A Travellerspoint blog

May 4 - May 8: Marvelous Migration!!!

all seasons in one day 82 °F

The last few days have been absolutely fantastic for migrant songbirds and other avian specialties coming through the Oak Park area. This post covers five days, so it will be split up day-by-day like my last post. For anybody reading this post, let me just say that I hope you like warblers!!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4:

On the way home from school, I was astounded to see an AMERICAN CROW mobbing this OSPREY, a very rare species of raptor for Oak Park, and obviously just passing over for its migration.
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Male NORTHERN PARULA singing:
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Male BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, a more uncommon species and my friend Isoo's favorite bird!
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BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER:
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Bird-of-the-day for Wednesday goes to the nice Blue-winged Warbler.

THURSDAY, MAY 5:

Only a few minutes after I woke up on Thursday, I spotted this BROWN THRASHER on my suet feeder - its tail is quite stunning!
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COOPER'S HAWK - this bird is currently being treated to a colorful avian buffet with all of the migrant warblers and such coming through Oak Park, because smaller birds are its main prey item.
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Bird-of-the-day for Thursday goes to the beautiful Brown Thrasher.

FRIDAY, MAY 6:

I can never resist phtographing AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES like this one!
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PALM WARBLER:
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Female TENNESSEE WARBLER:
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Male BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER:
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Female DOWNY WOODPECKER:
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YELLOW WARBLER was obviously my bird of the day for Friday, since multiple gorgeous male birds were very photogenic.
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SATURDAY, MAY 7:

I led a bird walk yesterday morning at 7:00am, and it was pretty productive with 35 species identified in total, despite some light rain and distant thunder during the walk. Because of the rain, I only photographed one bird, this male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER:
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Here is the full species list for yesterday's walk:

35 species (+1 other taxa)

Killdeer 2
Ring-billed Gull 3 One flyover had food.
Mourning Dove 1
Chimney Swift 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 1
American Kestrel 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 1
Barn Swallow 3
swallow sp. 3
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 8
European Starling 1
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Tennessee Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 2
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 2
Palm Warbler 15
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 1
Common Grackle 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 14
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 2
House Sparrow 10

After choir rehearsals on Saturday, I did a little birding around the neighborhood and I found an absolutely gorgeous, rare GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER:
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A male BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER was also in the vicinity:
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the Golden-winged Warbler, since that is the best photo I have ever managed of the beautiful and rare species.

Today, Sunday, May 8, I led a bird walk at Columbus Park just east of Oak Park. Eleven people showed up and 53 avian species were identified in total, so in my opinion it was an extremely successful walk!

Here is a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW sitting with a male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
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NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH:
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DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT:
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Male BALTIMORE ORIOLE singing:
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CHIPPING SPARROW:
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Male WOOD DUCKS:
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EASTERN KINGBIRD:
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Female HAIRY WOODPECKER:
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The group was treated to multiple beautiful BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS creeping up the tree trunks:
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Male INDIGO BUNTING:
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Calling NORTHERN FLICKER:
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Male WOOD THRUSH, uncommon and declining species:
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This BLUE-WINGED WARBLER was probably the best bird of the walk:
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Here is the full bird list from the walk:

53 species:

Canada Goose 18
Wood Duck 14
Mallard 4
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Green Heron 1 Foraging alongside lagoon, also flew into a tree.
Spotted Sandpiper 3
Ring-billed Gull 5
Caspian Tern 1 Hunting over lagoon.
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
Mourning Dove 2
Chimney Swift 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Woods along Jackson Blvd.
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1 Calling in woods along Jackson Blvd.
Eastern Kingbird 1 In small trees/large shrubs along east side of lagoon.
Warbling Vireo 12
Blue Jay 4
Tree Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 1 Austin Woods.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4
Wood Thrush 1 Singing in Austin Woods.
American Robin 15
Gray Catbird 2
European Starling 18
Northern Waterthrush 3 Alongside lagoon & in Austin Woods, singing.
Blue-winged Warbler 2 In trees near lagoon.
Black-and-white Warbler 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 In tree next to Refectory.
Nashville Warbler 12
Common Yellowthroat 1
Northern Parula 3
Yellow Warbler 8
Palm Warbler 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 2
Field Sparrow 1 Heard singing from trail alongside the highway.
White-crowned Sparrow 35
White-throated Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 5
Indigo Bunting 1 In grass near Refectory.
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Common Grackle 10
Brown-headed Cowbird 10
Orchard Oriole 1
Baltimore Oriole 8
American Goldfinch 7
House Sparrow 20

This afternoon, my neighborhood back near my house turned out to be very, very active with migrant birds - especially warblers! I was completely floored by the dozens of warblers that were flitting in the elm trees behind my house, and I have to say it was one of the most special days of birding in the neighborhood that I have ever had.

Male NORTHERN PARULAS:
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This warbler confuses me so much that I do not have an identification for it. Does anybody have any ideas? Sorry about the bad photo quality.
UPDATE MAY 9, 15: Matthew Cvetas and Josh Engel confirmed with me that this bird is a female CERULEAN WARBLER, a federally threatened species and the BEST bird I have EVER seen in Oak Park!!! WOW!!!
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Nice close-up shot of a migrant thrush called a VEERY:
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Stunning male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER with a fiery orange throat:
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This is a bad photo, but trust me, this is an OVENBIRD!
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This PINE SISKIN was a nice surprise! Now it is two months later than normal!!
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A BROAD-WINGED HAWK was also nice. I saw it being mobbed by AMERICAN ROBINS and BLUE JAYS.
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And not a bird, but worth posting on the blog - these Bleeding Hearts are one of the most beautiful flowers in our garden, but they only bloom for about one week during the peak of spring migration! What a beautiful reminder of spring!
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And here is an absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER in my neighbor's yard, a bird that is fairly hard to photograph but has an absolutely jaw-dropping plumage.
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Bird-of-the-day for Sunday goes to the female Cerulean Warbler which is an extremely rare sighting for Oak Park, and runner-up to the gorgeous and also uncommon male Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Here is the full species list for the afternoon in Oak Park:

28 species:

Broad-winged Hawk 1
Chimney Swift 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Warbling Vireo 1
Blue Jay 2
House Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Veery 1
American Robin 8
European Starling 10
Ovenbird 1
Golden-winged Warbler 1
Blue-winged Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 7
CERULEAN WARBLER 1
Northern Parula 4
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2
Palm Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 10
Indigo Bunting 1
Pine Siskin 1
American Goldfinch 5
House Sparrow 20

It has been another extremely gratifying week of spring, migration, and the best is yet to come! Stay tuned!

Awesome birding,

Henry
World Life List: 884 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 17:54 Archived in USA Tagged me lakes people children trees animals birds sky

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