A Travellerspoint blog

May 9 - May 15: Migration Madness!

all seasons in one day 67 °F

I am a bit behind in posting due to a crazy schedule, but this is the recap post of what is usually the most productive week of birding of the entire year in northeast Illinois: the second weak of May! It will be split-up day-by-day again. Get ready for a ton of photos!

MONDAY, MAY 9:

A lot of birding around the neighborhood turned up a few avian goodies, including the following:

A beautifully-cooperative OVENBIRD:
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Male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:
C6E96B24FB4CD86F26C30277301E765A.jpeg

Male BLUE-WINGED WARBLER:
C6E3D3B4DB8F60A71A6470738DFF6949.jpeg

VEERY:
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SWAINSON'S THRUSH:
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And my bird-of-the-day was possibly the most brilliantly red male SCARLET TANAGER I have ever seen, always a remarkable and seemingly out-of-place species here in Illinois.
C6E7740EDEDA924A7B8D6BEA5BBE15FD.jpegC6E891C70320A2F8A29622980B68F1E1.jpeg

TUESDAY, MAY 10:

When I sat down to start my homeschooling in the morning of last Tuesday, I noticed a weird bird sitting right outside the house. On closer inspection, it was a molting male SUMMER TANAGER, an extremely uncommon bird for northern Illinois and one that I had never expected to see in my own backyard! It is the third rarest bird I have ever seen in Oak Park! This is a species that is much more frequently seen in forests of the southern half of Illinois in the spring and summer.
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OVENBIRD:
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C6FD25A4DA218EF4B7971F6492279F8D.jpeg

Male NASHVILLE WARBLER:
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Male BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER:
C6F55605B2FC5710CD608DFAA73E3433.jpeg

Male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:
C6F648F2EADE3CEBE20688A080FD7FFE.jpeg

WOOD THRUSH:
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Bird-of-the-day for Tuesday goes to the male Summer Tanager, of course. Two days of beautiful tanagers in a row!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11:

Taking advantage of my school's late-arrival Wednesday, I led a 7am Oak Park Bird Walk and even though only three people showed up, it was one of the most productive walks I have ever had with so many warblers and other migrant birds!

The walk got off to a good start with this female SCARLET TANAGER:
C6FE1919A68B16D0E9355AD8169F5F65.jpeg

Male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, a nice uncommon species:
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Male BALTIMORE ORIOLE:
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Male MAGNOLIA WARBLER:
C700CE3D09F148C1069B7645B2D015E0.jpeg

This bird had us all confused during the walk, but thanks to the help of the online Illinois birding community, I identified this bird after-the-fact as a first-year male ORCHARD ORIOLE, the first time I have recorded this uncommon species in Oak Park!
C70268CD959E834E894AB8E31E7EA7E9.jpeg

Male BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER:
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Stunning male SCARLET TANAGER high in a tree:
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Any ideas on what this bird is? I'm stumped.
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It was an awesome walk! Later in the day, I birded a bit in Grant & Millenium Parks in downtown Chicago before choir rehearsal. They were surprisingly devoid of birds, but I managed a few photos including a bad one of this SWAMP SPARROW:
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SAVANNAH SPARROW:
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Bird-of-the-day for Wednesday, the 11th goes to the Orchard Oriole, a great species for Oak Park.

THURSDAY, MAY 12:

Some birding around the neighborhood yielded a few avian highlights, including absolutely crippling looks at a mixed flock of warblers, including this male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER:
C70E8C84E87126A21C56D82D52D2E482.jpegC70D7C01DA9FCDE4D9860B3EAAEF1740.jpeg

Male CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
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Male NORTHERN PARULA:
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Male MAGNOLIA WARBLER:
C715D7B6F64741FAC79F87C4D098F9C9.jpeg

Male BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER:
C716D9A5D5040833DE399B96A772406D.jpeg

Male BAY-BREASTED WARBLER:
C7180232BC43295C49320E1F74FAB05C.jpeg

Male BLUE-HEADED VIREO:
C718F3C501C57F55A9FAF10A7CDD811A.jpeg

LINCOLN'S SPARROW:
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RED-EYED VIREO:
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GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, it was a fantastic week for this uncommon species:
C7205BA794B90EE4FF2F83C4F20EF938.jpeg

BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER:
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ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER:
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Male AMERICAN REDSTART:
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GRAY CATBIRD:
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Birds-of-the-day for Thursday the 12th go to the three uncommon warbler species seen: Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, and Golden-winged.

FRIDAY, MAY 13:

More birding by myself around the neighborhood-

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER:
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An amazingly beautiful SCARLET TANAGER, my bird-of-the-day for Friday, illuminated my day with his wonderfully red plumage!
C7266D52BCC9A3F2A6AC5F7477FCCAA2.jpegC727B7B0DE0FBCBE53E066439C968752.jpegC72AB112B7ED8D22A4F8FFBF1F3A284F.jpegC72BD6BBEC69D363C939E8B6F0324829.jpegC7253A510E14E47657BBB4667CDB7E95.jpeg

SATURDAY, MAY 14:

I led a 7:00am bird walk in my neighborhood on Saturday, and it was extremely productive with many migrants seen and ten birders in attendance.

LINCOLN'S SPARROW:
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Male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, what a beautiful bird:
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PINE SISKIN, maybe he will nest in Oak Park this year?
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Male NORTHERN PARULA:
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Molting male INDIGO BUNTING:
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SWAINSON'S THRUSH:
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Then, in the afternoon between choir events, I birded Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary in downtown for about an hour. It was not a very productive hour of birding, but I did see a few birds including these CASPIAN TERNS and RING-BILLED GULLS:
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VEERY:
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WOOD THRUSH (left) with PALM WARBLER (right):
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GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH:
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Female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER:
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Male EASTERN TOWHEE:
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Bird-of-the-day for Saturday goes to the always amazingly orange male Blackburnian Warbler which was seen on the Oak Park Bird Walk.

SUNDAY, MAY 15:

I led an Oak Park Bird Walk at 5:30pm on Sunday, and it was a very successful first evening walk ever! Although they say morning is the best time for birding, we really found a good number of birds.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW:
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CHIPPING SPARROW:
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Male MAGNOLIA WARBLER:
2F981431CF78A92953694F8F1662106B.jpeg

My first female GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER I have ever seen!
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A striking male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER allowed for some fantastic views from just across the street. What a beauty!
2F9A7272AA33F57C5FFFF64906992081.jpeg2F9B5B03AAA2EDF3EC47B9C968B4004D.jpeg2F9C96E5D69EEE6877196E66A879BBCA.jpeg

PALM WARBLER:
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This BROAD-WINGED HAWK was beautiful in the evening light:
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Bird-of-the-day for Sunday goes to the female Golden-winged Warbler, and runner-up to the male Blackburnian. Female warbler species are often overlooked because of their beautiful male mates; however, I thought I would mix it up today because the female Golden-winged is a beautiful bird, as well!

I promise to do another "catch-up" post this coming weekend! School and everything is just so hectic this time of year!

Good birding,

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

Posted by skwclar 12:27 Archived in USA Tagged me buildings people children trees animals birds sky

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Comments

The walk on the 14th was so cold. But it was so worth it!

by Christine E.

Great post, you got some really great photos! Living further south, I imagine their more common, but a Summer Tanager showed up in my yard for the first time ever this week!

Looking at your mystery bird, its facial pattern reminds me of a Pine Warbler. Though the bill appears thin, I believe that a Pine's bill may look thinner than it is when seen from underneath. Some Yellow Warblers can have a darker cheek and an eye ring, so that's another possibility. I would eliminate Wilson's since their bill is shorter and lighter, and I would doubt female Hooded since its facial pattern is usually different. In the end, I'm leaning towards Pine. I hope this helps!

by Jonathan

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