MAY 2012 SIGHTINGS
on 5/29 reported via e-mail: During our short morning walk in the
north prairie at Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve, Mary Lou and I
heard 2 or 3 singing male Henslow's Sparrows within a 100 yard
stretch along the path north of the top of the hill, but only saw this one
. There were numerous Dickcissels and 4 Bobolinks along the
path from the parking lot to the top of the hill.
Steve Smith on 5/29 reported via IBET: There is a very accessable Cliff Swallow colony at the new Sherman hospital on Randall Rd just south of Rt 90 in Elgin. The nests are under the circular entrance drive on the lake side. You can view the birds from close range above or below the drive way level.
Cudworth on 5/28 reported via IBET: For those of you in Kane County
craving the company of a white-eyed vireo, I can heartily recommend
a spot in the North 40 of Johnson's Mound. Take the woodland trail right
off the main entrance road that curves into the woods to the north. Follow
the two-track and enter the grassland by the giant radio tower. Take the
CENTER trail and go over the hill. At the far northwest corner turn right
again and walk approximately 40 yards to a series of small shrubs along
the trail. The bird is serenading passersby with some frequency, even in
Joe Lill on 5/27 reported via IBET: Normally it takes me three or four visits to Chapman Rd. in order to nail down a Swainson's Hawk for the year. The birding gods smiled today, though, as a Red-winged Blackbird chased a Swainson's across I-90 just west of Rt. 47 in Kane County at about 7:30 this evening.
on 5/27 reported via IBET: This evening my wife and I watched a
SNOWY EGRET fly in and land in the bay along the Fox River at Judson
University in Elgin. The bird perched awkwardly on a small log that was
floating out in the middle of the bay. He stayed for 15 minutes or so
before taking off to the north. The bird is probably long gone, but if you
want to look for it, it might be worth checking up by Trout Park in Elgin,
along the river in West Dundee, or where the river widens at Fox River
Shores F.P. I'll check the river again tomorrow at Judson in case the bird
on 5/27 reported via e-mail: Mooseheart Red Tail Hawks getting
ready to fledge from their nest today.
Jackie Bowman on 5/27 reported via e-mail: This morning I opened our back door to observe what damage our five little bunnies may have done to my new plantings in the flower garden. At first I thought that I had startled one of them as out of the corner of my eye I saw a movement of brown from underneath the lilac bush. As I turned to look at him, I see that the brown body I saw was not a bunny, but a WOODCOCK! I quickly called Chris to come and see him and confirm my sighting. Unfortunately no pictures, as he flew off into the trees across the way. What a weekend here in our very suburban neighborhood in the middle of town. I think I need to stay home from work more often!!!
Tim Balassie on 5/26 reported via IBET: Observed a Swainson's Hawk today (26 May) to the east of Chapman Rd in Kane Co. The bird was located 0.5 mi east of Peplow Rd. Did not see a mate so unsure of the nesting/breeding status.
Ken Schneider on 5/26 reported via e-mail: We observed the Red-headed Woodpecker nest tree NE of Illinois & Rte 25 for over an hour each of the past two mornings. We also walked a couple of hundred yards north on the bike path. As was our experience the first day, there was no sign of either of the pair. Perhaps the female is now incubating and the the male is out foraging, or the nest hole may have been occupied by some of the numerous starlings. However no starlings approached the nest hole very closely. We heard an Orchard Oriole and numerous Warbling Vireos, and saw several Yellow Warblers.
Don Lowe on
5/26 reported via IBET: Scott Hierbaum and I birded the Dick Young FP
prairie this morning.
on 5/25 reported via e-mail: I finally have a day off to plant my
garden and clean out our garage. All of a sudden I see something swoop in
the garage and land up above the shelf just a few feet from my head. Much
to my amazement it's a "LIFER" for me, a YELLOW BILLED CUCKOO in
Geneva, Kane County, IL!!! Fortunately I was able to take a few photos
before he flew out to the safety of the trees in our neighborhood.
on 5/24 reported via e-mail: The Red-Tailed Hawks that have
been nesting on our property (in Aurora township) recently welcomed a
brood of two eyasses. At this point they are getting fairly big, and
probably somewhat close to leaving the nest. Both parents are seen daily
Mussachio on 5/23 reported via e-mail: Our newest member to the
Red-Tailed Hawk family finally spotted today in the Dundee area.
Mussachio on 5/22 reported via e-mail: One adult Great-Horned Owl
and 2 owlets at Fabyan Forest Preserve today.
Aldrich on 5/22 reported via e-mail: I birded Oakhurst yesterday
evening and had just a couple species of note: 3 Ruby-throated
Hummingbirds, 1 Veery, 1 Canada Warbler, and a
Mourning Warbler who was nice enough to pose for a photo.
on 5/21 reported via e-mail: We have a cardinal pair in the
process of building a nest in one of our butterfly bushes that is right up
against the house. The other day I see what turns out to be a female
cowbird checking out the nest and has continued to lurk around daily
checking out the nest. Very interesting but can't say I'm too happy about
on 5/21 reported via e-mail: Just yesterday we had our first ever
Indigo Bunting in our yard (in Aurora township). This bird is a
fledgling which must have just hatched somewhere nearby. It was eating
cracked corn from under one of our feeders. Saturday also saw the return
of our first Ruby-Throated Hummingbird of this year. This female
has been visiting our feeder every day since. On Saturday night we also
welcomed the return of a pair of Great-Horned Owls that roost in
one of our trees every now and then. The male Baltimore Oriole in
our yard was finally joined by a female on Saturday. We also have been
visiting the Red Headed Woodpeckers down off of the Fox River.
Other encounters there include Northern Flickers, Bank Swallows,
Killdeer, Barn Swallows, Cedar Waxwings, Northern-Rough Winged Swallows,
Song Sparrows, and Tree Swallows.
on 5/21 reported via e-mail: This "octamom" Possum was crossing my
backyard on the way to her den, providing a little excitement in an
otherwise very quiet backyard. Very few birds frequent my yard this year-
is it the climate change and the unusual migratory pattern, the fact that
my neighbors have removed a few large trees, or the pair of Cooper's Hawks
that have taken up residence here?
Sue Diaz on 5/20 reported via e-mail: Very nerve wracking to see [Sandhill Cranes] trying to cross [Fabyan near Western Avenue]. I stopped and turned on the fourway flashers. What a relief to see them turn around and go back to the wetlands instead of stepping into oncoming traffic. Neat to see them but would rather not see them in traffic!
0n 5/20 reported via e-mail: thanks to Vern LaVia for the directions
to the RH WOODPECKER right at 25 and Illinois Ave. in Aurora. The
pair was digging away finishing their hole and I think they are going to
have a successful marriage as I caught them in the act !!! There was a
KINGBIRD also in the local trees and a number of SWALLOWS, they
appeared to be BARN and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED though I did not pay
that close attention
Gloria Dimoplon on 5/20 reported via e-mail: I visited Burnidge FP for a short walk early Saturday morning. Highlights for the morning: Spotted Sandpiper, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Red-headed Woodpecker.
Marion Miller on 5/19 reported via e-mail: Rich and I took an evening stroll at the Batavia Riverwalk. We heard and saw at least 2 Common Nighthawks near the Police Station Parking lots.
Mussachio on 5/18 reported via e-mail: Bobolink spotted at the
new Bowes Creek Woods Forest Preserve.
Bill Koch on
5/17 reported via e-mail: I visited Jelke Creek today at lunch. Had
some small numbers of shore birds. The best birds being the three
Semipalmated Plovers located in different places around the preserve.
In the largest middle pond Pectorals, Least and Spotted Sandpipers
were foraging along with Lesser Yellowlegs on top of the floating
Al Stokie on 5/17 reported via IBET: My main target for today was the Kane Co Summer Tanager at Norris Woods which Scott C has been talking about. But I learned that it's hard to find a bird when you can't find the location!
turned out to be not exactly where I thought it was or at least the
parking lot was not. Eventually I figured it out & the Tanager was singing
right where it was supposed to be but actually seeing it was not so easy.
All I could see were red bird movements as it moved to different singing
spots. Finally I got one good look although not a long one. Then I checked
out some of the trails but it was like birding in the summer as I found no
migrants at all including Warblers. Some of the birds I did find were:
on 5/17 reported via e-mail: This morning we arrived at the Norris
Woods parking lot at about 9:00 AM, and just as Scott promised, we
immediately heard the Summer Tanager singing as we stepped out of
the car. Jack was there with his camera and he had already gotten some
nice shots. For me this was an FTP (first-time photographed bird). The
tanager stayed for only a few more minutes, and we did not hear or see it
again during the next hour, so we were lucky indeed! Later, near the bend
in the bike path we heard a singing Red-eyed Vireo. However, we did
not step on any warblers and, aside from yellowthroats, only saw
one warbler, a Black-throated Green.
on 5/17 reported via e-mail: Today, 5/17/12 the Summer Tanager
reported earlier at Norris Woods was seen and heard singing in the area
around the kiosk from at least 7:00 A.M. till at least 9:00 A.M. The image
enclosed was taken at 7:45 A.M. This bird is not in full adult plumage.
Mussachio on 5/16 reported via e-mail: There was at least a dozen of
these Cedar Waxwings at Buffalo Park.
Scott Cohrs on 5/16 reported via IBET: The Summer Tanager first noted on May 5th was still in the same spot this morning. He likes to sit and sing from the tallest tree (Sumac maybe?) behind the kiosk near the parking lot [at Norris Woods]. The last few times I have stopped at Norris, you can hear him as soon as you pull in.
Later, I almost
stepped on a Connecticut Warbler along the interior trail that
parallels the bike path. For those familiar with that path, it was right
near the sewer manhole cover. Blackpoll, Bay-breasted and
Black-throated Green were the other interesting warblers.
on 5/15 reported via e-mail: We hoped to find some warblers when we
visited the south end of Lippold Park today, but only heard a couple of
yellowthroats. At about 9:30 this morning, Mary Lou and I were walking
north at the beginning of the dirt trail that runs between the grassland
along the west side of the parking lot and the riverside tree line, when
we saw three or four sparrows and two robins foraging on the trail some
distance ahead. All but one of the sparrows were Song Sparrows, but
one seemed longer and slimmer and walked instead of hopping. About all we
could make out with the binoculars was a strong line over its eye that
suggested it was a Lark Sparrow. I took several photos that
confirmed its identity.
Vern LaVia on
5/15 reported via IBET: The saga continues. Monday's observations of
the Aurora pair of Red-hd Wdpckrs near Illinois Ave. & Rt. 25, in
the northerly parking lot with the large pile of wood chips (on Illinois
Ave., 100 yards west of Rt. 25): I saw two male Hairy Woodpeckers
"displaying" for one female Hairy on the same limb containing the
Red-headed Woodpecker's nesting hole. It appeared they may have been
trying to take over the hole! But one RhW came swooping out of nowhere to
fend them off, while the other RhW made very unusual calls from within the
hole--almost squawking like a parrot!??--poking its head out from the hole
and sweeping its beak back and forth at a rapid pace as if fighting-off
the Hairy clan.
Ann Haverstock on 5/14 reported via e-mail: May 14th, 8:30 A.M. Olive-sided flycatcher...West Fabyan, up slope, last seen just North of the Fabyan house.
Mussachio on 5/13 reported via e-mail: Spotted this Rose-Breasted
Grosbeak and 2 Red-Bellied Woodpeckers at Freeman-Kame Forest
Preserve on Mother's Day.
on 5/13 reported via e-mail: Mother's Day at Fabyan Forest Preserve
was very motherly indeed. Notable sightings include three families of
mallards with young ones, an active robin's nest with two young
ones and a mother tidying the nest, and a rather extended canada goose
family with 14 goslings! Also present were the great-horned owlets
with momma sitting just a tree away, watching as a few people threw a
frisbee near the base of the tree she was sitting in. On a non-mother
related note, other sightings include plenty of indigo buntings and
John Heneghan on 5/13 reported via IBET: Pretty good morning. Black and White Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Canadian Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Connecticut Warbler, Redstart, 1st year male Orchard oriole, Baltimore Orioles, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Ovenbird, Catbirds, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, White Breasted Nuthatch, Phoebes, Scarlet Tanager, Towhee, Chickadees, Cedar Waxwings, Indigo buntings (pair), Brown Thrasher, Red Bellied Woodpecker.
Rich Miller on 5/13 reported via IBET: Heard then saw the Black-billed Cuckoo @ 7:15am [at Campton FP] on trail near small pond. Skimpy on warblers this morning.
Sean Fitzgerald on 5/12 reported via eBird: A Western Kingbird flying across the river south of the bridge at Fabyan Forest Preserve.
Tim Balassie on 5/12 reported via e-mail: For those looking - had my first Kane County BELL'S VIREO today (5/12) at Pingree Grove FP. The bird was located in the scrub leading to the marsh boardwalk.
Tim Balassie on 5/11 reported via e-mail: FYI had my FOY COMMON NIGHTHAWK over Saint Charles tonight (5/11).
John Heneghan on 5/11 reported via IBET: We had a Brown Thrasher show up at the feeders today. It seemed to be eating the corn on the ground. Had a female coopers hawk walking the railing on the porch trying to figure out how to get the sparrows in the bushes. Had a female oriole at the orange and nectar, but did not stay around. Noticeable absence of orioles and grosbeaks this Spring at the feeders.
on 5/11 reported via e-mail: Yesterday I went to Fabyan FP in search
of the owlets that I had visited just the day before. In the time I was
there neither myself or two other people were able to find them. Someone
was able to find the mother Great Horned Owl however, and we all
had good looks at her. While I was there I was able to spot and photograph
an Orchard Oriole. I spent almost all of my time looking for the
owls, but did manage to see several Baltimore Orioles, Myrtle Warblers,
Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, and a pair of Eastern
Bluebirds. Also the four Black Capped Chickadees that hatched
in our nest box (in Aurora township) just left the box yesterday. I
photographed them the day before when they were literally fighting each
other to poke their heads out of the box.
Aldrich on 5/11 reported via e-mail: I've attached a photo of the
Hooded Warbler at Oakhurst from yesterday. Also had Great Crested
Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Veery, Ovenbird,
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Orchard Oriole,
in addition to most of the species reported the other day.
Weishaar on 5/9 reported via IBET: Was out once again [yesterday]
along the west side of the Fox River [at Fabyan FP]. My highlight for the
day was the yellow-throated vireo. The complete list:
There was also a Flycatcher I could not positively identify as I didn't hear it. It was definitely not the Phoebe or Peewee.
Weishaar on 5/8 reported via IBET: Was at the Fabyan Forest
Preserve/Japanese Gardens yesterday afternoon along the west bank of the
Fox River. The tally, highlights being the Grebe and Red-eyed Vireo:
Julie Long on
5/7 reported via e-mail: While looking for the young owls at the
Fabyan forest preserve Sunday at noon, I found a Northern parula
warbler, as well as a yellow throated warbler. They were both just
north of the Japanese garden in the sycamores. One of the owls was
in an oak tree near the pavilion south of the garden. We did not locate
the other one but did not spend a lot of time looking for it either.
Andrew Aldrich on 5/7 reported via e-mail: I had a singing male Hooded Warbler at Oakhurst this evening. It was going back and forth along the creek near the northeast side of the lake, and I eventually lost sight of it in the woods. Other birds of note: Chimney Swift, Cliff Swallow, Eastern Wood-pewee, Eastern Kingbird, Least Flycatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Marsh Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Wood Thrush, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Nashville Warbler, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Wilson's Warbler.
on 5/7 reported via e-mail: This Sunday saw the arrival of a male
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak to our window feeder (in Aurora township). He
has been visiting the feeder quite often and seems more than willing to
pose for pictures. On the same day we had our first sighting this year of
a Baltimore Oriole in our yard. He was feeding at our Hummingbird
feeder, and so far appears to be alone. Last year we had a pair for a
month. While stopping to photograph a Great Egret behind Copley Hospital,
I also noticed a Green Heron. The Green Heron was walking the edge
of the pond looking for a meal.
on 5/6 reported via e-mail: The car can serve as a very effective
blind. This morning, with thunder in the background, I drove around the
vacant block in front of our North Aurora condo. Earlier, I had heard both
a Spotted Sandpiper and a Vesper Sparrow singing. Both have
nested here in the past, but within a few days, ground will be broken for
over 100 new townhomes on this site. First I found the sandpiper atop a
favorite rock pile, but it flew away as I readied my camera, only to be
replaced by a Savannah Sparrow. I found the sandpiper again further
away in a fluddle across the street. I had given up the search for the
Vesper Sparrow, but stopped to get the mail that I forgot to pick up
yesterday. I heard it singing on another rock pile and drove back. It
posed briefly before disappearing, just as rain started falling. Other
species that nested in this field last year included Killdeer, Red-winged
Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Song Sparrow and Horned Lark. So far I this
spring I have seen all but the latter. It's sad to think that their homes
will probably be gone before the end of breeding season.
Judy Hoenig on 5/5 reported via e-mail: Driving down Bowes near Long Common in Elgin. We spotted a Red Tailed Hawk in the middle of the road with dinner. Upon closer view it had a squirrel pinned down. We got too close and it flew a few feet away into a wooded area with the squirrel.
Kurt Frieders on 5/5 reported via IBET: Saw a lot of the usual birds at Oakhurst this morning along with more Baltimore Orioles than I have ever seen there. I was almost back to my car at the upper lot when a Pileated Woodpecker flew right in front of me at about 15 feet. This was completely shocking to me as I have never seen or heard one there before. I certainly hopes it sticks around.
on 5/4 reported via e-mail: Went to Big Rock FP this morning. Quite a
few Yellow Warblers, Gnatcatchers, Common Yellowthroats, Warbling
Vireos, Scarlet Tanager, House Wren, Orioles, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Red
Headed Woodpecker, Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Cormorants, Grey Catbirds,
Yellow Rumped Warblers, Thrasher, Indigo Buntings.
on 5/4 reported via e-mail: Red tail hawks' nest with two young
ones at Mooseheart today. In a pine tree close to Mooseheart rd.
Cudworth on 5/4 reported via IBET: Hour's walk at Arends produced
on 5/3 reported via e-mail: Birded Tyler Creek in Elgin for a short
while after work this afternoon. Disappointed with lack of warblers there,
but did enjoy the Baltimore Orioles and FOY Great Crested
Musacchio on 5/3 reported via e-mail: Great Crested Flycatcher
spotted at Tyler Creek. Also saw the 2 owlets again at Fabyan
Forest Preserve. While driving home on Route 31 just south of McLean
Blvd., I saw a Red-tailed hawk flying over head with a snake in his
talons. Sunroof really paid off today.
Ed Vedral on 5/3 reported via e-mail: This afternoon we had (foy) a hummingbird in our yard. We are in Campton Hills.
on 5/3 reported via e-mail: One of the owlets at Fabyan Forest
Debbie Wisser on 5/2 reported via e-mail: This afternoon, after work, I birded at Jon J Duerr. There weren’t large numbers of birds, but there were some new arrivals for me. First of the year sightings for me: Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Baltimore Oriole, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Other Warblers seen were: Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Palm Warbler. Non warblers included: Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Cedar Waxwing, Barn Swallow, White-throated Sparrow, Cooper’s Hawk, Turkey Vulture and Wood Duck.
on 5/2 reported via IBET: Sally and I birded at Judson University late
this morning and again in the afternoon. There was quite an influx of new
birds compared to yesterday including many Baltimore Orioles, 3
Gray Catbirds, Brown Thrashers, and a variety of sparrows and
on 5/1 reported via e-mail: A lone Wild Turkey walked across the bike
trail at Les Arends., and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were building their nest.
Got to see and photograph the owlets at Fabyan, but Chris got much better
shots. Also saw this beautiful Eastern Palm Warbler at Les Arends. After
putting up with the dull Western Palms in Florida all winter, it was a
thrill to see one in living color!
Musacchio on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Great Horned Owlets taken
today at Fabyan Forest Preserve. I owe a special thanks to Ken Schneider
and his wife (who also posted pictures on 5/1) they were the ones who
spotted the owlets at Fabyan Forest Preserve today and gave me the
opportunity to take those photos.
Jack Pomatto on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Today, 5/1/12 a lone individual Broad-winged Hawk was seen soaring over Ferson Creek Fen in St. Charles at about 11:00 A.M. Maybe we will be treated to some kettles during count day.
Marion Miller on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Rich and I walked the south eastern edge of Nelson Lake at 6:45am today in hopes of finding warblers. We came up empty, but did see 2 Eastern Kingbirds (FOY) in the field near the first turn of the path. White-crowned Sparrows were plentiful.
This page last updated Monday August 20, 2012.
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