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A Great Day of Birding

With Edward and Cristen Vincent!

all seasons in one day 62 °F

Today my friends Edward and Cristen graciously offered to take me into the downtown Chicago area to try to find two rare birds that have been reported recently: a Curve-billed Thrasher, a vagrant bird that is related to the mockingbirds that is normally in the desert southwest, and a Black-bellied Whistling Duck, a comical-looking tropical duck usually found in the marshes of Florida and Louisiana.

Our first stop was Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary to look for the Curve-billed Thrasher. We looked for a good forty five minutes and found nothing that would sit still for a good photo except for these NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS:

Then, literally as we were heading back to the car, the CURVE-BILLED THRASHER pops up at the top of a large shrub less than ten feet away from us, allowing for fantastic photo opportunities! Life bird #671!

This beautiful male YELLOW WARBLER dropped by while we were admiring the thrasher:

Then, we headed to North Pond, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and South Pond in Lincoln Park to look for the Black-bellied Whistling Duck. We did not find it, although we had a few consolation prizes:

Red-eared Slider Turtle with a female HOODED MERGANSER:


Black-crowned Night Herons, an endangered bird in Illinois, nest above the wolf enclosure in the Lincoln Park Zoo. I managed to capture this image of two juveniles on their nest:

CLIFF SWALLOW on its nest:


A beautiful, endangered adult BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON:

After a Subway sandwich pig out (thank you Edward and Cristen!), it was time to head home. Bird-of-the-day to the mega-rare CURVE-BILLED THRASHER, which was life bird #671 for me! Full lists for the outing are included below my signature.

Good birding,

World Life List: 671 Species

Montrose Point:

Canada Goose X
Mallard 11
Killdeer 1
Spotted Sandpiper 5
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Caspian Tern 3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) X
Mourning Dove X
Chimney Swift X
Downy Woodpecker 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 15
Purple Martin 3
Tree Swallow 7
Bank Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 20
Cliff Swallow X
Black-capped Chickadee X
American Robin X
Gray Catbird 1
Curve-billed Thrasher 1 Identifiable photos obtained. Same continuing individual.
European Starling X
Cedar Waxwing 2
Yellow Warbler 2
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal X
Red-winged Blackbird X
Common Grackle X
Brown-headed Cowbird X
American Goldfinch 4
House Sparrow X

Lincoln Park:

Graylag Goose (Domestic type) 1
Canada Goose X
Wood Duck 15
Mallard X
Mallard (Domestic type) 4
Hooded Merganser 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 20
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Caspian Tern 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) X
Mourning Dove X
Chimney Swift X
Downy Woodpecker X
Eastern Kingbird 1
American Crow 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow X
Tree Swallow X
Bank Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
Cliff Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee X
American Robin X
European Starling X
Cedar Waxwing 2
Northern Cardinal 5
Red-winged Blackbird X
Common Grackle X
Brown-headed Cowbird X
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch X
House Sparrow X

Posted by skwclar 13:03 Archived in USA

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Are you still doing bird walks in the Oak Park area? My wife and I live nearby in River Forest and have seen many Selkirk House bird sightings listed on our eBird Audubon app.

by Bill

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