Marion Miller on 5/31 reported via e-mail: Both eaglets were viewed in the new Mooseheart nest approximately 15 minutes after reading Flint Creek Rehabs facebook notification about the eaglets return to the nest. They where moving about, perching on the side of the nest and stretching their wings. Rich and I viewed both adult Eagles flying above, behind and in front of the nest and perching a few trees away from the nest. The eaglets were tracking the adult Eagles as they flew by. As of 8:30pm when we left Hawk's Bluff we did not view an adult Eagle on the nest, hope that changes soon.

Ron Dickenson on 5/31 reported via e-mail: The Eaglets are back and safe in their new nest that was put up for them today by Flint Creek and Mooseheart.

Crafting the new nest's framework. Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson.

The nest framework is hoisted into the tree. Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson.

One of the eaglets is placed in the new nest. Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson.

Marion Miller on 5/31 reported via e-mail: Rich and I spotted a Channel 7HD Helicopter above the Mooseheart Pines near Randall road around 5:15pm. We went to Hawk’s Bluff to check it out and was able to see the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehab working on the nest. We were able to get a scope’s view of Dawn Keller at the base of the tree with other workers. Sticks were being hauled up on a pulley system to a man in the bucket of a “cherry picker” who would place them down on a mesh looking structure in the tree. What an effort by Dawn and the Rehab center workers. No adult eagles were seen at this time.

Workers construct a new eagle nest at Mooseheart. Photo courtesy Marion Miller.

Ron Dickenson on 5/30 reported via e-mail: I'm sorry to report that sometime during the storms yesterday the [Bald Eagle] nest came down out of the tree. The two adults are hanging around the nest area very close so I think that the two Eaglets are there some were in the tall grass hopefully! Here are some pictures from this morning. [Editor's note: Please see the updated info on our homepage.]

Eagles' nest tree

Former nest site

Parent Bald Eagle

Eagle parent

Fallen nest

Fallen nest

Bob Meierhans on 5/30 reported via e-mail: I'm happy to report that "Sandy," our resident back yard/field sandhill crane, no longer comes alone to knock on my office he brings his family.

For weeks, Sandy came alone, making me think that he might have been one of last year's chicks, arriving without a mate. Beginning last week, however, we spotted Sandy and his mate in the field behind us [at Rte 47 just north of I-88]. We could not see the chicks because they were so small they were covered in the grass. As the days went by, we began to see them at different places along the lot line when they would emerge from the tall grass with chicks in tow.

Today, the family of four fed in our lawn!

I'll have to wait to see if they perform this year like they have over the last four years...coming well into the yard to feed, rest and preen as the chicks grow into long-distance flyers.

I really need that longer lens.

Sandhill Crane family

Sandhill Cranes photo courtesy Bob Meierhans

Rich Miller on 5/29 reported via e-mail: In the right place, at the right time: As Marion and I were heading off to church this morning (before the rain), I happened to notice a family of Sandhill Cranes on the west side of Randall Rd by Mooseheart. It pays to have a camera in your car. Sorry for the quality – It was very foggy out.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes photo courtesy Rich Miller

Ron Dickenson on 5/27 reported via e-mail: A picture from the Mooseheart Eagle nest today.

Mooseheart Bald Eagle family

Mooseheart Bald Eagle family photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Christopher Cudworth on 5/27 reported via IBET: Came out to walk the dog this morning to the sound of a NORTHERN PARULA singing in the ash/sycamore canopy of our yard in Batavia.

Also a Redstart was back in our neighborhood. Chance that those will be nesting.

Bob Andrini on 5/24 reported via e-mail: We did get to see the Peregrine Falcon on our ramble up in Elgin today - he gave us a 'fly-by'. This was the 200th bird for the KCA year list this year.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Marion Miller on 5/24 reported via e-mail: While drinking a cup of coffee today at a picnic table at Bliss Woods, I enjoyed the music of the birds. A Wood Thrush was filling the air with his magical flutelike notes while a House Wren was making a bubbling chatter. A Wood-Pewee added his whistled “beeeeee” to the bird concert. Also, yesterday got my FOY Dickcissel. Thought my birding was finished for the day but now I'm off to Aurora West to try and locate Sue's Vireo!

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush photo courtesy Marion Miller


Dickcissel photo courtesy Marion Miller

Sue Wagoner on 5/24 reported via e-mail: This Bell's Vireo is singing at Aurora West Forest Preserve- take the trail on the right and keep to the right past the parking lot. He will most likely be heard- this was a lifer for me, and his song was very unusual, which drew my attention to him. Not much else on my short hike- Yellow Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Meadowlarks, Song Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Catbirds and too many Cowbirds!

Bell's Vireo

Bell's Vireo photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Julie Long on 5/23 reported via e-mail: There was a pair of orchard orioles squabbling yesterday with a pair of Baltimore orioles in the Fabyan Japanese garden in the Fabyan forest preserve. The orchard orioles were going in and out of the very large old yew in the southwest corner of the garden. The garden is only open on Wed and Sun afternoons, but I will be there tomorrow, Tues afternoon with some other master gardeners pulling weeds. It will be interesting to see if all of the orioles are still there. Stop by if you want

Ari Shavit on 5/23 reported via IBET: Yesterday there were a few shore birds at the Sauer Prairie. Wilsons Phalarope, several Dunlins, Semipalmated Plovers, Yellowlegs, Semi Sandpipers. The water was lower but it probably filled up again from last nights rain.

Christopher Cudworth on 5/22 reported via IBET: Nothing remarkable at Les Arends Forest Preserve south of Batavia. But one Olive-sided flycatcher was singing along the trail at the south end of the parking lot.

Ken Schneider on 5/22 reported via e-mail: All this week Spotted Sandpipers have been singing in the vacant lot in front of our North Aurora condo. Yesterday I saw one atop a pile of rubble near the edge of our street, so I stopped there this morning, using the car as a blind, hoping to photograph them from only about 20 feet. A Horned Lark was there when I arrived, so I moved the car slowly into position, opened the windows, raised my camera-- and the lark flew off! After about 10 minutes a Spotted Sandpiper began moving between rock piles and suddenly was right in front of me.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Margaret Myers on 5/22 reported via e-mail: Looks like we will be having a "empty nest" soon.

Mooseheart's eagles

Mooseheart eagles photos courtesy Steve Myers, Sr.

Mooseheart's eagles

Mooseheart eagles photo courtesy Steve Myers, Sr.

Jackie Bowman on 5/21 reported via e-mail: On Friday May 20th at 5:00pm Chris and I visited Prairie Green in Geneva. Best sightings at the pond were two Dowitchers and one breeding plumage Stilt Sandpiper. Also present were many Semi-Palmated and Least Sandpiper and Yellowlegs. There were three Semi-Palmated Plovers and two Dunlins. North of the pond was one Vesper Sparrow. In the fields south of the pond, extending to the RR tracks were a surprising number of many Grasshopper Sparrows.

Stilt Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher

Stilt Sandpiper (L) and Short-billed Dowitcher (R) photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Karen Land on 5/20 again reported via IBET: A first ever sighting for me! Staring out my family room window [in Batavia] and watching all my usual suspects coming in to visit something unusual flew into my little white oak tree, a scarlet tanager! A first for me, hard to miss the bright red with the black wings. He hung around for a while moving between my trees.

Karen Land on 5/20 reported via IBET: We have always had hummers come to fuchsia hanging baskets. We finally got out and bought 2 on Tuesday and about 3 hours after they were hung up, we had a hummingbird! Now we have seen them several times a day.

Marion Miller on 5/19 reported via e-mail: Made a quick stop by Tyler Creek Forest Preserve in Elgin around 5pm. Walked over the second bridge and along the path to the left and within minutes found a Wilson’s Warbler in the bushy trees near the creek. He gave me a great look of his black cap before he actively moved behind leaves from one tree to another. Saw a Baltimore Oriole, Blue Jays, Catbirds, Robins, Red-bellied Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch as I walked back. After crossing the bridge to return to the parking lot saw a Black-and-White Warbler and an American Restart on the trees in front of my car. The whole area was very "birdy" and I am guessing there was much more to be discovered if I had more time to explore.

American Redstart

American Redstart photo courtesy Marion Miller

Andrew Aldrich on 5/18 reported via IBET: I went looking yesterday for the Cerulean Warbler that was reported the other day at Norris Woods in St. Charles but was unable to relocate it. However, I did find: RED-EYED, YELLOW-THROATED, & PHILADELPHIA VIREOS, VEERY, HERMIT THRUSH, ALDER & GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, CHESTNUT-SIDED, & BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, & A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER. Just to name a few!

This afternoon I spent some time at Aurora West Forest Preserve, and had a nice variety but overall small numbers of warblers. Some highlights: OVENBIRD, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, BLACKBURNIAN, BAY-BREASTED, PALM, TENNESSEE, & MOURNING WARBLERS.

Also had a flyover CASPIAN TERN as I was heading out.

Kurt Frieders on 5/18 reported via e-mail: Our yard (in Aurora township) has seen a bunch of new birds in the past several days. We have had two male (one of them juvenile) Baltimore Orioles at our feeder several times a day for the last 10 days. On Monday we had our first ever Scarlet Tanager in our yard, and Tuesday we had our first ever Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

Oakhurst FP has also had some new arrivals this week such as an Orchard Oriole, Magnolia Warbler, Indigo Buntings, and Cedar Waxwings.

Jack Pomatto on 5/17 reported via e-mail: Sightings from J.J. Duerr and Tekakwitha F.P. on Tuesday 5/17/11: Today I had a moderate variety of warblers, but an unusual number ( 10 ) of Cape May Warblers. Also at J.J. Duerr there was a Red-headed Woodpecker. The bird that cooperated the best later in the day was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that a whole class of First Graders got to see on a scheduled hike at Tekakwitha.

Cape May Warbler

Cape May Warbler photo courtesy Jack Pomatto

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker photo courtesy Jack Pomatto

Scott Cohrs on 5/17 reported via IBET: Felt slow (and cold) at Norris Woods this morning, but I had some good birds in the pockets that I encountered. Best bird was probably a Cerulean Warbler encountered along the bike trail. It was found north along the paved path, parallel to the north end of the Anderson buildings. The path jogs slightly at this spot, and a metal culvert runs underneath. The bird was singing very quietly and infrequently (probably cold!), and I would have probably missed it had I not stopped for a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher that was at the same spot.

I was also pleased to get a Hooded Warbler this morning. The Hooded was at the north end of the path that goes thru the woods, up on the bluff. Might actually be easier to see/hear this bird from the north end of the cemetery on top of the bluff. All told I had 16/17 species of warblers in a hour and a half.

Other good birds included a very cooperative Philadelphia Vireo, a Veery, and a White-eyed Vireo. The White-eyed was actually at Ferson Creek Fen, but it was singing so loudly that I could hear it clearly across the river!

Chris Weishaar on 5/17 reported via IBET: Spent a couple of hours at teh Japanese Gardens in Batavia late yesterday afternoon. Did the short loop starting from the south parking lot moving north along the river, following the path west toward the museum and back south along the west side of the park.

Some highlights:
Blackpolls, 3
Yellow warbler, M/F
Blue-gray gnatcatcher, 2
A lone male Cape May warbler in the oak trees just west of the path
Pair of Bluebirds utilizing the nesting box along the west path, nothernmost of the two boxes.
Eastern kingbird
Eastern phoebe

There were two that I could not make a positive id as I did not get a good view of them. I suspect one was a vireo, the other another warbler which I thought had a banded head, similar to that of a worm-eating warbler. These two were flitting about in the small trees near the bridges.

All of the usual suspects were there in good numbers:
Canada geese
Red-winged blackbirds
Barn swallows
Chipping sparrows, two pairs
Song sparrow, lone male
Red-tailed hawk
Turkey vulture
Also noted many Orioles, both males & females.

I hope to wrap up my day early so I can get back there again later this afternoon (Tue 5/17).

Eric Secker on 5/16 reported via IBET: At Fox River Shores this afternoon, along the bike trail south of the parking lot we had a few good warblers. Most of them weren't very active considering the time of day, but we did see a WILSON'S WARBLER and hear a CANADA WARBLER and a WORM-EATING WARBLER. All three birds were in the bushes just north of the benches and open area overlooking the river.

We also had a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and earlier this week we had one of the ORCHARD ORIOLES in the same area.

Margaret Myers on 5/15 reported via e-mail: Two female Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds spent the afternoon 5/15 in a bush by our deck.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird photo courtesy Steve Myers, Sr.

Rich Miller on 5/15 reported via e-mail: Marion and I were near one of the known nesting spots for Great Horned Owls on Rt 25 near Montgomery. We decided to see how the little ones some time ago were progressing. After only a few minutes of tree scanning I spotted one juvenile and one adult. She even smiled for the camera - can't you tell?

Great Horned Owlet

Great Horned Owlet photo courtesy Rich Miller

Scott Cohrs on 5/15 reported via IBET: Despite the conditions I was able to find a few things today. The best bird was a single Willet at Braeburn Marsh around 10 this morning. It was easily viewed from the movie theatre parking lot on Randall, though the wind almost knocked my scope over twice. There were also several Short-billed Dowicthers, peeps and Lesser Yellowlegs scattered around.

I tried to stick close to the river and see if I could get some warblers. I hit the Japanese Garden area and Les Arends. All told I had 20 species, though nothing I would call outstanding. I did have 2 Mourning Warblers and 12 Canada Warblers combined at both spots. That has to be a new daily high for Canada Warblers for me. There seemed to be one singing every hundred yards or so at Les Arends. Otherwise, passerines were tough to come by, though Red-eyed Vireos and Swainson's Thrushes were plentiful.

I did have a singing bird at the Japanese Garden that I believe was a Hooded Warbler, but I could never coax it out into view. It was in the woods just north of the residence that is at the entrance, between Route 31 and the parking lot . That area was particularly active this morning. Wish I could have gotten that one, as some of the 'good' warblers seem to be scarce this year, aside from Cook County! I would agree that this migration has been a weird one at best. There's still time, I am hoping for a banner second half of May.

Cheryl Lutz on 5/15 reported via e-mail: Sunday A.M. 5/15 Tyler Creek F.P. Very birdy at the lower section by the creek. Notables include: Chestnut-sided warbler, Magnolia warbler

Also, there was still a Peregrine Falcon present on the Tower Building in Elgin at noon which is pretty exciting.

Gordon Garcia on 5/14 reported via e-mail: Saw what looked to be two Peregrine Falcons flying around the Tower Building in downtown Elgin on Friday (May 13, 2011). It looked like one landed on the building’s roof. Went back today and photographed one roosting near the top of the building.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon photo courtesy Gordon Garcia

Pete Moxon on 5/14 reported via phone: Early morning at Braeburn Marsh in Batavia there were 7 Short-billed Dowitchers, a few Semipalmated Plovers, several Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a few Lesser Yellowlegs.

Bryan Hix on 5/11 reported via e-mail: I took a walk through Burnidge FP late this morning as it was really starting to heat up and found some new FOY birds had arrived. I saw 7 Scarlet Tanagers feeding in the treetops, one Blackpoll Warbler male, 2 American Redstart males, 1 Bay-breasted Warbler, 2 Great-Crested Flycatchers, 4 Eastern Towhees, 5 Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles (males and females), 1 Orchard Oriole, 1 Indigo Bunting, numerous Gray Catbirds and several Brown Thrashers, as well as 2 Bobolinks. We are moving right into the peak of the May migration and I would guess with these warm southerly winds, it should bring in a lot more birds this week.

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler courtesy Bryan Hix

Ken Schneider on 5/11 reported via e-mail: While birding the east side of Aurora West Forest Preserve this morning, Mary Lou and I heard an unfamiliar series of loud harsh calls that almost sounded chicken-like. Then there were sets of three short quiet coos. We finally found the source of the noise, a Black-billed Cuckoo. It was located next to the trail, just SW of where Indian Trail dead-ends at the edge of the preserve. We also saw and photographed a Willow Flycatcher and a Swainson's Thrush near the model airplane field. I'm pretty sure I also heard an Alder Flycatcher in the Cottonwood grove in the SE section of the preserve, but could not confirm with a sighting. Yellow Warblers were abundant and were gathering nesting material, and several Field Sparrows were singing. Had a Tennessee and an Orange-crowned Warbler, a Northern Waterthrush and two redstarts. We tallied 32 species.

Black-billed Cuckoo Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo photos courtesy Ken Schneider

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson's Thrush photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 5/10 reported via e-mail: At Nelson Lake this morning, Mary Lou and I saw our FOS Indigo Bunting and a late (?) White-crowned Sparrow. We saw at least 5 Warbling and one Red-eyed Vireo. Warblers included Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Northern Waterthrush (heard), Nashville, Orange-crowned and Magnolia Warblers. Again saw a male Bobolink over the east prairie. Saw one Great-crested Flycatcher and watched two Eastern Kingbirds that appeared to be fighting over a mate, as a third kingbird sat passively watching. One of the (presumed) males exhibited its red crown.

Had an Empid that was a probable Least Flycatcher, though it looked quite yellow in life. Until we reviewed the photos we thought we had a Yellow-bellied.

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Eastern Kingbirds do battle

Battling Eastern Kingbirds photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ron Dickenson on 5/10 reported via e-mail: Here's an update picture of one of the Mooseheart Bald Eagles with the eaglets.

Bald Eagle and eaglets

Bald Eagle with chicks photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

John Heneghan on 5/10 reported via IBET: [Big Rock Forest Preserve] was good to me this AM. Among birds seen were a Golden Winged Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Canadian Warbler, Myrtles Warbler, Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, House Wrens building a nest, Indigo Buntings, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Baltimore Orioles, Blue Winged Warbler, Kingfisher (heard not seen), Wood Ducks, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows.

Watched 4 Orioles at home [in Big Rock] in the backyard apple tree either sucking nectar out of the flowers or eating small bugs attracted to the nectar. Yellowrumped and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers were seen in the yard as well as Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings. White Crowned Sparrows continue to make appearances at the feeders.

Laura Werner on 5/10 reported via IBET: What a brilliant morning at Bliss Woods (both weather-wise and bird-wise!) Wonderful looks at MOST of the species on this list along the bike path portion of the preserve, and many were singing as well.

Common Yellowthroat-2
Black and White-1
Black-throated Green-4

Other notables include:

Acadian Flycatcher-1
Great-crested Flycatcher-1
Least Flycatcher-1 (ID by visual + vocalization)
Wood Thrush -2
Northern Oriole-3
Indigo Bunting-5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak -6+
Hairy Woodpecker
Red-eyed Vireo-1

Notably ABSENT were the tanagers, which in previous years have been quite abundant at this FP.

John Janunas on 5/10 reported via e-mail: Got this Virginia Rail a few days ago at Nelson Lake.

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail photo courtesy John Janunas

Marion Miller on 5/10 reported via e-mail: Rich and I visited Otter Creek Bend Wetland Park early this morning. We heard multiple Soras and Virginia Rails near and an American Bittern far off. While we sat and waited, hoping to view the birds, an American Toad ambled by us as an unidentified snake slithered further down the path. A Common Yellow Throat jumped along the dried marshy vegetation 5 feet in front of us. Within a half an hour both a Sora and Virginia Rail walked out of the marshy cover for us to view. It was a great way to start our day!


Sora photo courtesy Marion Miller

Chris Bowman on 5/9 reported via e-mail: Notable birds seen 5/8 at Prairie Green in Geneva: 20 Yellowlegs, 1 male Wilson's Phalarope, 1 Long-Billed Dowitcher, 2 American Pipits.
5/9 at Prairie Greeen : 5 Yellowlegs, 1 Dunlin, 7 Semi-palmated Sandpipers, 1 White Rumped Sandpiper, 2 American Pipits.

Ken Schneider on 5/9 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I visited Lippold Park this morning. Heard a Northern Waterthrush singing near south pond, but did not see it. The only warblers we ID'd were Yellow-rumped, Palm, Black-and-White, Nashville and the first Blackburnian that I have ever photographed. Overcast skies and distance contributed to soft images. We watched a Baltimore Oriole in the early stages of building its nest, and saw four Eastern Bluebirds and two pairs of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. More images may be seen at my website.

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Green Heron photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Jack Pomatto on 5/9 reported via e-mail: Today 5/9/11 South of Quarry Park in Batavia the wind was blowing and all the warblers were feeding very low so I could see them at/or below eye level. The highlights were:
Golden-winged Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Yellow-throated Vireo

Bay-breasted Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler photo courtesy Jack Pomatto

Yellow-throated Vireo photo courtesy Jack Pomatto

Christopher Cudworth on 5/9 reported via IBET: In a short trip the morning of May 9 was able to sift through the wind and find the following species


Worked hard to find the Prothonotary warblers at Les Arends but no sign, no
song this morning. Going to try a calmer morning.

Kurt Frieders on 5/9 reported via e-mail: Two weeks ago we put out an oriole feeder for the first time. It turns out on Sunday we had our first visitor to the feeder (Aurora township). It was a male Baltimore Oriole. He left the oranges alone, but spent a good amount of time eating the grape jelly. He seemed completely at home, and we are hoping he makes a daily visit. This morning I noticed our first Ruby-Throated Hummingbird of the year. It was a young male, and he made a brief stop at our hummingbird feeder.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole photo courtesy Kurt Frieders

Sue Wagoner on 5/8 reported via e-mail: Among the more interesting birds Yeanette Johnson and I saw on our Spring Count at Bliss Woods and Hannaford Woods were a Blue-Headed Vireo and this pair of Red-Headed Woodpeckers setting up housekeeping.
While our warbler count was not impressive, we did see 9 Scarlet Tanagers and 10 Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks.

Red-headed Woodpeckers

Red-headed Woodpeckers photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Karen Land on 5/8 reported via IBET: Saturday morning we went out for breakfast to Harner's in North Aurora which is right on the bike trail and the Fox River. Harner's has always been bird friendly and maintains feeders outside the large windows all along the east side of the building. The entire dining area where we were seated was entertained by a male and female Baltimore Oriole who flitzed between the bushes and a flowering tree. It was so cool to see that everyone there, patrons, the owner and wait staff noticed and stopped to watch and discuss what they saw!

Bryan Hix on 5/8 reported via e-mail: I made a quick run around my usual spots as it was starting to rain yesterday. I drove by some mud puddles near my house off Randall Rd. and found 5 Least Sandpipers with 3 Spotted Sandpipers and 2 Kildeer in a puddle the size of a bathtub. I checked another industrial pond and found a whole flock of Double-Crested Cormorants, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, a Green Heron (FOY), a pair of Blue-Winged Teal, and a nesting Pied-Billed Grebe. There were huge numbers of Tree and Barn Swallow grabbing insects off the surface of the water.

I made a run through Burnidge FP and saw my FOY Bobolink singing in the rain and heard another one off in the distance. As I was leaving the park, I spotted an Orchard Oriole right near the west gate. I am thinking this week's fronts should bring in some more migrants, especially warblers.


Bobolink photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Least Sandpiper photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Mark Bowman on 5/8 reported via e-mail: This morning the feeders were very active with the WHITE BREASTED NUTHATCH, CARDINALS, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PINE SISKINS and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK.

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Ken Schneider on 5/8 again reported via e-mail: At about 8:30 AM this morning, I happened to look out the upstairs bedroom window of our condo (off Orchard & Comisky) in North Aurora and saw the white head of a "Blue" morph Snow Goose among the 9 Canada Geese that were foraging in and around a fluddle in the undeveloped lot in front of our home. The Snow Goose tended to associate with one of the Canada geese, and the two spent much of their time apart from the rest of the flock. A couple of weeks ago, a neighbor who lives on the lake at Jones Meadow Park sent me photos of a similar Snow Goose that also was associated with one Canada Goose, suggesting that they may be bonded. The far northern edge of the breeding range of Canada geese overlaps with that of the Snow Goose. The latter species is known for "dumping" its eggs in neighboring nests. Is it possible that this Canada Goose raised this particular bird? (I once saw a Long-tailed Duck in Dallas, Texas that appeared to be similarly bonded with a scaup, probably for the same reason). I photographed the geese through the window glass.

Snow Goose (Blue Morph)

Blue Morph Snow Goose photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 5/8 reported via e-mail: During the KCAS ramble at Lippold Park and Red Oak Nature Center this Friday, we saw close to 50 species, including a water-logged Black-throated Green Warbler and both Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers.

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ron Dickenson on 5/6 reported via e-mail: Here's the latest from the Mooseheart nest.

Mooseheart parents at the nest photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Mooseheart Eaglets

Mooseheart eaglets photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Andrew Aldrich on 5/5 reported via IBET: Birded Phillip's Park & Oakhurst in Aurora yesterday morning and had lots of new and recent arrivals. Here are some of the highlights:

Phillip's Park (mostly on the islands on Mastodon Lake):

Oakhurst (warbler activity along creek off north side lake trail, until a Cooper's Hawk showed up anyway):
PALM WARBLER (most abundant, even more than yellow-rumps)

Happy birding!

Bryan Hix on 5/4 reported via e-mail: Did some bushwacking at Burnidge today and came across a nice little flock of Eastern Towhees. There were at least 8-10 individuals. I also saw many Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Eastern Bluebirds, Indigo Bunting, Northern Waterthrush, Catbird, Brown Thrashers, Cooper's Hawk, Broad-Winged Hawk, Swamp Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, a glimpse of a Blue or Golden-Winged Warbler (moving too quickly in the underbrush), Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, and Nashville Warblers.

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Mark Bowman on 5/4 reported via e-mail: yesterday I had a PURPLE FINCH at the feeder and saw the NORTHERN PARULA at Fabyan. I just want to say that everyone is sending in really neat pictures, so fun to see all of them on the reports

Northern Parula

Northern Parula photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Purple Finch

Purple Finch photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Yeanette Johnson on 5/4 reported via IBET: The birds were fabulous today! Here is a list of some of the highlights:

Quarry Park:

Bliss Woods:

Sue Wagoner on 5/4 reported via e-mail: This Blue-Winged Warbler is one of two Yeanette Johnson and I saw at Quarry Park Wednesday 5-4. Other warblers we saw: Yellow, Northern Parula, Black-Throated Green, Nashville, Tennessee, Black and White, Palm, Yellow-Rump and female Pine. Had a good look at the mouthy Carolina Wren also.
And on a dry-run of the upcoming Spring Count at Bliss Woods, this Hooded Warbler popped up in front of Yeanette and me- we considered tying it to the tree until Saturday but he ran/flew too fast for us!

Blue-winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Ken Schneider on 5/4 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I arrived in Illinois from Florida yesterday before noon and we were out into Batavia's Hawks Bluff Park within minutes after we unpacked. It was in the low 40s with a heavy overcast. The wind picked up and it dropped into the high 30s before the rain started. We saw flocks of warblers near the tops of the tall oak trees but could hardly discern colors against the glare of the clouds. We recognized many Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, as well as a few Nashville, one Yellow Warbler, and lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, but did not get any presentable photos.

This morning also started out cold and cloudy, and we headed over to Nelson Lake. As soon as we got out of the car at the east entrance, we heard and photographed a Bobolink singing from the top of the first big Oak tree north of the picnic shelter. One Sedge Wren was singing near the parking lot. We thought we would freeze to death, but suddenly the sun came out and the sky turned blue. Along the trail just north of the observation platform, I captured this Nashville Warbler in flight, quite by accident.

It's great to be back and catching the migrants for a second time this spring!

Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Sue Wagoner on 5/3 reported via e-mail: This Orchard Oriole was at Les Arends Forest Preserve today, Tuesday, working the little white flowers on this bush for at least a half an hour.
The Field Sparrow was seen on the path there and it allowed me to get quite close.

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Bob Meierhans on 5/3 reported via e-mail: These will be the last photos until I have a new subject, but I thought I should give you one more look at how persistent the sandhill crane (we're now calling him Sandy) has become. He came to see us every day Monday through Friday last week and has begun daily visits again this week, starting Monday. Maybe the lawn tractors over the weekend dissuaded him.

Last week I photographed him from out in the yard as he looked at his reflection in the office windows. He's obviously looking for companionship, if only from his own reflections.

A photographer I met at Nelson Lake Marsh yesterday told me that he has been seeing a lone crane there, which he thinks is one of last year's chicks...makes me wonder if our visitor is the surviving chick born here last year. Other than seeing the pair of cranes on arrival day this year, and only a few times later, we've seen only the single crane over the last three weeks or more...and we see him a lot. However, I am still holding hope that the hen is on a nest somewhere, our visitor is her mate, but....

Sandy is bold, but not aggressive when he pokes his bill into the window (reflections?) He's even settled into a routine where he lets me photograph him with flash from inside the office.

He's been here twice today, the first time for about 20 minutes until a lawn-mowing neighbor caused him to walk away...not run, and certainly not fly. He came back a hour later has been with us this second time for nearly 3 hours so far. It's about 6:26 p.m. now, cloudy and beginning to lose daylight...still Sandy stays.

Sandhill Crane

"Sandy," the patio visitor. Photo courtesy Bob Meierhans

Marion Miller on 5/3 reported via e-mail: Tuesday morning’s Sauer Family Prairie ramble was exciting and the group got great views of 3 female Wilson’s Phalarope and a Western Meadowlark. Grasshopper Sparrows, a Sora, Bobolink and 2 Northern Harriers were also among the 35 species seen.

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope photo courtesy Marion Miller

Angela A. on 5/3 reported via e-mail: At Nelson Lake yesterday, we spotted 2 Sandhill Cranes, a number of Northern Shovelers, and some Coots.

Marion Miller on 5/2 reported via e-mail: Got rewarded for creating a brush pile near the fence line in our backyard. Had our first ever, White-crowned Sparrows flitting in and out of the brush and perching on the branches. Also a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Chipping Sparrows were at the feeders today.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Andrew Aldrich on 5/2 reported via IBET: Hello! Went to Hawk's Bluff in Batavia this morning and was greeted by many FOY birds. Some of the highlights include: BALTIMORE ORIOLE, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, GRAY CATBIRD, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, OVENBIRD, PALM WARBLER, CONNECTICUT WARBLER, AND YELLOW WARBLER. All in addition to the usual suspects. (42 species total)

Afterwards I went with a friend to Blackberry Farm/Pioneer Park and the birding continued. Some highlights from there: BLUE-HEADED VIREO, HOUSE WREN, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, AND BREWER'S BLACKBIRD. (30 species total)

Bryan Hix on 5/2 reported via e-mail: Another outstanding morning by the river! I headed to Voyageur Landing in Elgin just north of 90 around 10 am. As soon as I got out of the car, I heard numerous Baltimore Orioles and Warblers of many varieties. I spent an hour and a half there and was very happy to finally be chasing warblers all over the place once again. If anyone goes to this park, there is actually a great little trail that runs along a burm/ridge just west of the road. Just walk up on one of the trails and when you get to the top, there is another trail that runs along the entire ridge. You can basically come face to face with many birds that you otherwise would have to look straight up at from the road. My advice is to stand still and look for activity then walk up to it and stand still and let them come to you versus walking all over the place. They seem to really like the wild cherry trees. There's a short window of time to get out there before the leaves burst out and block the view.

Species observed:
Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers (seemingly everywhere)
Baltimore Orioles (6+)
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (4)
Warbling Vireo (2)
Yellow Warbler (3)
Black-Throated Green Warbler (dozens, the most common Warbler seen)
Northern Waterthrush (1)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Yellow-Rumped Warbler (several)
Palm Warbler (4)
Blue-Winged Warbler
Nashville Warbler (1)
Cape May Warbler (1)
Black & White Warbler (2)
Pine Warbler (1)
Hermit Thrush (1)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (3)
Belted-Kingfisher (2)
Wood Duck, Drake
Turkey Vulture (1)
Gray Catbird (2)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Laura Werner on 5/2 reported via IBET: Things were pretty quiet at [Bliss Woods] forest preserve, but I did see the following notables this morning:

Blue-headed Vireo 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 2
Indigo Bunting 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10+
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (by song) 1

Kurt Frieders on 5/2 reported via e-mail: Yesterday my wife and I walked Oakhurst FP for an hour, and came up with most of the usual suspects. However we did spot our first ever Kentucky Warbler. It was a single bird, and was very vocal. A lot of Palm Warblers have recently arrived at Oakhurst, and were present in big numbers yesterday. We also spotted a Northern Harrier which we had seen there before.

Chris Madsen on 5/1 reported: Wow! 24 first-of-year species this weekend. Nine yesterday in an unnamed county to our east. Today Carla and I birded the bikepath in Batavia from the quarry to Les Arends Forest Preserve. Today's first-of-years:

Gray Catbird Blue-winged Warbler
Great Crested Flycatcher Canada Warbler
Baltimore Oriole Magnolia Warbler
Spotted Sandpiper Nashville Warbler
White-crowned Sparrow Prothonotary Warbler
Blue-headed Vireo Yellow Warbler
Red-eyed Vireo House Wren
Warbling Vireo

John Heneghan on 5/1 reported via IBET: With the South wind yesterday, we have new arrivals at the house [in Big Rock]. Seen today were the bluebirds, that have already taken posession of the birdhouse we put up last year. I had to add a new front as the hole had been enlarged. The Male ruby throated hummer is back and a rose breasted grosbeak arrived this AM. No orioles yet, but we put the oriole feeder out. The white crowned sparrows continue to frequent the feeders and I saw a redbreasted nuthatch the other day as well as a titmouse. Hairy, downy and red bellied woodpeckers continue to come around. We had a red headed woodpecker last year for a few weeks, hoping for it again.
The goldfinches are brilliant yellow, a pleasure to watch!!

Jon Duerr on 5/1 reported via IBET: A beautiful Mourning Warbler is in my yard as I am typing. I first noticed it around 11:00 AM when I returned from birding! It got within 8 feet of me as I sat in the living room watching out the window. If it is still here in the morning, I'll post for any Fox Valley birders to come over. I live in an old neighborhood in St. Charles where we have a lot of wildflowers and groundcover for the bird to work. Also, Saturday (Apr 30) a Yellow-throated Flycatcher spent the afternoon in the yard. It was great to sit in my easy chair with all the books spread out and sort through all the characteristic marks. No vocalization from either bird.

Kim Girard on 5/1 reported via e-mail: It was a great day for backyard birding here in Campton Township (Wasco area):

Baltimore Oriole
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Gray Catbird

Angela A. on 5/1 again reported via e-mail: Today, I saw 2 wood ducks and 2 orioles and a black-throated green warbler between 56 and Mooseheart on the west side of the river on the Fox River Trail.

Bryan Hix on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Spent 3 hours this morning at Burnidge FP. The sunny morning had many birds out singing and chasing each other around. The warblers are beginning to trickle in this week. Birds seen:

Broad-winged Hawk (2)
Northern Waterthrush (lifer for me)
Golden-winged Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Tons of Yellow Warblers
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
White-Throated Sparrow
Hermit Thrush
Black and White Warbler
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Angela A. on 5/1 reported via e-mail: This morning, I saw a rose-breasted grosbeak. It was along the Fox River Trail, west of the river, about a half mile north of 56/State St.

Steve Myers on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Found this fisherman in a small marsh in North Aurora.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron photos courtesy Steve Myers, Jr.

Jack Pomatto on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Highlights of Sightings 5/1/11 at Les Arends F.P. and Quarry Park:

Least Flycatcher
Great-crested Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
American Redstart
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Baltimore Oriole

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo photo courtesy Jack Pomatto

Margaret Myers on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Photos taken by Steve Myers Friday 4/29/2011 from Hawks Bluff Batavia. Two Eaglets were seen in the nest as Mom watched from above.

Mooseheart eaglet Mooseheart eagle

Mooseheart eaglet and eagle photos courtesy Steve Myers


This page last updated Thursday July 07, 2011

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