Trip Report:  Orland Grasslands - 2017 April 29

Trip Report: Orland Grasslands - 2017 April 29

Eleven birders explored parts of Orland Grasslands on Saturday, April 29, a cloudy, chilly day. Led by Pat Hayes, a volunteer steward at the site, we followed trails through prairie areas, skirted woodlands and walked around small ponds. We found some notable birds, including Solitary Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, as well as migrant a Blue Gray Gnatcatchers, a beautiful Pine Warlber, many Yellow Rumped warblers and several Palm Warblers

Trip Report:  Miller Meadow - 2017 April 15

Trip Report: Miller Meadow - 2017 April 15

What a great spring birding day!  We spotted over 30 Wilson's Snipe, a Short-eared Owl in flight, an early Marsh Wren, Eastern Meadowlarks and some Rusty blackbirds.  Birds weren't the only finds: a crayfish and a garter snake crossed our path and Red Admirals and Common Green Darners were everywhere.  

Trip Report: Palos Area Waterfowl - 2017 April 8

Trip Report: Palos Area Waterfowl - 2017 April 8

A group of 15 birders led by Andrew Aldrich beginning at McGinnis Slough and then stopping at Saganashkee Slough and Maple Lake.  Among the highlights were great looks at Common Loons in full breeding plumage, Horned Grebes, Gadwell, Shovelers, Bufflehead and Ruddy Ducks.  Full species list included in the full blog post.

Join COS for a night of fun and music - LaBagh Woods Fundraiser

Join COS for a night of fun and music - LaBagh Woods Fundraiser

Save the date!  April 22 at 6:30pm at Galway Arms in Lincoln Park, COS will be hosting a fundraiser for LaBagh Woods. We're honored to have live music by Congress of Starlings!  We'll also have a silent auction and raffle tickets for some great prizes.

COS Gives Voice to Birds at Chicago North Branch Planning Review Meeting

COS Gives Voice to Birds at Chicago North Branch Planning Review Meeting

COS president Carl Giometti attended a February 20 presentation of the Industrial Corridor Modernization: North Branch framework plan, prepared by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD).  Overall, the plan should be seen as a positive step towards bird conservation. Read the full post to find out how you can help.

Back to the Swamp!  LaBagh Workday #3, 2017

Back to the Swamp! LaBagh Workday #3, 2017

We are really starting to see progress being made at the this Swamp White Oak grove area, and I am so proud of our volunteers for what they have accomplished in this area. But like most restoration efforts, no rest for the weary. We will continue removing unwanted dead trees, pole trees and buckthorn to prepare this area for seeding (immediately) and planting (in the near future). 

COS Board Meeting Recap - 2017 February 6

COS Board Meeting Recap - 2017 February 6

Just what is your COS Board doing on this unseasonable warm February Monday evening, besides eating lasagna?

Your COS (Chicago Ornithological Society) Board is comprised of 10 volunteers lead by Carl Giometti, our COS President for 2017. The board meets a minimum of once per quarter and deliberates on a number of initiatives COS is involved with for Chicago area birders. 

Join us for LaBagh Winter Work Day December 3

Join us for LaBagh Winter Work Day December 3

The native shrub plantings are finished for 2016, and now we begin to prepare other parts of LaBagh for native shrub plantings and native herbaceous plant seeding in 2017. This is important work, but more than anything else, IT'S FUN!

Trip Report: Palos Area - 2016 November 20

Trip Report: Palos Area - 2016 November 20

A group of 16 birders met at McGinnis Slough in the Palos Area this morning, Sunday, November 20th, to look for waterfowl and any other interesting birds that crossed our paths.  We were fortunate to have local expert Wes Serafin join us to navigate and give a bit of history about the different areas.  McGinnis was partially frozen this morning, but we still managed some decent flocks of waterfowl here.  Most notably the dozens of Bufflehead and Hooded Mergansers, Coots, and Pied-billed Grebes.  A couple Great Blue Herons were hunkered down among the cattails.  

Register for the 2016 Lisle-Arboretum Christmas Bird Count

Join one of Chicagoland’s most active Christmas Bird Counts on December 18, 2016. Nearly 100 people volunteer their time on a wintery Sunday to count birds. The count circle includes a wide variety of habitats from the forests of Palos to the pine plantations of the Morton Arboretum to the open grasslands of Green Valley. The Lisle Arboretum Count is part of the National Audubon Society’s national Christmas Count program.

Trip Report:  Burnham Park/McCormick Nature Area - 2016 October 22

Trip Report: Burnham Park/McCormick Nature Area - 2016 October 22

Nine birders met in Burnham Park just south of the McCormick Place on Saturday, 10/22 bright and early at 7am.  

This area has been restored into stretches of native prairie to benefit migrating birds.  It is known for the large number of migrants, especially sparrows, that feast on the seeds of the various prairie plants.  

Although we did have 7 species of sparrows including American Tree, Fox, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned, White-throated, Song, and Swamp, the most abundant birds were Golden-crowned Kinglets.  They flitted and hovered around every tree and shrub, and sometimes were even hopping on the ground looking for insects.  We tallied well over 100 kinglets for the morning. 

Trip Report: COS/Sierra Club: Deer Grove - 2016 June 4

Christine and Geoff Williamson led a bird and nature hike at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in northwest Cook County.

At the start of the walk, we had the opportunity to enjoy two parents and one young Sandhill Crane. This species has been nesting at Deer Grove for a few years now.   Read the full trip summary in the post.

Trip Report: Palos Area - 2016 April 9

Many thanks to Shawn for leading an excellent field trip to the Palos area. The 10 of us who attended all enjoyed very large numbers of waterfowl--thousands of American coots, and great views of all three merganser, shovelers, buffleheads, green and blue winged teal, redhead, canvasback, gadwall, wigeon,  pied bill and horned grebes, among others, plus great views of two nesting osprey. . I really appreciated Sean's great eyes and ears in finding all the birds in the reeds on the far sides of the sloughs, and great patience in making counts of the more numerous species.

Lisle Christmas Bird Count 2015 report

The 67th Lisle-Arboretum Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, 20 December 2015. There was only a brief freeze in the weeks prior to count day, so that we had a lot of hope for a good count. The 90 field observers and nine feeder watchers also had reasonably warm weather to work with, without any snow on the ground. Despite this, most field parties bemoaned the lack of birds. 

The 2015 Team COS LaBagh Woods Big Year -- Report # 3

Have you been out to LaBagh Woods lately? If you have, you have seen that the LaBagh Big Year has made a huge difference. Planting is complete for this year, but fund-raising and scouring LaBagh for new species has not stopped.

How have we done? 

The 2015 Team COS LaBagh Big Year -- Report #2

The 2015 Team COS LaBagh Big Year -- Report #2

LaBagh Woods Big Year - 1/3 Done!

It seems like just yesterday that COS kicked off the LaBagh Big Year with a field trip there on a snowy January 1. Here we are now in May, with migration in full swing, over one-third of the way through 2015. So how do we stand?

67th Lisle-Arboretum Christmas Bird Count Results

67th Lisle-Arboretum Christmas Bird Count Results

The 67th Lisle-Arboretum Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, 20 December 2015. There was only a brief freeze in the weeks prior to count day, so that we had a lot of hope for a good count. The 90 field observers and nine feeder watchers also had reasonably warm weather to work with, without any snow on the ground. Despite this, most field parties bemoaned the lack of birds. 

Chicago Park District - Montrose Master Plan - Call for Comments

Recently, a number of COS members, birders and park stewards attended the second public meeting about the Montrose Point Master Plan, where Conservation Design Forum (CDF), the design firm, presented a revised master plan and management process.

Over the last year since the initial public meeting, stakeholders' groups and others have provided feedback to the Chicago Park District about the types of habitat and landscape design that we think will be best for birds at the Point. It seems to most of us that the Park District has heard our concerns and made many positive adjustments to the original plan. There are still issues that concern some, including security, width of paths, design of the suggested entry and other features, and funding.

Park District staff posted the latest drafts of the Montrose Point Master Plan, and the Montrose Point Natural Areas Management Plan online for public review. The draft documents are available from the CDF website in the “News” section at the bottom right of the page.

Comments, questions, and suggestions can be submitted online.

Comments will be accepted through Friday February 20. Please feel free to post comments to the site. If you have questions , feel free to contact us at chicagobirder@gmail.com.

The 2015 COS Team LaBagh Big Year -- Report #1

The 2015 COS Team LaBagh Big Year -- Report #1

Quietly, and with little fanfare, before the Ivory Gull was even a thought forbirders in the Chicago area, a very special year-long event kicked off at LaBagh Woods.  Chicago Ornithological Society (COS), in conjunction with a number of other conservation-minded partners, launched a fundraiser for the restoration of the understory at LaBagh in 2015 and beyond.