If life is a book I’m still browsing through my birding chapter.  Of great assistance to the local learning birder (or burning lerder if you like) are websites like the IBET list.  (Note: I’m not going to provide weblinks here. If you’ve made it this far you can figure out where that is too).    

Another great resource are groups like the Chicago Ornithological Society – who recently organized a field trip to Columbus Park  this weekend.  You might be surprised at what’s to be seen there – this is quite a list – and many species are clearly southbound. (The numbers that follow each species are the quantity seen during the outing)  Keep looking up.      

Canada Goose 86, Wood Duck 15, Mallard 47, Great Blue Heron 1, Red-tailed Hawk 1, American Kestrel 1, Ring-billed Gull 5, Rock Pigeon 9, Mourning Dove 3, Chimney Swift 21, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 7, Downy Woodpecker 2, Northern Flicker 7, Blue Jay 2, American Crow 2, Black-capped Chickadee 4, White-breasted Nuthatch 2, Brown Creeper 5, Golden-crowned Kinglet 10, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1, Swainson’s Thrush 5, Hermit Thrush 4, Wood Thrush 2, American Robin 11, European Starling 210, Tennessee Warbler 1, Orange-crowned Warbler 2, Nashville Warbler 3, Cape May Warbler 2, Yellow-rumped Warbler 16, Black-throated Green Warbler 1, Palm Warbler 2, Blackpoll Warbler 1, Northern Waterthrush 3, Fox Sparrow 3, Song Sparrow 2, White-throated Sparrow 7, White-crowned Sparrow 2, Dark-eyed Junco 7, Northern Cardinal 1, Red-winged Blackbird 1, American Goldfinch 1, House Sparrow 8

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I have been a horticulturist for thirty years working in the Chicago area and beyond. I have lived in Oak Park for over thirteen years. My writing has recently appeared in the journal Ecological Restoration...