In December COS celebrated its Conservation Awards, given to volunteers who have given freely of their time and energy to do the avian-based restoration work at LaBagh Woods. This COS honor is now playfully known as “the Order of the Buckthorn” in recognition of the buckthorn removal which has been an integral part of the restoration work there.
A group of birders met at Whistler Woods on another summer-like morning.
A group of 15 birders met at the Field House in Humboldt Park with a brilliantly blue sky and summer-like temperatures.
This year’s Southern Illinois Field Trip was a huge success thanks to the cooperative weather and expertise of our leader, Keith McMullen. While COS has done this weekend excursion several times in the past, every year holds something new and exciting, and it is always a pleasure to explore this unique and beautiful region.
It felt like summer Saturday morning with temps in the 70s and 80s early on, but a group of 15 met to explore the marsh and woodlands of Eggers Grove in Chicago's far south side.
A small but enthusiastic group of birders met yesterday morning to explore these under-birded preserves. The weather was perfect and a singing Blackburnian Warbler greeted us in the parking area for Whistler Woods.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This year the Forest Preserve District decided to establish birding competition teams in every preserve that provides a leader and a team. The competition starts March 1 and is designed to get birders into the Forest Preserves and record their data on e-bird. Learn more about the competition here: Forest Preserve District Big Year