Jim Narovec on 11/29 reported via e-mail: Pair of Adult Eagles spotted in what may be their new "Eagle Tree" (just north of old tree) on the east side of the Fox River in Carpentersville at 1pm on 11/29. One later flew off to the north, the other to the south where it perched in the tree on the west side of the river where i took the picture.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle photo courtesy Jim Narovec

Julie Long on 11/29 reported via e-mail: There were two sandhill cranes circling Braeburn west and the Trader Joes parking lot at dusk on Tues. The pond was frozen. They then headed west over Fabyan. I located them at the Peck Farm pond, on the bank, since it too, was frozen. It seems like last year they were heading south until January???

Darrell Shambaugh on 11/27 reported via IBET: About noon today there were about 30 SNOW BUNTINGS at Dunteman's Sod Farm on the east edge of Kaneville (Kane County). The birds were hanging around a mud puddle along a road that went into the sod field north of Main Street...

I saw three RED-TAILED HAWKS along Main Street between Randall Road and Route 47. Those were the only Red-tails I saw today.

Scott Cohrs on 11/27 reported via e-mail: Also spotted a Northern Shrike, this one at Aurora West on Sunday, the 25th. Also on Sunday, a Great Horned Owl near Hannaford Woods. Finally, Snow Buntings at Elfstrom Stadium on Friday, the 23rd.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl photo courtesy Scott Cohrs

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting photo courtesy Scott Cohrs

Eric Secker on 11/27 reported via IBET: There were at least two BALD EAGLES between Dundee and Carpentersville this weekend including an adult and an immature bird...

Today we had a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH at our bird feeder at Judson which was a first although we have had them on campus this winter and in the past. The CAROLINA WRENS also continue to hang around near campus. We had a lot of waxwings one day last week but alas no rare ones.

Marion Miller on 11/26 reported via e-mail: Eva Szyszkoski, WCEP Tracking Field Manager for International Crane Foundation shared the following information with me. Based on the band information provided and photos sent the pair of Whooping Cranes seen at Peck Farm Lake on Thanksgiving morning were male 11-09 and his mate, 15-09. The meaning of the ID numbers are as follows: the 11 and 15 stand for the order in which they hatched (so #11 would be the 11th) and 09 stands for the year in which they hatched. So 11-09 was the 11th bird to hatch in 2009. Both birds did have transmitters and last year they wintered near Tallahassee, Florida.

Andrew Aldrich on 11/26 reported via e-mail: Had a Northern Shrike at Big Rock Forest Preserve Sunday morning, 11/25. It was in the scrubby patch just north of the west parking area. Also stopped at Kaneville Quarry which had great waterfowl numbers and diversity, the highlight being a flock of 19 Tundra Swans. Also seen: Snow Geese, Cackling Geese, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, and Green-winged Teal. There is also a late Dunlin hanging around. I presume it is the same bird that Ken Schneider found on 11/14. At Elburn Forest Preserve, there was a huge flock of Pine Siskins feeding in the alders at the southwest end of the preserve. Many were on the ground, in the trees, and bathing along the stream. I estimated at least 70. There were also at least 4 Common Redpolls mixed in.

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike photo courtesy Andrew Aldrich

Pine Siskins

Pine Siskins photo courtesy Andrew Aldrich

Heidi Hohman on 11/26 reported via e-mail: At 7:55am Monday there was a bald eagle in the same tree on the west side of the Fox River between the walking bridge and old Carpentersville bridge.

Brendon Lake on 11/24 reported via IBET: ...a stopover at the South Elgin Dam provided fair looks at a single Bonaparte's Gull amidst a group of Ring-Billed Gulls and Herring Gulls on the top side of the dam.

Laura Zenker on 11/24 reported via e-mail: Caught this Bald Eagle with its catch on the Fox River in Algonquin today.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle photo courtesy Laura Zenker

Brendon Lake on 11/22 reported via IBET: Just had a large flock of more than 50 individuals try to land at the pond behind my house [in Burlington]. Part of the group was successful, the majority continued on to the East. Vast majority of the birds were Cackling Geese, including all of the birds that didn't land.

Andrew Aldrich on 11/22 reported via e-bird: At Oakhurst Forest Preserve this morning, spotted an Orange-crowned Warbler.

Whooping Cranes

Whooping Cranes at Peck Farm Park Thanksgiving morning. Photo courtesy Rich Miller

Diane Hansen on 11/21 reported via e-mail: 3 whooping cranes were at Nelson Lake at sunset today. I was not able to get a good photo.

Lynnette Dubovik on 11/21 reported via e-mail: On 11-20 at around 12:45 I passed 3 whooping cranes in the southwest corn field across from Geneva Middle School on Viking Drive. They were very large and had fluffy looking tales with black markings on their faces. I wanted to stop to get a picture because I have never seen a bird like this before but missed my opportunity as I was returning to work. I didn't realize I just witnessed such a special site!

Chris Mussachio on 11/21 reported via e-mail: Canada Geese softly silhouetted in this morning's fog at Fox River Shores Forest Preserve in Carpentersville.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese flying in fog photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Madsen on 11/19 reported: After reading the posts from Jon and Andrew on redpolls from the north and south ends of the county, respectively, I thought I'd try the midsection. Went to Elburn Forest Preserve this morning and was rewarded with a relatively large flock (estimated at 50) of Common Redpolls feeding in the alder trees at the south end of the preserve. Did my best to find a Hoary Redpoll, to no avail, but wouldn't be surprised if someone else reported one. Scanning a flock of fifty fidgety feeding birds can give one fits.

Andrew Aldrich on 11/18 reported via e-mail: I spent Saturday morning (11/17) at Oakhurst in Aurora and ended up with 48 species. Best birds were 20 Common Redpolls, 30 Pine Siskins, 1 Red Crossbill, a late Gray Catbird, and a Dark-eyed Junco of the Oregon subspecies.

Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll photo courtesy Andrew Aldrich

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)

Dark-eyed ("Oregon") Junco photo courtesy Andrew Aldrich

Jon Duerr on 11/18 reported via e-mail: Sunday, Nov 18 Binnie F P. Numerous groups of Redpolls flying around. Watched a group of 15 along with 7 Pine Siskins on the Alders. To find them, go NW of parking lot thru the White Pines. The Alders are west of the Pines. Fox Sparrows, Robins, and Brown Creepers also seen

Chris Mussachio on 11/16 reported via e-mail: Captured this Belted Kingfisher that was fishing successfully at Buffalo Park Forest Preserve in Algonquin.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Ken Schneider on 11/15 reported via e-mail: I cruised Seavey Road again this morning in search of longspurs. Saw a flock but could not get near them. Did find a lone female Rusty Blackbird foraging in the corn stubble. Then went over to Prairie Green and saw over a dozen American Tree Sparrows and one Swamp Sparrow at the margin of the lake.

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Jim Narovec and Chris Mussachio on 11/15 reported via e-mail: Both saw, and photographed, a lone Bald Eagle today on the Fox River in Carpentersville.

Ken Schneider on 11/14 reported via e-mail: This morning i drove the length of Seavey Road and saw very few birds--- a scattering of Horned Larks and no longspurs or the sought-after Snow Bunting. Stopped at the sod farm in Kaneville and among the starlings, gulls and Killdeer was one distant medium-sized gray over white sandpiper with a heavy black bill that I believe is a Dunlin. This would be rather late for one, as I found no records in the Chicago/Kane County area past November 14. Scott Cohrs also recorded one on November 14, 2010.

Dunlin with Killdeer

Dunlin with Killdeer photo courtesy Ken Schneider


Dunlin photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ron Dickenson on 11/13 reported via e-mail: The Mooseheart Bald Eagle pair is alive and well, hanging out in the same tree along Randall Road where they built their original nest.

Mooseheart Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Mooseheart Bald Eagle

Blad Eagle photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Barb Rask on 11/13 reported via e-mail: This afternoon outside by basement window I was alerted by a bird call. I looked out to find this Cooper's Hawk stalking my feeders. Took many pictures with no fear, it was as if he was posing for the camera.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk photo courtesy Barb Rask

Marion Miller on 11/12 reported via e-mail: After reading Ken's post from yesterday decided to take a ride to Seavey Rd this morning. Found mostly Horned Larks, a few Lapland Longspurs, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and one lone Snow Bunting. The birds were in the corn fields and edges of the road that border the golf course. At one point the Snow Bunting was in the middle of the road.

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting photo courtesy Marion Miller

Ken Schneider on 11/11 reported via e-mail: I had much better luck in the cornfields along Seavey Road near Black Sheep Golf Club this morning. Birds foraged closer to the road and light was good. There were large flocks (over 100 birds) of mostly Lapland Longspurs. Heard a pipit and saw a few Horned Larks, but no Snow Buntings.

Lapland Longspur

Lapland Longspur photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Chris Madsen on 11/11 reported: Carla and I did some birding at Bliss Forest Preserve yesterday. Can't report anything special except for a gold morph Red-bellied Woodpecker. When viewed in the sunlight, the bird was really striking with an almost neon yellow nape. Of course, I didn't have my camera. We went back today and relocated the bird in the same area - the intersection of the footpath from the west parking lot and the Virgil Gilman Trail. The light today wasn't as good, but you get the idea. According to Sibley, "...Red-bellied rarely has red replaced by yellow..."

Gold morph Red-bellied Woodpecker

Gold morph Red-bellied Woodpecker photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Eric Secker on 11/10 reported via IBET: I had a BOHEMIAN WAXWING up in the top of a tree by our apartment at Judson University when we were out birding. The bird flew off to the south calling.

We had a large group of Cedars a few weeks ago but they have all since left. There are still a lot of berries and crabapples but I doubt this bird will return. I'll be sure to keep an eye out though.

If anyone is hoping for this species in Kane Co., it might be worth checking Tyler Creek F.P. as there have still be waxwings there. Hampshire F.P. usually has a lot of waxwings as well.

Sean Fitzgerald on 11/8 reported via eBird: An Evening Grosbeak at Big Rock Forest Preserve at 8:46 AM. His eBird report: "Heard very distinctive metallic, piercing call note at a distance of several hundred yards. Glassed flock of [American Robins] and [Cedar Waxwings] up in cottonwood but couldn't view all the birds from that distance. Hustled up the hill and got closer and looked through the flock of birds in the tree again (the [Evening Grosbeak] calls were much closer). As i scanned through the tree, a large, chunky finch (almost [robin] sized) flushed from the tree. The large white panel in the secondaries was about the only fieldmark i could determine before trees obscured the bird. I heard it call several more times over the hilltop and it seemed that the bird may have gone down to feed in the extensive honeysuckle and autumn olive dominated shrubs that were attracting many other berry eating birds. I stayed at the hilltop for another 45 minutes, attempting playback several times, to no avail. This observation took place on the west side of the quarry lake. This is the furthest south i've ever recorded this species."

Scott Cohrs on 11/7 reported via eBird: This morning at Sunset Park in Geneva, 3 Red Crossbills.

Cathy Martens on 11/6 reported via e-mail: Today was a very birdy day in my yard in Campton Hills. I have had pine siskins mixed in with the goldfinches for a couple of weeks now. Today there were 2 downy woodpeckers at my feeders at the same time (I'm lucky to get one since we live in more of an open area with few large trees). Then a flicker swooped in for a brief visit. There were lots of juncos and white crowned sparrows, and today there was also a white throated sparrow in attendance. But the most exciting sighting was the northern harrier (or as we like to call them, marsh hawk). This one was a brown female, but we have seen both sexes over the years. This was the first time I've seen one since early spring, so it's nice to have her back. Hopefully she will have a companion join her.

John Baker on 11/6 reported via e-mail: I had a pair (of Evening Grosbeaks) at my feeder (the Windings, St. Charles) this afternoon. Both my wife (Carolyn) and I saw them, a couple of times, around 2:30 p.m.

Ed Vedral on 11/6 reported via e-mail: We have had a Shrike in our and our neighbor's yard [in the Campton Hills area, west of St. Charles} most of the afternoon. We are unable to get a picture of him. It's been years since we have seen him here.

Margaret Mechtenberg on 11/6 reported via phone: A winter wren singing at the bridge that connects Jon Duerr FP with Tekakwitha FP.

Sean Fitzgerald on 11/6 reported via eBird: "3 [Red Crossbills] seen circling a yard with a variety of conifers in the neighborhood to the east of Clark Island [in Batavia]. Kip kip kip call heard repeatedly and solid dark wings were seen on one female type bird. Notched tail and crossed bill also seen on that individual. 5 minutes later a 4th individual was heard calling as it flew south. I saw it at long range but was unable to resolve fieldmarks. 2 other times during my walk i thought i heard recr but road noise prevented me from being sure."

Ken Schneider on 11/03 reported via e-mail: Ken took these photos while out this morning. They were taken in Kane County but the exact location is being withheld by request to minimize any human disturbance to the owls.

Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl photo courtesy Ken Schnieder

Fox Sparrows

Fox Sparrows photo courtesy Ken Schnieder

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird photo courtesy Ken Schnieder

Bob Andrini on 11/2 reported via e-mail: Here is what I would call a leucistic (partial whitish) Black-capped Chickadee that has been coming to our feeders this week. The bird shows a lot of white on its head and back. It pays to check feeders continually as you never know what may pay a visit.

Leucistic Black-capped Chickadee

Leucistic Black-capped Chickadee

Scott Cohrs on 11/1 reported via IBET: Went looking for winter finches locally during lunch. Didn't have any crossbills, but I did have 4 Common Redpolls at Severson FP [Fox River Bluff Forest Preserve?]. They were right in the parking lot before flying off to the north. The neighborhoods both north and south of this spot have a lot of pines (and bird feeders), so I would think crossbills are possible here. There was a White-winged coming to a feeder not far from this spot last April.

This page last updated Monday January 07, 2013

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