Today, my Dad and I birded the Morton Arboretum in search of four target birds which have all been seen there recently: Yellow-throated & Cerulean Warblers, Summer Tanager, & Blue Grosbeak. I have seen all of these birds in the past at the Arboretum, except for the Cerulean.
As you can see, we quickly found the male YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER who appears to be on territory around Parking Lot 2. Super cool!
Male EASTERN BLUEBIRD from alongside the road:
Flyover GREAT EGRET:
Then, it was off to the Big Rock parking lot where the Summer Tanager has been seen recently. I immediately found this singing YELLOW-THROATED VIREO upon arriving in the lot:
His colors are more vibrant in this pic:
Then, I heard a warbling, robin-like song from about one-hundred feet down the road, and sure enough, soon a beautiful, cotton-candy pink-red male SUMMER TANAGER popped into view. Super cool! We are at the northernmost extend of their breeding range here.
Then, all the way to the other end of the color spectrum with this vibrant male INDIGO BUNTING:
A male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD took nectar from some some flowers nearby:
My camera even caught his gorgeous namesake gorget at one point!
Then, we hiked down the trail where the Cerulean has been seen and found this female AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
And sure enough, at the exact spot where it has been reported, this lovely sky-blue male CERULEAN WARBLER was piping away! A rare, rare bird for summer in the Chicagoland area and a GREAT find! This has got to be one of my luckiest years in terms of seeing this species — so cool!
Three target birds down, one to go! It was off to the Blue Grosbeak spot on the west side of the Arboretum...
We found a first-year male ORCHARD ORIOLE here:
The wildflower show in Schulenberg Prairie was absolutely spectacular.
We missed the Grosbeak, but three out of four target birds is pretty darn good, particularly for June! Bird-of-the-day to the Cerulean Warbler with runners-up to the Summer Tanager & Yellow-throated Warbler. GREAT birds! Thanks Dad for birding with me.
World Life List: 971 Species