Annual Spring Bird Count is Coming!
Spring is finally here and migration has started so dust off your binoculars and get ready to check out those warblers, other migrants and returning residents. This is the best time of the year to see the largest variety of birds in our area. Trees are not yet in full bloom and mosquitoes are not much of an issue. Check out the latest Drummings and DBC website to find the great variety of field trips the club is offering for you to enjoy peak migration in many different habitats.
Also, the annual Spring Bird Count is on Saturday May 9, 2015. This is the day when 100 or more birders will fan out over DuPage County to identify all the bird species they can find. Last year the group found 181 species, just two short of the record. Let’s try and beat that record this year. The more DBCers that participate, the more area can be covered in the county. You don’t have to be an expert, all skill levels are welcome. Even if you can only bird part of the day, the teams can use you. The county is divided into 17 areas, so you may be able to bird close to home.
Bob Fisher is the DuPage County compiler, and if you counted in 2014 or 2013, he will automatically contact you. If you have never counted or it has been a number of years since you participated let Bob know. You can call him at 630-985-2956 or email him at Bfisher928@aol.com. If you’ve never done it before, it’s an enjoyable, fun filled day. You’ll be amazed at the variety of bird species you will see.
The DuPage Birding Club is offering a special bird walk on Saturday, May 2, 2015, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in memory of founding member Muriel Smith. All are welcome to remember Muriel at one of her favorite birding locations, Elsen’s Hill in West DuPage Woods. This location has the designation of “Important Bird Area” and is known for spring migrating birds. See the web site or Drummings for additional information. Though birding will continue, there will also be a celebration of Muriel's life – sharing memories and snacks - at the nearby Wyndemere auditorium in Wheaton at 10 a.m., for those interested.
Another special event to note is International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) on May 16. Be sure to stop over at the Willowbrook Nature Center between 8 a.m. and noon. Activities which include bird walks and bird bandings are free. For more information, contact Ron Skleney@dupageforest.org.
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!
Visit our **UPDATED** LENDING LIBRARY
Birding BOOKS, AUDIO,VIDEO AND MORE!!!
Select our DuPage Birding Club Apparel form to view the great selection of DBC Spiritwear apparel (created by Holy Cow Sports) that is embroidered with the DuPage Birding Club name and logo.
To order, download a copy of the order sheet and fill out your order. Drop off the completed sheet with payment to Vicky Sroczynski at the next DBC meeting. Merchandise can be picked up at the following DBC meeting date.
Click on the icon to read recent DBC Field Trip Reports
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.
Wild Things Conference
If you missed the sixth biennial Wild Thinks Conference in January, you missed an exceptional day of presentations by the grassroots conservation community of the Chicago Wilderness Region. A record 1,624 people registered for the event and there were 169 presenters. The DBC sponsored an exhibit at the conference. This is a picture of our Outreach Coordinator Nicole Goers and member Ron Skleney with the exhibit. The worst aspect about this conference is that it is only one day and you can’t possibly see all the speakers you want but it is definitely worth attending and I encourage all to attend the next conference in two years.
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 [more].
Next Club Meeting
May 14, 2015 7:30 p.m
Topic: Springbrook Prairie: An Oasis for Grassland Birds in DuPage County
Joe Suchecki, Springbrook Prairie Volunteer Steward and Bird Monitor
Springbrook Prairie is a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County property in Naperville recently dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. An 1800-acre site, it is one of the very few preserves in DuPage County that is predominantly open, grassland habitat. The natural habitats at Springbrook are being managed for grassland birds and native prairie restoration. Because of its large size and extensive grasslands, Springbrook attracts large populations of nesting grassland birds, such as Bobolinks, Meadowlarks, Savannah and Henslow's Sparrows, Sedge Wren, Dickcissel, and occasionally Northern Harrier and Short-eared Owl. The program will present information on the grassland birds of Springbrook, discuss the 20+ years of habitat management and of bird monitoring at the site, and summarize how the restoration activities have affected grassland bird populations.
Our speaker is long-time DBC member and former club President, Joe Suchecki of Naperville. Joe has been active at Springbrook for over 20 years as the the bird monitor and volunteer natural resources steward at the site, completing breeding-bird surveys, working to manage and restore habitats, and generally enjoying the unique grasslands and wetlands at the Preserve. Joe was instrumental in leading a citizen's group in the early 1990s to convince the Forest Preserve Commission to abandon the development of Springbrook as a large recreational lake and to refocus the master plan on prairie restoration and grassland-bird management.
Select here for more detailed Meeting information.
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 here.
DBC Member’s Night Presenters
From Left: Dharma Alagaratnam, Chuck Berman, Mike Greer, E.J. Neafsey,John Cebula, John Baker, Bonnie Graham, Tom Lebryk, Urs Geiser (standing in for Stephen Wild) , Jean Spitzer (standing in for Sid Padgaonkar).
Cantigny - April 11, 2015
Today's monthly bird walk at Cantigny Park, co-sponsored by the DuPage Birding Club, was attended by 45 birders. A total of 54 species were seen or heard, our highest-ever total for April (topping 50 species in 2013). Because of the 5K run/walk in the park, we spent most of our time on the Cantigny golf course. It was a very productive day with nice weather and many highlights!
Most notably, we recorded our 150th all-time species at Cantigny: American White Pelican. A squadron of approximately 80 birds was spotted high in the sky as we stood at the back of the driving range. The flock was far away but the ID was never in doubt due to the large size (9-foot wingspan) of these bright white birds with black wingtips. April is the best chance we ever have to see these special migrants and today we finally did!
A flyby Osprey was another nice surprise, one of the few times we've seen one during a walk. We also found "April specialties" such as Eastern Towhee, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Brown Creeper, Yellow-Rumped Warbler and both kinglet species. A Winter Wren was heard but not seen.
Near the Golf Academy we observed an active Red-Tailed Hawk nest with a bird presumably sitting on eggs. This same nest was also active in 2014. We also located an apparent Cooper's Hawk nest in the park with male and female birds present. [More]
Sunday, March 29, 8:00 a.m.
Palos Area-McGinnis Slough: Waterfowl and More (Pre-registration required) Leaders: Bob & Jean Spitzer
Wednesday, April 1, 9:00 a.m. Heron Rookery, Danada Forest Preserve
Leaders: Bob & Jean Spitzer
Saturday, April 4, 8:15-11:00 a.m. Fermilab, Batavia (Pre-registration required)
Leader: Glenn Perricone
Friday, April 10, 8:00 –11:00 a.m. Heritage Quarries Recreational Area (Lemont), Sag Quarries, & Saganashkee Slough Leader: Vicky Sroczynski
Saturday, April 11, 7:30 a.m. (Note new start time) Cantigny Park, Wheaton
Leaders: Jeff Reiter
Sunday, April 12, 6:30 a.m. Hennepin Area, Illinois River (Pre-registration required)
Leaders: Jeff Smith
Wednesday, April 15, 7 p.m. Woodcocks, Greene Valley Forest Preserve
Leaders: Jeff Smith
Fox River Trip - Feb 28, 2015
Counting Jean and me, we had 10 birders participating in today's cold, but sunny, Fox River Field Trip. Our Birders were Kim Burnham , Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann, Mark Bavetz & Pam Rawls, Steve Fluett, Bonnie Graham and Stephen Wild. They spotted and identified the birds. I have enclosed a group photo taken by Jean.
We followed the plan as advertised. A large portion of the Fox River was frozen over, but we did find some open water. We started at Red Oak Nature Center on Rte. 25. The Fox River was totally frozen over at this spot. After getting a dozen species in the woods, we drove north to Lippold Preserve. We walked through the snow to pick up some more species. Our third stop was Glenwood, where the River was flowing. We picked up some good species. We crossed the river on Wilson Street and visited Quarry Park. We got more birds. At that point we decided not to visit Les Arends Preserve, as it was back south where the River was iced over. So, it was off to Panera Bread for something to eat and some good conversation. We were all done at shortly after noon. See results.
Friday, April 17, 7:30 a.m. Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Darien
Leaders: Vicky Sroczynski
Saturday, April 18, 9:00 a.m. Whalon Lake, Bolingbrook, Will County
Leaders: Jim Hedges
Sunday, April 19, 8:00 a.m. Nelson Lake, Dick Young Forest Preserve, Batavia
Leaders: John Duerr
Saturday, April 25, 8:00 a.m. McKee Marsh, Warrenville
Leader: Kyle Wiktor
Sunday, April 26, 7:30 a.m. Cricket Creek Forest Preserve, Addison
Leaders: Lisa Hepes
Thursday, April 30, 7:30 a.m. Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook (Birding, Buildings, and Photography)
Leaders: Vicky Sroczynski
Website Design: Jim Green Photos: Christian Goers
Heron Rookery, Danada FP - April 1, 2015
We had a great morning for enjoying the birds on our DBC FT last Wednesday, April 1st. Counting ourselves, we had 13 birders participate in our Danada Heron Rookery field trip. Joan Campbell kept the log and filed our eBird report. We logged 22 bird species. But most of all, we enjoyed the large Heron Rookery in a bog in the Danada Forest Preserve. The count was 80 Great Blue Herons who were working on their nests. I Have attached a PDF copy of our eBird report.
Watching the Herons coming and going was such a special privilege. I took some photos using both my Lumix pocket camera and my Samsung cell phone. Some of these photos were taken through our 20x-60x spotting scope (digi-scoping). I have attached some selected shots just for fun.
Jean and I believe that everyone who participated truly enjoyed the experience.