A Travellerspoint blog

Montrose Twitch: Purple Gallinule

Chicago, IL

sunny 71 °F

Upon waking up to the news that a tired, young Purple Gallinule had been chased into the Magic Hedge at Montrose by a Peregrine Falcon (and yet it survived!), I knew I had to twitch this Illinois rarity. The last one detected at Montrose was in 1999, and as Montrose is a good measure for the rarity of any given Illinois bird, it was a no-brainer.

I was in the car headed there in the 11 o’clock hour after some errands and after completing my tightest parallel park ever, I made the 10-minute walk into the Point — the Gallinule had been roosting thick in the back side of the hedge.

I arrived to find a few confused birders looking into the exact bushes where it had been seen earlier, and the situation seemed dire as the bushes at Montrose can be so incredibly thick. Luckily, birder Leo Miller came to the rescue and spotted the non-purple Purple Gallinule (it is an immature bird). It was an incredible spot — the original finder, Bob Hughes, saw it because it was a strange-looking bird chased into the hedge by a Peregrine. Had it been chased in at any other moment, this rarity would have likely gone undetected! I’ve only seen these guys in Florida before — super awesome. This bird was so sleepy, presumably getting a rest from being chased by a falcon hundreds of miles away from its home range. Hope it survives.

I left the area quickly so as not to stress the bird and headed to the beach area where I dipped on Nelson’s Sparrow and American Pipit but did find the continuing BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS:


I had a busy afternoon so I had to leave quickly, but on the way out I did get distracted by a pocket of passerines — SWAINSON’S THRUSH:

A nice slightly-early DARK-EYED JUNCO — sure sing of winter:

Warblers are still moving through of course — PALM:


And last but not least, a nice ORANGE-CROWNED!

Bird-of-the-day to the Purple Gallinule with runner-up to the Black-bellied Plovers!
Good birding,
World Life List: 1119 Species

Posted by skwclar 23:01 Archived in USA

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thanks for the pictures once again!

by Mary Stevens

I sure hope that little gallinule makes it back home to the Deep South where it belongs! Or that Chicago has a really mild winter.

by liz cifani

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