Nine birders met in Burnham Park just south of the McCormick Place on Saturday, October 22 bright and early at 7am. Although it was a chilly start, it warmed up throughout the morning. 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.
We managed a few warbler species, later migrants such as Yellow-rumped Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, and a lone Nashville Warbler. A Winter Wren greeted us at the water feature, and a couple Hermit Thrushes were among the sparrows in the vast prairie above the McCormick parking garage.
The highlight of the walk was when we stopped for a bathroom break inside McCormick Place and noticed a bird crawling along the floor. It was a Brown Creeper trapped inside the building. It worked its way into a conference room, and we all worked together to capture it under a tablecloth. We released it unharmed outside and it continued to creep along the tree trunks looking for food. Hopefully the rest of its journey was less eventful.
Click here for a complete checklist of species seen:
A map of the bird sanctuary can be found here: http://bit.ly/2fdrqPi.
- post contributed by Andrew Aldrich