Chicago Ornithological Society -
Sierra Club
Birding and Nature Walk

Deer Grove East Forest Preserve
Cook County, IL
4 June 2016

Christine and Geoff Williamson led a bird and nature hike at Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in northwest Cook County.

At the start of the walk, we had the opportunity to enjoy two parent and one young Sandhill Crane. The photo below shows the colt following one of its parents. This species has been nesting at Deer Grove for a few years now.

photo by Geoff Williamson


While we were trying to track down some Yellow-throated Vireos and Common Yellowthroats, someone's keen eyes spotted this Northern Flicker poking her head out a nest hole. This bird is identifiable as a female because it lacks the black "whisker mark" that characterizes the male.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Here is the pair of Yellow-throated Vireos, moving actively in a maple tree.

photo by Kishin Carmona

Up close views of the two vireos:

photo by Kishin Carmona

photo by Kishin Carmona


We also saw an American Toad. American Toads have only one or two warts in each dark spot on their upperparts. The other toad in our region, the Fowler's Toad, has three or more warts per spot.

photo by Kishin Carmona


Before the rain showers started, we were treated to views of a number of Common Whitetail dragonflies. In the photo below you can see males (top and bottom) and a female (middle) of the species.

photo by Lin Johnston

Our group was equipped with a spotting scope to bring the birds up-close, and several participants were toting cameras as is now common in this present age of digital photography.

photo by Christine Williamson


A lot of Spiderwort was in bloom at Deer Grove. The bumblebees took advantage of it.

photo by Kishin Carmona


One of the more numerous bird species during the outing was Indigo Bunting.

photo by Geoff Williamson


Also numerous were Common Yellowthroats.

photo by Kishin Carmona


Much less numerous, but expected at this site, was the Red-headed Woodpecker. We got to see just one of these fine looking woodpeckers.

photo by Kishin Carmona


The many Red-winged Blackbirds included not only the males, which are the black birds with red on the wings, but also the more cryptically colored female birds.

photo by Kishin Carmona


Among the flycatchers that we saw, the Eastern Kingbirds were the ones with the decided preference for foraging over open fields.

photo by Kishin Carmona


When staring at birds in trees (or at the trees themselves), it is a good idea to stand off, or at least at the edge, of the bicycle path


photo by Lin Johnston

Below are lists of various animals that we observed.

List of birds species, with number observed. (Total # of species observed: 49.)

Canada Goose 20 (4 adults and 16 young)
Wood Duck 2 (male and female)
Mallard 6

Double-crested Cormorant 7

Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 3
Green Heron 3

Red-tailed Hawk 2

Virginia Rail 1

Sandhill Crane 3 (2 adult and 1 young)

Ring-billed Gull 1

Mourning Dove 5

Red-headed Woodpecker 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 (male)
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted) 7 (one female at a nest hole)

Eastern Wood-Pewee 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 3

Yellow-throated Vireo 2
Warbling Vireo 3

Blue Jay 5

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 2
Tree Swallow 16 (one at a nest hole)
Barn Swallow 6

Black-capped Chickadee 2

White-breasted Nuthatch 2

House Wren 3

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2

American Robin 13 (including one fledgling)

Gray Catbird 3

European Starling 16

Cedar Waxwing 4

Common Yellowthroat 15
Yellow Warbler 2

Song Sparrow 11
Swamp Sparrow 2
Eastern Towhee 1 (male)

Northern Cardinal 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 12

Red-winged Blackbird 35
Eastern Meadowlark 4
Common Grackle 8
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
Orchard Oriole 3 (1 adult male and 2 immature males)
Baltimore Oriole 9

American Goldfinch 13

List of mammal species, with number observed. (Total # of species observed: 2.)

Eastern Chipmunk 5

White-tailed Deer 3

List of amphibian species, with number observed. (Total # of species observed: 2.)

American Toad 1

Western Chorus Frog 4

List of dragonfly species, with number observed. (Total # of species observed: 1.)

Common Whitetail 14

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This page was last updated on 12 June 2016.
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