Jan 2015 Wow!
A new year is rolling in for the DuPage Birding Club, the 30th Anniversary Year! The celebration starts at our January meeting. Our new DBC Executive Board is planning with it in mind. Welcome to all new and continuing Board members: Margie Busic (President), Jim Fox (Vice President), Linda Padera (Past President), Bob Spitzer (Treasurer), Tom Lebryk (Corresponding Secretary), Thelma Hulka (Recording Secretary), Vera Miller (Director) and Stan Zatarski (Director).It’s been a pleasure holding the office of DBC President during this past year. I would like to thank the outgoing DBC Executive Board for their contributions in year 29 on the club’s behalf: Margie Busic (VP), Jeff Smith (Past President), Bob Spitzer (Treasurer), Jeff Reiter (Corresponding Secretary), Thelma Hulka (Recording Secretary), Jim Fox (Director) and Leslie Hayward (Director). Thanks also go to our 2014 committees: Field Trips (Joan Norek, Chair), Outreach (Nicole Goers, Chair), Grants (Rob Thomas, Chair), Hospitality (Vicky Sroczynski, Geralynn Hoffmann), Library (Susan Kaley), DuPage County Forest Preserve (Ruth Najacht), Bird Conservation Network (Bob Fisher) and Stewardship (Diann Bilderback). Special thanks to our electronic media force: Jim Green (website), Jeff Smith (Drummings), Ron Skleney (Twitter ), Bob Fisher (email communications) and Jim Frazier (membership directory). Pat Newman’s assistance with the communication chain is most gratefully acknowledged. Advice and assistance from several Past Presidents was also most welcome. And of course thank you to all the field trip leaders for their time and expertise.I hope I didn’t forget anybody. Thanks and apologies to anyone I may have left out. A lot of people in many different roles help to make the DuPage Birding Club a dynamic group. If you’d like to join with us in “making the wheels turn” please contact me. We look forward to your participation! I hope you get lots of opportunities to get out and bird in 2015. See you on the trails!
As a member of the DuPage Birding Club, you receive an Eagle Optics discount for 10% off of any non-sale Eagle Optics, Atlas Optics, or Vortex items, and 5% off any non-sale product manufactured by anyone else (Leica excluded).
This and That…
Welcome to the DuPage Birding Club!
Founded in 1985, the DuPage Birding Club is nationally known as one of the largest and most active birding groups in Illinois. Our mission is to promote birding among our 200+ members and the general public through education and field experiences that take advantage of the various habitats in DuPage County, the greater Chicago area, and other regional hotspots.
Upcoming Field Trips
Field Trip Participants: Please dress warm and dry for field trip weather and trail conditions. We expect everyone to enjoy birding in a safe manner by being careful and prudent.
Select f for more Detailed Field Trip Info!
Glacial Park Conservation Area, McHenry, IL - October 25, 2014
The DuPage Birding Club had a trip to Glacial Park Conservation Area in McHenry County on October 25. It was the club's first autumn trip to this site, and we enjoyed a beautiful day. Besides birds, we saw butterflies (one Monarch, one Cabbage White, and four Sulphurs); we also saw a small Red-bellied Snake.
Club member Bob Spitzer had prepared a spread sheet detailing the species we were likely to encounter based on previous published reports. We saw about 40% of those species. Although of us were very happy to see the pair of Sandhill Cranes, probably the "bird of the day" was the Rough-legged Hawk, which was not among the birds we expected to see. Before and after the trip and not in the park, we saw Double-crested Cormorants, Rock Pigeons, grackles, and House Sparrows. 33 species seen.
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Click on the icon to read recent DBC Field Trip Reports
Midewin Trip - July 5, 2014
We had some decent weather for a late afternoon walk at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie on the 5th of July and the birds cooperated as well. Thirteen birders started at the Iron Bridge Trailhead and hiked east. Several House Wrens chattered away as we walked through the wood lot next to the parking lot. Entering the grasslands we stopped to look at Dickcissels and Indigo Buntings before proceeding after our target species. We went east on the southern leg of the Group 63 trail where several Grasshopper Sparrows and Eastern Meadowlarks were calling. We eventually got decent looks at the former as well as Bobolink. A Blue Grosbeak could be heard up ahead but before we could walk toward it another popped up on the fence nearby. A couple pairs of Northern Mockingbirds flew back and forth across the trail as we headed for the "Shrike" spot. Scanning the fences we saw a Loggerhead Shrike perched in the distance. It stayed long enough for a couple of us to get scope views. We moved on to get better looks. Reaching the corner of the fence line we could now see 3 Loggerhead Shrikes on the fence. This time everyone got good looks. We pushed forward to see if we could locate the other shrike family a quarter mile up the road. We found one adult bird and turned back to our cars.
We next drove to the Explosives Road Trailhead. Here we looked for Henslow's Sparrow and Bell's Vireo. Henslow's Sparrows were heard but not seen. Light rain moved in so we cut our walk short and called it a day.
Trip lists can be seen at : http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19001824 http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19001827
A Visit To the National Aviary
Although I have managed to work in some birding on nearly every trip I have taken, I have never taken a trip for the expressed purpose of birding. Like many of you, birding has to take place in the cracks and crevices of my family and professional life. I was delighted, therefore, when on an August visit to some friends in Pittsburgh, they suggested we visit the National Aviary.
Some history: Even though the U.S. Congress honored the aviary in 1993 by allowing it to call itself the “national” aviary, the aviary is not connected with the federal government. Located in a park on the city’s north side, the aviary was built by the city of Pittsburgh in 1952, but because the city was losing its tax base, the aviary’s public funding ended in 1991. At that time, volunteers and community leaders developed a business plan and raised money that allowed the aviary to continue operations. Since then, various capital campaigns and donations have allowed the aviary to continue, as well as to expand its educational and conservation programs. Today it is the largest indoor nonprofit aviary in the United States, whose collection of 500 birds representing 150 species exceeds even the National Zoo’s collection in Washington, D.C.
Except for some holidays, the aviary is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There is an admission of $14 to $25 adults (depending on how many shows are seen), and seniors receive a slight discount. There are visitor centers at each entrance, one with the obligatory gift shop. The indoor exhibits are mostly open flight [more….]
Greene Valley Hawk Watching Field Trip Report
Even though this was ʻpart oneʼ of our Hawk Watch series of field trips, it should have been called ʻpart threeʼ as temperatures were more typical of November than
September. Still we had a good turnout of 15+ participants. After a brief orientation on how the hawkwatch operates we settled down to watch for migrants. The first hour was somewhat slow with only 3 migrating raptors, 1 Osprey, 1 Cooperʼs Hawk and 1 RedtailedHawk. Local non-migrants kept viewers busy as they hunted and chased each other around the hill. Things picked up a bit after noon as we added 3 immature Bald Eagles and a Turkey Vulture to the trip list in the next 2 hours. Those that stuck it out to the end were rewarded with great views of a Peregrine Falcon circling over the east end of the hill. Raptors werenʼt the only birds seen on the hill. We saw a total of 10 Sandhill Cranes and several flocks of Double-crested Cormorants heading south. Chimney Swifts and Barn Swallows were always present and at least 4 Hummingbirds zipped past heading north into the wind. Those of us who were up on the hill early witnessed a hill first when 2 large, dark, wading type birds flew north, directly over us. We were stumped for a minute or so as to their identification but soon narrowed it down to Glossy or Whitefaced Ibis. We also saw a Black-bellied Plover and a flock of 50 or more American White Pelicans all before the hill opens to the public. The full eBird report for the day can be found at :http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19822078 . All of our Hawkwatch data can be viewed by visiting www.hawkcount.org . Part 2 of our hawkwatch series will be in October when there is a chance to see Golden Eagles, Red-shouldered Hawks, and other later migrants. You are always welcome to join us on Saturday and Sunday mornings through October. The hill is open to the public from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. [more….]
Pratt’s Wayne Woods FP - October 18, 2014
Yesterday, I substituted for Kyle Wiktor on the DuPage Birding Club field trip at Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve. We had two good birders participate with me. Tom Lebryk participated with his pocket electronics and his new large telescope. Bryan Pugh is a new DBC member and wanted to check out the preserve. He has birding experience and great ability to spot the birds. I also brought our spotting scope, which we used for part of the birding.
We went to four locations at Pratt's Wayne Woods: Harrier Lake, Yellow Barn, Eastside "Dog Park", and the main area on the west side of Powis with all of the trails. The "Dog Park" location entailed a walk some distance into the fields and bogs on the east side of Powis Road. The west side was full of people on this opening day of fishing (all parking spots taken), but they were not at our birding locations. At the end of our time we made a short visit to James "Pate" Philip (formerly Tri-County) State Park, which offered no new species.
The three of us worked the preserve for about 5 hours, both to get birds (checklist) and to acquaint Bryan with the site. We were able to log 32 species. I have attached a PDF copy of the eBird tally that I filed via the Club's eBird account. We pretty much saw the birds that were typical of this time of the year. Some of the nice birds included a Ruby-crowned Kinglet showing his ruby crown and the continued presence of Yellow-Rumped Warblers. I regret that we were not able to get the many waterfowl we had hoped to see on Harrier Lake. Secondly, we could not find the Wood Ducks that Jean and I saw in our scouting visit on Thursday, Oct 16th.
Website Design: Jim Green Photos: Christian Goers
Hennepin Area/Peacock Marsh Field Trip Report - October 16, 2014
I have attached some photos we took on our DBC Field Trip to the Hennepin Area (see ) last Saturday, Oct 26th. Some indicate the 1000's of birds, some pick up the variety (digi-scope), some show specific birds (e.g., snipe and eagle), and a few show birders.
We had a great experience with thousands of birds (see Bureau County checklist and Peacock Marsh checklist). All told we listed about 75 species.
Jean and I checked out Peacock Marsh after we got back. We got a a dozen species. But the big thing was to watch over 500 Canada Geese come back to marsh to spend the night.
Message from the President - Margie Busic
I decided to cancel the January 8, 2015 DuPage Birding Club meeting due to the inclement weather. Not only were the roads bad, but I also felt that the conditions would keep many members at home and that would be a disservice to the speaker. The speaker, Roberta Asher, has agreed to reschedule her presentation, A Birder’s Trip to Cuba. That will be announced at a later date.
In addition, we had planned a 30th Anniversary Celebration with cake and soft drinks. Unfortunately, it was too late to cancel the cake and the cake was too big for our freezer. I made the decision to find a place to donate the cake, so it wouldn’t go to waste. I found a local food bank, the People’s Resource Center, who was willing to accept the cake. They will cut it up and distribute it. I did take a picture of the cake and as you can see, it looked very nice.
Channahon - November 22, 2014
Our DuPage Birding Club field trip to the Channahon area was successful. We used the McDonalds/BP of I-55 on Hwy 6 as the rendezvous string point at 8:00am. We had six birders: Ted Wolff and guest Susan, Tom Lebryk, Jan Susner, plus Jean and myself. (We expected some others, we waited, but alas we needed to move on).
The cloudy and chilly morning turned out to be reasonable for birding. We visited four general locations: Des Plaines River views off Front Road east of Channahon, the boat launch further west on Front Road, The McKinley Woods overlook and trails south of Channahon and finally the south end of McKinley Woods on the River and the A&M Canal. We birded until about 1:30pm. Ted and Susan headed back to Chicago. The rest of us ate lunch at the Lonestar Restaurant in Channahon. Ted Wolff is an exceptional birder. He kept the tally on his smart phone and we all reviewed the data mutually. Ted filed two eBird reports with the details, which we appreciate. We got a total of 45 species on this field trip. Here is the listing for all sites. Everyone agreed that this was a good field trip.
Website Design: Jim Green Photos: Christian Goers
Next Club Meeting
March 12, 2015 7:30 p.m
Topic: Annual Member’s Night
Want to learn about our DBC member’s birding? Want to share your birding?
At the eagerly anticipated annual Members' Night, DuPage Birding Club members present their photos from trips they have taken to great birding locations. In settings ranging from the exotic to the familiar, the club's skilled photographers capture images of the world's avian fauna. Come out and see the beautiful pictures taken of many great birds and wonderful places!
If you would like to contribute to the program, please contact Linda Padera as soon as possible at email@example.com or (708) 870-5385 for submission requirements.
Deadline for submission of photos is Wednesday, March 4.
Select here for more detailed Meeting information.
Saturday, January 24, 8:00 a.m.
York Woods FP, Oakbrook
Leader: Lesa Hipes
Sunday, January 25, 8:00 a.m.
Southern (DuPage) Birding Tour
Leader: Jeff Smith
Saturday, January 31, 8:00 am
Fox River (Kane County)
Leader: Lee and Marcia Nye
Will County Big Day Trip! May, 2014
Joan Norek was the winning bidder at the DBC Auction for the Will County Big Day field trip. We scheduled the trip for May 17th and prepared by monitoring eBird reports as well as personal scouting trips. We planned to meet at 3:30 a.m. which would put us at our first stop well before sunrise. The plan was to start in the far southern parts of the county and finish the day back north. On our way to our first stop near Braidwood a very light raptor flew across our path just above the headlights, which may have been a Barn Owl. We were unable to relocate the bird so it went uncounted. Our first stop was to listen for Whip-poor-will. A very distant Whip was calling when we got out of the car. We walked down the road further and were able to hear a much closer bird call for several minutes. A Woodcock or two were also peenting and displaying in the area. Before we left the area, a Wild Turkey gave a couple of gobbles which saved us a trip to look for them later. We next headed for Kankakee River S.P. To look for warblers. Kentucky, Prothonatary, and Yellow-throated Warblers can often be found in the Will Co. areas of the park. We were able to find Kentucky but missed the other 2. Several other more common warblers were added as were the hard to find Pileated Woodpecker. Nearby back roads got us a Lincoln's Sparrow and a Eurasian Collared Dove. [more….]
Fermilab Christmas Bird Count - December 20, 2014
106 birders covered the Christmas Bird count led by organizer Jeff Chapman. A total of 82 species were tallied with 6 new record highs along with 1 new species (Orange-Crowned Warbler) seen. A final count of 33,812 birds were seen for a very successful count. Beer and pizza followed even though there was no heat in the restaurant. For a complete listing of the day’s events see here.
Greene Valley 2014 Hawk Watch
2014 produced the usual wide variety of non-raptor species. Including raptors, 97 species were seen this year, including 8 ‘firsts’ for the hilltop. The most notable first was surely the Prairie Falcon – we’ve waited a long time to see this species. 2nd place for [More…]
Cantigny - January 10, 2015
Today's monthly bird walk at Cantigny Park, co-sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club, was attended by 29 very cold birders. This included 18 students from Benet Academy. We spent the first 15 minutes of our "walk" observing the Cantigny bird feeders from inside. A few birders were lucky enough to see a Red-Breasted Nuthatch--an uncommon bird at Cantigny and undoubtedly our "bird of the day." When we headed outside the temperature was 0 degrees with a slight breeze. At least it was sunny! Most of us stayed out for just over an hour before returning to the warm Visitor Center for more feeder watching. Unfortunately the Red-Breasted Nuthatch did not return but we did add Red-Tailed Hawk, Mourning Dove and Canada Goose to our day list. For the day, 17 species were seen or heard. Some history: Our best January walk was in 2013 when we found 28 species. Temperatures that day were in the low 50s! A year ago we had 27 species with temps in the mid-30s. In 2009 we found only 13 species in January, and in 2010 only 15. So today's total wasn't too bad considering the frigid conditions.
Many thanks to Joan Campbell and Jim Frazier for helping lead today's walk. And thanks to all the hardy souls who turned out. The next Cantigny Bird Walk will be the Redbird Special on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8:30 am. The park will be officially open then, including the coffee shop. Plus it HAS to be warmer than today, right?!
The next Cantigny Bird Walk will be the Redbird Special on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8:30 am. The park will be officially open then, including the coffee shop. Plus it HAS to be warmer than today, right?!
Sunday, February 1, 12:00 noon to dark
Superb Owl Sunday Place: TBA
Please contact Jeff Smith by January 29th for information.
Leader: Jeff Smith
Saturday, February 7, 7:30 a.m.
McKee Marsh (Winfield
Leader: Kyle Wiktor
Saturday, February 14, 8:30 a.m.
Cantigny Park, Wheaton
Leader: Jeff Reiter
Saturday, February 14, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. IOS Gull Frolic, North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Lake County, Illinois
Sunday, February 15, 8:00 a.m.
Herrick Lake Forest Preserve
Leader: John Cebula
Sunday, February 22, 7:00 a.m. Mississippi River Eagles & More
Leader: Urs Geiser
Saturday, February 28, 9:00 a.m. Fox River Preserves, Batavia &North
Leader: Bob and Jean Spitzer