every mammal it can get its jaws on, especially rabbits.
It is also interesting to note that these young hawks are quite silent on the nest. Once they leave the nest they communicate with a high pitched whistling squeal either to call for food or to contact each other. Slowly the parents wean them off feedings and they begin to hunt, clumsily at first, then with increasing effectiveness, or they die.

Participants on the 6/2 Nelson Lake birdwalk saw and/or heard: Both the Black- and Yellow-billed cuckoos, Orchard Oriole, many Green and Great Blue herons, Ring-necked Pheasants, Sandhill Cranes, Yellow Warbler, Brown Thrasher, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Sedge and Marsh wrens, Savannah and Swamp sparrows, and Dickcissels along with other more common bird fare.


Page last updated Thursday October 11, 2012.

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