A Travellerspoint blog

Morton Arboretum

overcast 54 °F

Yesterday (Tuesday, March 29), my family and I made a trip out to the Morton Arboretum in nearby DuPage County. First, we headed to the Lake Marmo and Hemlock/Spruce Hill area on the west side where the birding was pretty good.


Hemlock/Spruce Hill was quite productive with an almost deafening chorus of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 20+ PINE SISKINS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and a FOX SPARROW. At one point, an unseen GREAT HORNED OWL even hooted!

The Pine Siskins stayed in the treetops for the most part, so this is the best photo I could manage. It was still cool to see so many because the Morton Arboretum is, most years, the only place in Illinois where this species nests (same goes for the aforementioned Red-breasted Nuthatches).

Here is my eBird checklist for the west side:

18 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 2
Mallard 2
duck sp. 3
Killdeer 1
Great Horned Owl 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 1
Black-capped Chickadee 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 Heard at Hemlock/Spruce Hill
Brown Creeper 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 5
Fox Sparrow 1 Heard at Hemlock/Spruce Hill
Dark-eyed Junco 10
White-throated Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Pine Siskin 20 Conservative count, many in the treetops at Hemlock/Spruce Hill

Then, we drove to the east side. At one point, I spotted this late-in-the-season female COMMON GOLDENEYE in a pond near the road:

My target bird for the east side was Pileated Woodpecker; however, Arboretum staff were doing a controlled burn right alongside the trail where the Pileateds have been seen so it made for a largely smoky and unpleasant experience with the Pileated Woodpeckers not seen, of course. I did; however, meet another nice birder named Bonnie.

Here is my eBird checklist for the east side:

12 species

Wood Duck 4
Mallard 1
Common Goldeneye 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Tree Swallow 5
Black-capped Chickadee 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Eastern Bluebird 1
American Robin 5

It was a good trip and the Arboretum is always beautiful, no matter what the season. I find birding the most productive there in the spring and summer; however, it can host quality species year-round. Bird-of-the-day goes to the many Pine Siskins and runner-up to the hooting but unseen Great Horned Owl, my first owl of 2016.

Don't forget to sign up for Oak Park Bird Walks this spring! Email me at: trumpetswan (@) comcast.net to reserve a space!
For more information, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Good birding!

World Life List: 886 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 09:37 Archived in USA Tagged me lakes people trees animals birds

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