Chicago Ornithological Society - Sierra Club
Birding and Nature Walk

McCormick Nature Sanctuary, Burnham Park
Cook County, IL
August 22, 2015

Christine and Geoff Williamson led a nature walk at McCormick Nature Sanctuary in Chicago's Burnham Park. The weather was quite pleasant, with temperatures at 72F, winds light from the south, and clear skies.

One of the highlights of the outing was seeing an American Kestrel come to ground to capture and eat some prey. We investigated the site after the falcon had moved on, but weren't able to determine definitively what the bird's meal was. We did get nice looks at the Kestrel itself, though.

photo by Geoff Williamson


photo by Geoff Williamson


photo by Geoff Williamson


The prairie south of the sanctuary proper was loaded with dragonflies, most waiting for the temperature to rise before flying. The Black Saddlebags was one of the ones we studied while it was perched.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Among the 11 species of butterflies we saw was this Common Buckeye.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Most common among the dragonflies were Common Green Darners, like this one.

photo by Geoff Williamson


We were excited to see a Hackberry Emperor butterfly. They are seemingly only infrequent along the Chicago lakefront.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Among the birds, one highlight was an Olive-sided Flycatcher. Though partially hidden in this photo, its big-headed profile is evident.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Though they are small, Pearl Crescent butterflies are nice to look at.

photo by Geoff Williamson


We found a couple of dead Prairie Voles. One we gathered up into a plastic zip lock bag, and it is now part of the Field Museum's collection.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Tennessee Warblers were the most numerous of the eight warbler species we observed.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Here is a perched Wandering Glider dragonfly.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Now for the lists....

List of birds species, with number observed.

Canada Goose 54

Double-crested Cormorant 58

Great Blue Heron 1

Ring-billed Gull 14
Herring Gull (American) 1

Rock Pigeon 6

Chimney Swift 119

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1

Red-bellied Woodpecker 1

American Kestrel 1

Olive-sided Flycatcher 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's Flycatcher) 2
Least Flycatcher 4
Empidonax sp. 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 2

Warbling Vireo 9

American Crow 5

Barn Swallow 8

Black-capped Chickadee 7
Tufted Titmouse 1

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1

American Robin 1

Gray Catbird 4

European Starling 23

Cedar Waxwing 347

Northern Waterthrush 3
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Tennessee Warbler 20
Nashville Warbler 1
American Redstart 6
Magnolia Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 3
Canada Warbler 2
warbler sp. 3

Savannah Sparrow 2
Song Sparrow 8

Northern Cardinal 2
Indigo Bunting 8

Red-winged Blackbird 9
Baltimore Oriole 3

House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 18

House Sparrow 20

List of mammal species, with number observed.

Eastern Gray Squirrel 2

Prairie Vole 2 (found dead)

List of butterfly species, with number observed.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2

Cabbage White 3

Clouded Sulphur 5

Eastern Tailed-Blue 1
Spring Azure 1

Pearl Crescent 3
Red Admiral 2
Common Buckeye 1

Red-spotted Purple 4

Hackberry Emperor 1

Monarch 36

List of dragonfly species, with number observed.

Common Green Darner 275

Wandering Glider 2
Black Saddlebags 23

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This page was last updated on 27 September 2015.
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