Twenty-two observers participated in the Lake Calumet Earth Day Birding hike on Sunday morning (22 April 2012). The walk was sponsored by Audubon Chicago Region, Chicago Ornithological Society, Bronzeville Historical Society, and the Illinois International Port District. Our group was allowed to access the east-west dike at Lake Calumet as well as the northernmost of the east slips on the lake, courtesy of Vic Crivello of the Illinois Port District. Birders have not been allowed to access these areas since fencing was put up over ten years ago.

Eagles are popping out all over these days it seems. And that is how our trip began. Shortly after arriving at the east-west dike, we spotted a pair of BALD EAGLES carrying nesting material and depositing it in a tree on one of the wooded slips. But we were never actually able to find a nest - perhaps the birds were just starting out, or involved in some sort of practice or play.

Next we moved on to do some birding on the east slip. It was quite birdy, with lots of passerines including ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, PINE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, YELLOW-RUMPED, PALM, & YELLOW WARBLERS, as well as lots of SWAMP SPARROWS and obligatory WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. We finished up with 60 species at Lake Calumet. Thanks again to Vic Crivello for allowing our group to access this interesting location.

After a brief stop at Indian Ridge Marsh, we moved on to Eggers Grove Forest Preserve. where we found more migrant passerines, including more ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, PINE, YELLOW-RUMPED, & PALM WARBLERS, and of course many more WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. 

We spent some time looking for a Yellow-headed Blackbird at Eggers. After we had been standing around, looking & listening for what seemed like forever, Nancy Tikalsky caught up with the group. She got her binoculars on a bird at the other end of the marsh and asked "Is that black bird with a yellow head a Yellow-headed Blackbird?"  Well, yes it was.  All of the eleven remaining members of the group got to see the male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, although it never really flew in very close. Another treat was an adult RED-HEADED WOODPECKER found by Amar Ayyash, and I have to mention the ten GREEN FROGS Wes Serafin found loafing together on a log a few feet away. We finished up with 49 bird species at Eggers, and a wonderful time was had by all.

Walter Marcisz
Chicago, Cook Co.