(Photo by Joe Sucheki)
The remainder of the winter produced a new bird for the site list when White-winged Crossbills were found feeding in spruce trees along Wilson rd on Feb. 8. This find was not entirely unexpected as there was an irruption of this species into the Chicago area that produced many reports throughout the Kane and Dupage counties. Named for their unusual bill structure, these elusive finches are specialists at extracting seeds from spruce cones. They remained on site until mid March.
There were again no Long-eared Owls or
Short-eared Owls recorded on site this
|American White Pelican|
(Photo by Greg Vogel)
The late Spring migration was also anything but typical. However, in contrast
to March and April, May was unusual in the lack of birds. It was easily the
worst warbler and shorebird migration that I can recall in over 20 years.
|Osprey (Photo by Greg Vogel)|
In early June a pair of Ospreys were observed performing a courtship display and building a nest on a power pole by the Main Injector moat. One or both birds were regularly seen near the nest site throughout the month, however the nest did not look very substantial and I was not sure if it contained a chick. However, on July 1 three birds (presumably the two adults and their offspring) were seen perched together in some dead trees by the Indian Creek wetlands. Over the course of the next two months at least one bird (probably the youngster) were seen near the nest site and to my surprise, they continued to work on the nest so that by the end of August it was looking much better than when it was being used. They eventually departed in early September.
There were three other rather unusual summer residentrs this year. A White-eyed Vireo was found in the small woodlot west of the Education Center on the Spring Bird Count. It was then seen or heard near there every week through to the 19th of July. Of the few summer records of this species this was easily the most consistent and it is likely that the bird was breeding in that area. Whilst searching for the vireo in late July we found a singing male American Redstart. The male and also a female redstart were recorded in the same location several times up until the middle of July. This is only the second time this species has been recorded on site during the summer months. The last time was in 1988 when a pair were confirmed as breeding on site. Finally, a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers bred successfully in the savannah near Lake Logo. This species was once a reliable summer resident, but in recent years they have become rather rare on site.
In addition to the extraodinary records mentioned above, the usual high
quality breeding birds were back again in fairly normal numbers. The only
exceptions were Grasshopper Sparrows
which were more plentiful than usual in the north Eola rd. grasslands.
|Carolina Wren (Photo by Dave Spleha)|