Marion Miller on 5/30 reported via e-mail: The grasslands on the west side of Nelson Lake were "loud" this morning.  A Willow Flycatcher was bellowing "Fitz brew" and giving a nice show just west of the intersection of the Mid-County Trail and the main trail from the parking lot. Grasshopper Sparrows were "buzzing" along the eastern section of  Mid-County trail. Henslow's Sparrows were hiccupping, Sedge Wrens were using their machine guns and Bobolinks were doing their Star War impersonations. And of course the Eastern Meadowlarks and Red-wing Blackbird added their voices to the show.  No Dickcissels seen or heard here yet.

Willow Flycatcher - 05-30-16

Willow Flycatcher photo courtesy Marion Miller

Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Zachary Dorsen on 5/30 reported via e-mail: Dickcissels have arrived. Here's one I found sharing a roost with an Eastern Bluebird in the Kane County portion of Fermilab.

Dickcissel and Eastern Bluebird

Dickcissel and Eastern Bluebird photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Bob Andrini on 5/28 reported via e-mail: Kath was surprised the other day after our heavy rainfall. She went outside and was almost hit by a Chimney Swift. The bird flew right by her and landed on our car.  It stayed there for about 5 minutes before it flew off.  It looked like it had been flying in the rain, and was pretty well drenched.  

Chimney Swift

Chimney Swift photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Matthew Schmidt and Jason Newton on 5/23 reported via eBird: Finding a Kentucky Warbler..."Around 2/3 of the way along the westernmost path of the prairie-woodland trail..." at Big Rock Forest Preserve on Monday afternoon. Later in the day, they came across 4 Black-bellied Plovers in a fluddle on Jericho Road in Sugar Grove.

Diane Hansen on 5/23 reported via e-mail: I have not been stopping at the spot above the S. Elgin dam very regularly but decided to stop there today and get back in the habit. I was trying to photograph flying swallows which is always a challenge. I got lucky when a Northern Rough-winged Swallow landed in front of me on the guard rail.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Justin Wrinn on 5/22 reported via IBET: Yesterday I led a walk for Kane County Audubon at Burnidge.  It was my first time back there since February, so I got there before 5AM to scout it out (and pick up a few nocturnal birds).  I ended up with 83 species for the morning, including 10 warblers, 8 flycatchers, and 8 sparrows. Although unfortunately I couldn't re-find a lot of the better birds for the group, I think we ended up with 58 species for the official outing.  I was able to give everyone a nice listen to a White-eyed Vireo in the same spot where I found a breeding pair last summer, although it was being uncooperative and stayed too far off the path to allow anyone a decent look. 

Highlights included Wood Duck (including a mama with about 9 babies), Virginia Rail, Sora, American Woodcock, Great Horned Owl, Common Nighthawk, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo*, Yellow-throated Vireo*, Purple Martin, Sedge Wren, Hooded Warbler, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler*, Henslow's Sparrow*, Clay-colored Sparrow, Bobolink* (* indicates seen or heard by multiple people - the rest were only seen/heard by me, mostly in early morning).

You can see the full list by clicking here.

Bill Ahlgren on 5/21 reported via e-mail: The Prairie Warbler found by Karen Lund was viewed today [5-21-16] at Raceway Woods F.P. in Dundee Township. Kane Co. between 10 -10:30 AM.

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler photo courtesy Bill Ahlgren

Justin Wrinn on 5/20 reported via IBET: On my way home from work today I saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes with two fuzzy yellow colts in a plowed field on the north side of Big Timber Rd just west of Rutland Forest Preserve.

Jim Narovec on 5/19 reported via e-mail: Late last week, noticed for the first time in my yard in Carpentersville a pair of Orioles visiting. On 5/18, tried putting oranges out to attract them and it worked.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole photo courtesy Jim Narovec

Lisa Williams on 5/18 reported via e-mail: Hello,

This evening I noticed several Common Nighthawks flying over Golfview Park in Aurora. Yesterday, we had at least 3 Swainson’s Thrushes hopping around underneath our white pine trees in the same general area. We put up a new oriole feeder that holds jelly and we have at least 2 female and 3 male Baltimore Orioles visiting regularly. It’s unusual to go 5 minutes without seeing one. An Indigo Bunting has also paid a visit the last two days.

On the 13th I visited Big Rock Forest Preserve and saw several warbler species, including Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Palm, Magnolia, and Blackpoll. Also saw an Eastern Towhee singing his heart out.

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson's Thrush photo courtesy Lisa Williams

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler photo courtesy Lisa Williams

Dick Brunton on 5/18 reported via e-mail: Saw this Cooper's Hawk in the Woodland Hills subdivision of Batavia building a nest. I think there are two in the area.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk photo courtesy Dick Brunton

Zachary Dorsen on 5/17 reported via e-mail: Blue-headed Vireo, American Redstart, Wood Duck, spotted on 5/17 at Les Arends Preserve.

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Wood Ducks photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Chris Madsen on 5/17 reported: While trying to (unsuccessfully) relocate the Bowmans' Kentucky Warbler, I stumbled across a Hooded Warbler within 50 feet of their sighting.

Jackie and Chris Bowman on 5/17 reported via eBird: Finding a Kentucky Warbler at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve.

Karen Goetze on 5/17 reported via e-mail: First sighting of a ruby throated hummingbird tonight. Last week I had a male and female rose breasted grosbeak at my feeder for the whole week, as well as a brown thrasher. First time in 10 years!

Al Stokie on 5/17 reported via e-mail: Hello Bird People,

Just a quick post to say the Raceway Woods Prairie Warbler is still singing up a storm in the same location as yesterday. Follow Karen's directions to the Juniper area. I watched it sing from between 8:45 & 9:15 a.m. No sign of a 2nd bird while I was there. Pete M & another birder arrived a little later & were looking at it as I was leaving.

Thanks to Karen & Vicky for finding this guy & thanks to Karen for the fine directions!

Bird-Of-The-Day to the singing Prairie Warbler.

Jackie Bowman on 5/16 reported via e-mail: Many many thanks to Karen Lund's Facebook post with excellent directions to the Prairie Warbler at Raceway Park this morning.  We were at Montrose in Chicago when I saw the post at 8:45, needless to say we scooted out of the city to get our Kane Count lifer!  So glad to find him singing away, making it very easy to locate him.  Here is a documentary photo, closely cropped.

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Justin Wrinn on 5/16 reported via IBET: I had a nice surprise on my morning break today around 10:15 when I came across a Northern Mockingbird (Kane County lifer) on the lawn along the street behind my workplace.  I was able to watch it from fairly close range for several minutes until a robin chased it into the trees, giving a nice view of the white wing patches. I don't know the chances of it being refound, but if anyone wants to try, take Jim Dhamer Drive (heading west from Hwy 47 just north of the I-90 Huntley exit) all the way to the end where it dead ends (about 2 miles).  You can park at the dead end (please don't park at my company FYH Bearings, which is nearby).  Then walk along the side street to the left/south.  The bird was last seen in a tree at the east edge of the wooded stream that parallels the street, right where the street makes a sharp turn to the east and was still visible when I left.  Just a caution - there was also a catbird nearby.

Karen Lund on 5/16 reported via IBET: Now at 7:21 Vicki and I are watching a prairie warbler singing his little heart out. I got photos. From the parking lot on Huntley Rd go east on the gravel trail to a "y" intersection. Just beyond this point is a little trail going straight north thru many junipers. If you listen he's not difficult to find.

John Heneghan on 5/15 reported via e-mail: Had a pair of Chestnut Sided Warblers in the yard today (Sunday 5/15).

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler photo courtesy John Heneghan

Nora Gubbins on 5/15 reported via e-mail: My husband and I saw a Bald Eagle at Nelson Lake this morning. We saw Warbling Vireos and Eastern Kingbirds today, a first for both of those birds. Lots of cormorants, and Great blue herons, a green heron in one of the little ponds and Warblers galore. Many orioles up high in the trees around the 2 little ponds off Nelson Lake Road.  A great bird watching day. The cold and wind kept people away and we saw 29 species of birds. Some of the trails were under water so we couldn't  cover as much ground as we wanted. Maybe next week it will be drier.

Julie Long on 5/14 reported via e-mail: In spite of the inclement chilly and windy weather day I managed to find a good bird. There was a worm eating warbler at Leroy Oakes. I was on the bike trail which goes next to the eastern most parking lot and then goes down toward Randall Rd. The bird popped out a little below eye level from the shrubby thicket of honeysuckle shrubs on the south side of the path, before I got to the big bend in the trail and before the dirt path off to the south. There are large oaks overhead. That was about 11 am, Saturday.

Late yesterday afternoon as the clouds were building I also had a variety of warblers in my St Charles yard, including a cerulean warbler. As it started to rain, birds were literally “dripping” out of the sky, but with the rain and tough lighting and height of the trees I was only able to identify a small number of them. There were also 10 cedar waxwings that came in with the rain.

Theresa LeCompte on 5/14 reportedd via e-mail: On this morning's Nelson Lake Walk, the group had some pretty good looks of two VIRGINIA RAILS.

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail photo courtesy Theresa LeCompte

Al Stokie on 5/14 reported via IBET: Hello Bird People,

Bob Erickson & I covered Les Arends & Jon Duerr forest preserves this a.m. The ebird alert showed a Kentucky Warbler at Jon Duerr F.P. & a Snowy Egret at Gunnar-Anderson. But a long visit at Jon Duerr F.P. by us & other birders did not see or hear the Kentucky while we were there anyway. And a short visit to Gunnar-Anderson found no Egret but we did see an ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER along the always flowing stream. Not much else though. Bob & I were joined by the illustrious Jon Duerr himself but even that did not make the Kentucky show itself. I had 53 species for the a.m. of which 14 were warblers (12 seen & 2 more heard). I'll just do highlights.

Warblers seen by me were GOLDEN WINGED (1), Tennessee (2), N. PARULA (1), Yellow (4-5), Chestnut Sided (1), Y.R. Myrtles (~10), Palm (6), Black Throated Green (2), Redstart (2), N. Waterthrush (2), Common Yellowthroat (3-4) & the previously mentioned Orange Crowned (1). Heard only were Prothonotary (1) & Ovenbird (2-3). Bob added a BLACKPOLL male but I missed it.

Other highlights were all 5 regular swallow species (no Purple Martins) & many Blue Jays, Catbirds & Rose Breasted Grosbeaks. Flycatchers were E. Pewee (1), E. Phoebe (4), Great Crested Flycatcher (1) & Eastern Kingbird with many migrants up & down the river. The only sparrows were Song & White Throated. Bird-Of-The-Day for me on this cold & windy day goes to the hard to find Golden Winged Warbler. Runners-Up to the Orange Crowned Warbler & the Parula.

Bob picks his Blackpoll Warbler for his top bird as he did not see the Golden Winged Warbler. Biggest disappointment was hearing but not seeing the Prothonotary Warbler on the other side of the river. Another somewhat slow birding day for me...

Walter Lutz on 5/14 reported via e-mail: Freeman Kame wasn't as birdy as I had hoped but I did find this Prothonotory Warbler, a bird I haven't seen in years.

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler photo courtesy Walter Lutz

Bob Andrini on 5/13 reported via phone: He and a group of birders on a KCA "ramble" found a Snowy Egret at Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve.

Diane Hansen on 5/13 reported via e-mail: I had 2 lovely mornings at Burnidge yesterday (despite the gloomy weather) and today.  Yesterday the question was why did the pheasant cross the road?  The answer is to give better looks out my passenger window than out the driver's side as I drove into the area.  This is the closest look at a pheasant I've ever had.  This morning I had about an hour and got 1 lifer right off the bat with a Sora that flushed as I walked by and then landed behind me on the path next to the water.  Pending confirmed ID of 2 or 3 other birds I may have had more lifers.

Ring-necked Pheasant

Ring-necked Pheasant photo courtesy Diane Hansen


Sora photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Zachary Dorsen on 5/13 reported via e-mail: Myrtle Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Yellow Warbler - spotted at Les Arends, 5/13.

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Bill Ahlgren on 5/12 reported via e-mail: In Batavia Wednesday 5/11/16 a 2nd year male Summer Tanager behind Woodland Ave. on the Fox River Trail. It was with several Scarlet Tanagers at the time. Wednesday and today were good days for migrants in our area. Now, if we could only get some sunlight!

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager photo courtesy Bill Ahlgren

Henrey Deese on 5/12 reported via eBird: Seeing a Kentucky Warbler at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve.

Debbie Wisser on 5/12 reported via eBird: Finding a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in her Elgin yard.

Sue Wagoner on 5/12 reported via e-mail: A pair of Yellow-Headed Blackbirds were seen Wednesday at the ponds in Pingree Grove, near the police station. I was shooting long-distance when incredibly one popped up 15 feet in front of me. You never know when you're gonna get a break!

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Zachary Dorsen on 5/12 reported via e-mail: A Northern Waterthrush spotted at Batavia Riverwalk on 5/11.

Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Debbie Wisser on 5/12 reported via e-mail: I birded with a group of friends yesterday for most of the day. Our "bird of the day" was a Cerulean Warbler seen and heard at Les Arends Forest Preserve. The sighting might not have been as brilliant as it could have been if there had been sunshine, but it was a lifer for one member of the group, and for me, the first time I've seen one in Illinois. We also saw a Yellow-billed Cuckoo there, which is always a treat. At Fabyan we saw the Great Horned Owl youngster, and the Yellow-throated Warbler....the signature birds for that preserve. We checked out Pingree Grove WTP for the Yellow-headed Blackbirds which did not disappoint. We also got a great view of a Black-crowned Night-Heron that flushed out of the reeds. Nearby, at the pond on Catamaran Circle, were a Horned Grebe in breeding plumage, and a Rudy Duck. We didn't spend much time in prairie habitat, but we did get Henslow's Sparrows, Bobolinks, and Eastern Meadowlark. It was a fun day of birding, and between all of us we saw 93 species.

This morning, I didn't feel like getting moving right away, so I took a cup of coffee outside to lawn chair bird. I was able to get 31 species while drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and pulling a weed or two. I had 12 warbler species with Golden-winged, Magnolia, and Canada Warblers being the highlights. The surprise of the morning was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and the make me smile moment was seeing a White-crowned Sparrow as it was singing. This was the first time I've ever heard one sing. I love spring!

Joni Holinger on 5/11 reported via e-mail: And this morning, the 11th, my first Indigo Bunting of the season. It really is hard to understand it is not a blue color bird.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting photo courtesy Joni Holinger

Zachary Dorsen on 5/11 reported via e-mail: What I believe to be a palm warbler, spotted at the batavia riverwalk on 5/9. 

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler photo courtesy Zachary Dorsen

Marion Miller on 5/10 reported via e-mail: Rich and I were doing some monitoring Monday morning on the west side of Nelson Lake. Bobolinks are back in full force. We counted at least ten and they were very vocal and active. A Sedge Wren and 2 Grasshopper Sparrows were heard. Also beautiful Shooting Star prairie plants are in bloom.


Bobolink photo courtesy Marion Miller

Shooting Star

Shooting Star photo courtesy Marion Miller

Sue Wagoner on 5/9 reported via e-mail: The evening rain tonight (5/9) brought to my yard a beautiful male Black-Throated Blue Warbler (I managed only a rear-view photo) followed immediately by an Ovenbird who posed nicely.


Ovenbird photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Jon Duerr on 5/9 reported via e-mail: Swifts are massing in the chimney at Thompson Jr High in St. Charles at night.  Sunday we counted (guesstimated) 260 entering chimney at 8:20 PM.

Tim Balassie on on 5/9 reported via eBird: Seeing 2 Redheads, a Bufflehead, and 2 Horned Grebes at Cambridge Lakes subdivision, Pingreee Gove on Sunday, May 8th.

Sue Wagoner on 5/8 reported via e-mail: I have had a Lincoln's Sparrow in my backyard for 2 days now. He (she?) was confiding enough to come to feed while I was out weeding in my yard (with my camera).

Also, interestingly, I have had one or more White-Crowned Sparrows under my feeders for 9 days in a row.

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Ken Schneider on 5/6 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I visited Fabyan West this morning. Heard and then found the Yellow-throated Warbler on the east side of the Japanese Garden. Got mostly underbelly photos but it briefly alighted only about half way down the tree for a burst of side views. The Great Horned Owlet is doing well.

Yellow-throated Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Great Horned Owl and Owlet

Great Horned Owl and Owlet photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Sue Wagoner on 5/5 reported via e-mail: Today (5/5) I was surprised to see a pair of Baltimore Orioles in my backyard, checking out the hummingbird feeder. I quickly put out an orange and they quickly found it. These are "backyard lifers" for me!

I have also had White-Crowned Sparrows for the past three days, and an Indigo Bunting a few days ago.

First summer male Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Orioles - first summer male above and adult male below. Photos courtesy Sue Wagoner.

Baltimore Oriole adult male

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Chris Bowman on 5/5 reported via e-mail: At 10 AM (Thursday May 5th) today, I had 2 Whip-poor-wills make a bug hunting run around Gunnar Anderson Park, then flying west just clearing the top of the government building. Lost them at that point, so possibly turned into the woods at Gunnar? Both birds had long narrow bodies/tail, brown in color with no white wing bar, and acted like nighthawks, with moth like wingbeats. I’ve noticed there has been an unusual amount of Whip-poor-will reports this season…..must have had a good breeding year last year.

Mark Bowman on 5/4 reported via e-mail: Today my feeders were very busy, I had quite a few species in about 45 minutes including: DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, RED BELLIED WOODPECKER, WHITE CROWNED SPARROWS, NORTHERN CARDINAL, BLUE JAYS, PINE SISKINS [probably nesting again near my yard like last year], HOUSE FINCHES and a pair of ORCHARD ORIOLES plus the usual birds, robins, house sparrows, mourning doves, gold finches and grackles.

First summer male Orchard Oriole

Orchard Orioles - first summer male above and adult male below. Photos courtesy Mark Bowman

Male Orchard Oriole
Pine Siskins

Pine Siskins photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Paul Mayer on 5/4 reported via e-mail: There was a male Red-headed Woodpecker on 5/4 at 10:30 AM in Jon Duerr Forest Preserve. The bird was seen near the rest room at the picnic shelter.

Theresa LeCompte on 5/4 reported via e-mail: This is the 2nd day that there has been a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK in my Aurora yard.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak photo courtesy Theresa LeCompte

Joni Holinger on 5/4 reported via e-mail: There were two, male, Brown headed Cowbirds courting a female this morning in Wayne. Watch out all other nesting friends; don’t be fooled by the bait-and-switch.

Brown-headed Cowbirds

Brown-headed Cowbirds photo courtesy Joni Holinger

Ken Schneider on 5/3 reported via e-mail: After two more unsuccessful tries I returned this afternoon at about 1:15 PM and first heard a Sora and then spotted this Virginia Rail.  This bird chased a second Virginia Rail which suddenly appeared. They flew up about 20 feet and made a wide semicircle, returning to a point deeper in the marsh where I could not see them. Then, at least one crept back near my position and began calling softly "kiddick-kiddick." Seemed to be quite near but I never visualized either again.


Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Diane Hansen on 5/3 reported via e-mail: Tuesday morning was a great time for a quick stroll along the river in South Elgin. In addition to my FOY palm and yellow warblers I spotted 3 baby Killdeer and a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers. One was kind enough to sit in a tree for a while.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Theresa LeCompte on 5/2 reported via e-mail: I found 20 species at Sauer FP this morning including 2 VIRGINIA RAILS, an EASTERN KINGBIRD and many vocalizing SORAS.


Sora photo courtesy Theresa LeCompte

Lucy De Lap on 5/2 reported via IBET: We had repeated visits today [in East Dundee] from the first Baltimore Oriole(s) of the year, and a one time stop by a male Ruby Throated Hummingbird this morning.

Welcome sights after the bleak gray skies and inclement weather of the past week.

Ken Schneider on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Heard and then saw two Virginia Rails at Jones Meadow Park this morning. Also heard three Soras but failed to see any. I missed photo ops but I did get a nice one of an American Robin keeping watch over the playground and a Red-tailed Hawk overhead.

American Robin

American Robin photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Walter Lutz on 5/1 reported via eBird: At LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, a Willet. "Large shorebird, much larger than the Kildeer next to them. Looked to be 12"-15" high. Appeared very light color in the morning light I had - mostly grayish overall with not much barring. Legs appeared greyish. Large straight dark bill. Caught just a hint of black at the very back tip of the wings."

Joni Holinger on 5/1 reported via e-mail: Had an Eastern Towhee show up on her sidewalk in Wayne.

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee photo courtesy Joni Holinger



This page last updated Tuesday October 04, 2016.

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