Ken Schneider on 6/30 reported via e-mail: At Nelson Lake this morning, Mary Lou and I saw and photographed a pair of Bobolinks that were feeding at least one fledgling. They were located just north of the southeast bend in the loop trail through the north prairie, off Main Street. We also photographed a Henslow's Sparrow along the northwest portion of the loop trail, northeast of the mound where several pairs nested last year. We heard at least one other Henslow's at this location as well as along the east trail, probably where Christopher found them earlier today.

At the picnic shelter, a kestrel with a vole in its talons was being harassed by Red-winged Blackbirds.

Yesterday, at Hawk's Bluff Park, we saw a pair of Eastern Wood-Pewees apparently bringing insects to (unseen) nestlings. Both of the eaglets were branching and "helicoptering." Based upon our observations of the nest near our Florida home, we might expect the young birds to keep returning to the nest to be fed for 4-6 more weeks. They should soon start foraging with the parent birds, but return to the nest to eat the catch. More photos on my FLICKR page.

Male Bobolink

Bobolink male photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Henslow's Sparrow

Henslow's Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

American Kestrel

American Kestrel photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Christopher Cudworth on 6/30 reported via IBET: Along with all the regular (Sedge Wren, Dickcissel, Savannah, Song, Grasshopper and Vesper) there are at least two singing Henslow's Sparrows along the asphalt path at Dick Young Forest Preserve. These birds regularly perch well in sight and sing near dusk.

Take Main Street west from Batavia past Nelson Lake road and park in the lot at the top of the hill.

Walk the limestone path until it connects with the asphalt and go approximately 400 yards south until the trail curves east toward the woods. The Henslow's perch on compass plant and give their little "tsi-lick" song with some frequency. Sedge wrens are also quite numerous there.

Ron Dickenson on 6/29 reported via e-mail: The eaglet that was "grounded" on Sunday was back in the nest today!

Mooseheart eaglets reunited

The Mooseheart eaglets are reunited! Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson.

Bryan Hix on 6/28 reported via e-mail: I love that one does not have to go on an expedition to find birds around here. I cruised out to a favorite spot of mine and was able to come across some Kildeer chicks that must not have exceeded 4 inches. There were so cute, but very elusive! Mom watched them from a mound of dirt and lead them through several empty lots for food as I slowly followed along from my mobile blind (my car).

[I also found dozens and dozens of Dickcissels at] the Highland Woods subdivision off of Rt. 20 west of Elgin. Turn in the main entrance and go past the school on the right. Take one of the next two lefts into the area of empty lots and slow down and listen. You will find them about every 30 yards singing, both males and females. Also, be on the look out for lots of spotted sandpipers with chicks as well as kildeer with their chicks.

Killdeer chick

Killdeer chick photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Ramu Bijanki on 6/28 reported via e-mail: On Friday Ramu caught one of the eaglets doing some flight training, two days before he (probably a reckless male) or his sibling fell or glided out of the nest (see the next post).

Eaglet flight training

Mooseheart eagle nest activity on Friday, June 25. Photo courtesy Ramu Bijanki.

Ron Dickenson on 6/27 reported via e-mail: One Eaglet is out of the nest today with both adults keeping a eye on it. I think it fell out of the nest but seems to be ok.

First Mooseheart eaglet out of nest

The first Mooseheart eaglet out of the nest. Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Rich and Marion Miller on 6/27 reported via e-mail: On Sunday while viewing the Bald Eagles from Hawk Bluff we spotted and identified an Eastern Phoebe on a dead branch of a large oak tree. It kept flying out and circling and coming back to the branch. Later we learned this may have been its “hawking” behavior when it catches insects.

Mark Bowman on 6/27 reported via e-mail: I drove past the eagle nest on my way home from work 6-26 and did not notice any activity around the nest, they may have flown the coupe. I did go to prairie green and there are 2-3 YH BLACKBIRDS there and a number of DICKCISSELS in the field. SAVANNAH, SONG and GRASSHOPPER are the sparrows out there. At LeRoy Oaks there is a nesting BLUEBIRD with chattering young along the great western trail and next to them are nesting TREE SWALLOWS. I did not see the orchard orioles out there.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Tom Lebryk on 6/26 reported via e-mail: The picture is of the Great Blue Heron near what looks like its nest in the small marsh by the north parking lot observation spot. Later, on the Mid-County Trail, saw a group of opportunistic Cedar Waxwings come in after the morning rain storm as the bugs were starting to dry off and buzz around again. Also saw what looked like two female pheasants loudly chortling in the field and then flying very low across the Trail towards the Lake Nelson treeline. Also saw a juvenile redwing blackbird with two female adults; Goldfinches; the usual sparrows.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron photo courtesy Tom Lebryk

Ron Dickenson on 6/25 reported via e-mail: Ron's photos from the nest today give credence to the thought that the eaglets will soon be flying, and with that flight, the parents will become empty-nesters.

Mooseheart eaglet
Mooseheart eaglets

Mooseheart eaglet photos courtesy Ron Dickenson

Sue Wagoner on 6/25 reported via e-mail: Wednesday's severe storm led to these two immature Cooper's Hawks ending up soaked and sitting on the wicker chair of a front porch in an Aurora neighborhood on Thursday 6-24. (Perhaps they lost their nest to the storm and the wicker chair was the closest to a nest they could find?) When I went for photos, they had dried off considerably and were sitting on the rail of the porch apparently waiting for their parent(s) to find them.
According to the residents, a parent did eventually appear and by the end of today (6-25) all three were gone.

Cooper's Hawk juveniles

Two juvenile Cooper's Hawks photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Ron Dickenson on 6/22 reported via e-mail: A picture captures today's scene at the Mooseheart nest.

Mooseheart Bald Eagles

Mooseheart's Bald Eagles courtesy Ron Dickenson

Rich and Marion Miller on 6/21 reported via e-mail: After reading some of the previous posts, [we] took a walk off the main street entrance to the Nelson Lake Marsh area. Being novice birders it was great to see and identify, an Eastern Meadowlark, Dickcissels, Indigo Bunting, and the female Red- winged Black bird. We also went to the Nelson Lake Rd entrance and saw and identified an Eastern Kingbird, five Cormorants swimming on the lake and a Great Blue Heron. Although we did not see it, a walker came by and said the other day her dog chased out an American Woodcock from the field near the path opposite the picnic area at the main street entrance.

Male and female Red-winged Blackbird

Male and female Red-winged Blackbird photo courtesy Rich Miller

Scott Cohrs on 6/21 reported via e-mail: There was a Summer Tanager on the west side of Nelson Lake yesterday. It was located in the trees above the old overlook. Eventually it moved north along the trees on the bluff.

All of the grassland birds were accounted for, including several Dickcissels and Henslow's Sparrows.

Bryan Hix on 6/20 reported via e-mail: **A word of warning when driving through a Kane County FP** I had what I thought would be a quick, enjoyable Father's Day drive through Burnidge FP to see what was around today. I was able to see several indigo buntings, several dickcissels singing, a brown thrasher, yellow warblers, a common yellowthroat, and a spotted sandpiper. I stopped my car to photograph an indigo bunting about 50 yards away and a curious cycler stopped and asked me about my camera lens. About 30 seconds later a Kane County FP Police Officer stopped his Explorer and told me there was no parking allowed on the road. I explained I was just stopped, not parked (foot on the brake and in drive) and I was just telling the cyclist about my lens. He then angrily told me to give him my license and he was going to give me a $50 ticket for illegal parking. The cyclist at this point took off shaking his head in dismay. Wow, I had to look around to see if I was on candid camera. He ended up not giving me a ticket, but said that next time he sees me stopped in this FP he will arrest me and tow my car! I wanted to let people know about this incident because apparently we birders are not allowed to stop our cars ever in a K.C. forest preserve to look at anything or risk being arrested. Needless to say, I will be filing a formal complaint with the chief tomorrow morning about this ridiculous situation.

Karen Land on 6/20 reported via IBET: One adult Sandhill Crane was foraging in the scrub grass along the north side of Main Street Batavia across from the north entrance to Dick Young Forest Preserve aka Nelson Lake Marsh at 12:30 pm today.

Sue Wagoner on 6/18 reported via e-mail: A walk this morning at Fitchie Creek produced, among the more common residents, this Lark sparrow (there were several), Dickcissels, Horned Lark, Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted grosbeaks, Indigo buntings, and Brown thrasher.

The Cliff swallow I "shot" by Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Cliff Swallow

Cliff Swallow photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Christopher Cudworth on 6/18 reported via IBET: Marilyn: Interesting you should make this trip and post as I rode through the prairie portion of the trail at the tail end of a bike ride yesterday to see "who was home" and immediately noted the songs (such as they are) of several Henslow's. During a two mile bike loop also managed to hear or see SEDGE WREN, BOBOLINK, EASTERN KINGBIRD, SAVANNAH SPARROW, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, DICKCISSEL, GOLDFINCH, BARN SWALLOW, AND INDIGO BUNTING.

The efforts of Kane County and its volunteer stewards certainly are paying
off in Dick Young Forest Preserve.

Marilyn Bell on 6/17 reported via IBET: Following Christopher Cudworth's lead of last week, Marscha Chenoweth, Pat Eggleston, Betsy Fikjes and I met this morning (Thurs. 6/17) at the Main St. entrance of Nelson Lake Marsh. It was a delightful walk down a wide gravel path with grassland birds sitting high or popping up mostly near the path! Though we did have the benefit of a scope, the birds were easily seen with binoculars. Beginning with a FIELD and a CHIPPING SPARROW near the parking lot, we had SAVANNAH, GRASSHOPPER, HENSLOW'S and SONG SPARROWs, interspersed with COMMON YELLOWTHROATs, DICKCISSELs, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHes, SEDGE WRENs and EASTERN MEADOWLARKs. Overhead a GREEN HERON, a GREAT BLUE HERON and BARN SWALLOWs flew, while SANDHILL CRANEs were heard. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS were all around and an AMERICAN KESTREL hovered over, then dropped into the grasses, apparently intent on robbing a nest, but was immediately attacked by two RWBL males and several females. A couple of INDIGO BUNTINGs added to the color and a PIED-BILLED GREBE disappeared under the water of a small marsh near the parking lot. All this commenced a short distance down the path, so someone unable to walk very far can easily enjoy these birds.

We arrived at 6:30 a.m. and found that singing increased after that, then began decreasing around 8:30. I don't remember seeing a sign at that entrance for the Marsh, but the low yellow gates could be easily seen. Main St. is at the north end of Nelson Lake Rd.

Tom Lebryk on 6/17 reported via e-mail: The latest antics of the Mooseheart eaglets. They are stretching and hopping across the nest. Then they show off to each other ("Look at me!" posing and such). Fun to watch.

Mooseheart eaglets practicing for first flight

Mooseheart eaglets photos courtesy Tom Lebryk

Mooseheart eaglets

Bill Koch on 6/17 reported via e-mail: The ramble at Fitchie Creek FP on Wednesday produced 43 species of birds. The sparrows included, Henslow's, Vesper, Field, Song, Savannah and Lark Sparrows.

Many Bobolinks were seen just off of the appropriately named Bobolink trail. Dickcissels could be heard in many locations but not necessarily seen. Walking by the creek produced Brown thrashers, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, many Baltimore Orioles, a Green Heron and Eastern Towhee.

A great day for a walk through the Prairie, Grassland and Oak Forest located on site.

Ann Haverstock on 6/17 reported via e-mail: A winter wren is singing on territory at Campton F.P. Audio Recorded and seen 6/17/10 and 6/7/10. Whether a female is present is unknown. He could be lost and confused. He was heard and seen while doing a survey. He was in Plot 5 today (6/17). He has also been between Plots 6 and 5. If you want a map that shows the plot locations you must email me.
It is beginning to feel like Maine.

Ron Dickenson on 6/16 reported via e-mail: The eaglets at Mooseheart are nearing the time that they'll solo.

Eaglets at Mooseheart

Mooseheart eaglets photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Chris and Joe Nudd on 6/12 reported via e-mail: Hello, We live in st Charles, IL. Attached are pics of what we think are turkey vultures in 2 huge cotton wood trees next door. They have returned a few days in a row, sometimes up to 6 birds have shown up. We hope they decide to build nest.... !

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture photo courtesy Chris and Joe Nudd

Jeanne Letizia on 6/11 reported via e-mail: There appears to be a turkey vulture nest in a large old tree on Keslinger, just west of Randall Rd, on the south border of Delnor Hospital. Look for a large old tree, which you can drive up close to by entering the Delnor Hospital property and going to one of their outpatient medical office buildings. If you are across the street from Antonio's pizza on Kesslinger, you have found the area containing the old tree. We see the turkey vultures soaring overhead all the time, flying in and out of the tree at the top of the trunk, and even perching on top of the medical office building nearby.

Ron Dickenson on 6/10 reported via e-mail: Here's a photographic update of the Mooseheart eagles.

Eagle and eaglet

Eagle and eaglet photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Mooseheart eaglet

Mooseheart eaglet photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Ann Haverstock on 6/9 reported via e-mail: I have been able to see (using my scope) good views of the Kane bald eagles from the Batavia neighborhood that is East of the birds. There is an open drainage field on McClurg Drive. If you stay on its higher areas and look SW toward those tall White pines you can get pretty good views. It is a very safe location to bring children. Bring your scope.

Ken Schneider on 6/8 reported via e-mail: As Christopher noted, on Monday June 7 we also encountered many Dicksissels and Grasshopper Sparrows, as well as Sedge Wrens while walking the north prairie at Nelson Lake. We did hear and see a Willow Flycatcher in the small grove of trees near the fence line that crosses the NW portion of the loop. We heard no Henslow's Sparrows, but the wind did make it more difficult for me to distinguish their song from the initial note in a distant Grasshopper Sparrow song. The burn has fragmented the Henslow's previous territory on the hill, and they do not nest in freshly burned prairie. Perhaps they have relocated. to a less accessible area. I have posted additional photos on my FLICKR account.


Dickcissel photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ann Haverstock on 6/7 reported via e-mail: This A.M. while doing my BCN bird survey [at Campton Forest Preserve], I came across a couple of unusual birds. A singing Acadian Flycatcher and a singing Winter Wren. You may be able to find both species if you head due east when coming from the Town Hall Rd. Entrance. Winter Wren was on edge of North Woodland and Acadian Flycatcher was North of the wetland in a shrubby/open area.

Ron Dickenson on 6/7 reported via e-mail: Yesterday Ron caught this photo of one of the eaglets stretching its wings.

Eaglet stretching its wings

Eaglet stretching its wings with parent closeby

Christopher Cudworth on 6/7 reported via IBET: While walking our dog on the main limestone trail through Dick Young Forest Preserve, a number of grassland species of birds were readily evident.

Winds were quite high, but the one bird that was hard to pick up by voice was Henslow's. Last year there were several in the portion of not-quite-prairie as you first walk west from the lean-to shelter on the gravel path. This is where I listened closely for Henslow's and thought there were 3 or 4 birds present. I'm going to check on a less windy day.

But DICKCISSEL were abundant, as were GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, SEDGE WREN, SAVANNAH SPARROW, a pair of BOBOLINK (low numbers I thought for this time time of year) as well as YELLOWTHROAT, EASTERN MEADOWLARK (my wife said "I don't think I've really listened to that song before). SONG SPARROW, GOLDFINCH and EASTERN KINGBIRD also present. Did not hear any willow flycatchers where I normally do near the Audubon Bridge.

One note: When we got over the hill after the prairie sign a strange 'BUP BUP BUP' sound like the beating of wings caught our ear. We stopped quickly and my wife asked, "What's that? Cranes or something?" We did not identify the source. Sometimes pheasants make a noise with their wings but this was different. Curious, but unidentifiable. I'll try again.

Scott Cohrs on 6/6 reported via IBET: I spent some time early Sunday morning at Big Rock FP. I walked around in a few areas that I normally don't explore, with good results. There is a circular trail that goes around the quarry lake. At the northwest corner of this trail, there is a mowed path that heads out to a fallow corn field. Along this little stretch on the way to the corn field, a Yellow-breasted Chat was present. There were also several Willow Flycatchers in this area.

Once I hit the corn field, I walked north towards another oak woodlot and parallel to a fence line. Along this fence line, almost to the next woodlot, I had a Blue Grosbeak. It was originally along the fence. Later it could be heard to the east of the fence, out somewhere in the field. I believe the area to the east of this fence is Boy Scout property, but I am not positive about that. There was a first year Orchard Oriole at the corner of the woodlot, and in the field further north there were 8 Wild Turkeys. Though I get Wild Turkey on just about every visit to Big Rock, I rarely actually see them. Kind of neat to see these just casually strutting around in the field, until they saw my at least.

On the way back south, I heard a few unfamiliar notes coming from the fence line. They sounded a bit like a befuddled nighthawk. As I got closer, a bird flew out towards the east into the field. It flew right into the sun, so I couldn't get any detail other than it was a larger bird with a long tail. The sounds reminded me of a Loggerhead Shrike, and when I played Loggerhead on my IPod I had a bird respond several times from the field. I don't know if Loggerheads readily respond to call-backs, and I never did see the bird again, so I'm not sure what to do with this encounter. Certainly be worth keeping an eye out for. This entire fence has barbed wire on the top of it, so I would not be shocked if a shrike was attracted by this.

In the parking lot for the quarry lake at Big Rock, several Dickcissels were singing from the field to the south.

Finally, I checked on the Bliss Woods Acadian Flycatchers. There are at least 4 distinct territories along the bike path. Two on each side of Bliss Road. Add in Chris Cudworth's bird from this morning, and it appears to be a great start to the summer for Acadians locally.

Christopher Cudworth on 6/6 reported via IBET: While conducting a breeding bird census through Arends Forest Preserve/Batavia (1 mile south of Main Street on Route 31) I had an incessantly singing ACADIAN FLYCATCHER directly above the bike path where the main footpath comes down from the shelter. The bird was seen closeup as well.

In this vicinity there were also many other singing species, of note:


The main stop where PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was found last year turned up nothing during my observation period. On the return trip I spent more time in hopes of finding this bird, and REDSTART or CHESTNUT-SIDED as well. No warblers were singing this morning. I even checked closely and listened for YELLOW WARBLER up on the hillside near the parking lot, and no sign of them either. I hope to document these species on the next census effort.

An adult BALD EAGLE caught a fish in the river while I was stopped to listen for birds. This is undoubtedly one of the pair nesting at Mooseheart. he was headed directly for the nest as he came overhead. Nice sized fish. Breakfast for someone.

Many other commoner species.

Ron Dickenson on 6/3 reported via e-mail: Here's an eaglet picture update:


Eaglets photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Marion Miller on 6/1 reported via e-mail: Located the nest reported by Chris Nelson in the gutter at the Kane County Judical Building. Able to capture one baby Red Tail on camera. No other signs of additional young.

Red-tailed Hawk baby

Red-tailed Hawk baby photo courtesy Marion Miller

Ron Dickenson on 6/1 reported via e-mail: Ron caught this moment with the whole family posing on the nest.

Mooseheart's Bald Eagle family

All four Mooseheart Eagles courtesy Ron Dickenson


This page last updated Thursday October 11, 2012.

Copyright 2006 - 2015 for all content of www.kanecountyaudubon.org
Kane County Audubon, 513 S. 13th Ave., St. Charles, IL 60174
Please report problems to kca webmaster