Illinois Institute of Technology

Main Campus

14 May 2013

David Baker and Geoff Williamson led a group around IIT's Main Campus on 14 May 2013 to look for migrant birds. The weather was cooperative: warm temperatures, with a wind coming from the south. The full list of birds seen appears at the bottom of this page. Between here and there you'll find photos of some of what was observed.

The walk started with this White-throated Sparrow, seen on the lawn north of the Paul V. Galvin Library.


As we walked north past the Hermann Union Building, we found this female Common Yellowthroat feeding on insects near the northeast entrance.


North of the HUB on the lawn was a male Common Yellowthroat..


The crabapple trees along the north side of the HUB are always attractive to birds when in bloom. There we located a small flock of Cedar Waxwings as well as several Baltimore Orioles. Here are a few photos of one of the waxwings, along with a shot of a female oriole.




Another good place on campus to find birds is Morton Park, which is directly north of the HUB. Among the birds we found there were these three Clay-colored Sparrows. One often feels lucky to see one of these on a spring day in Chicago, so three together was quite a find.



Here's a closer look at one of the Clay-coloreds.


Near to Man on a Bench, we enjoyed this Ovenbird. The IIT Campus in general is a great place to find Ovenbirds, but the area around Man on a Bench is especially good for them.


In the trees around Man on a Bench, you often see warblers, such as this male American Redstart.


Just outside Engineering 1 building we saw a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.


And along the west side of Siegel Hall we had the pleasure of seeing a Rose-breasted Grosbeak on the ground (instead of having to crane our necks to get a view of the bird at the top of a tree).


Just south of Siegel Hall was this Savannah Sparrow.


Scattered throughout campus were White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows. Here is one of the White-crowneds.


Many people are aware that the IIT Tower is home to Peregrine Falcons. Here is one of them in a spot where you can often see the falcons perched: along the ledges close to the top of the Tower.


We finished up the walk with this gorgeous Chestnut-sided Warbler, just south of S.R. Crown Hall.


The complete list of birds we observed, with numbers of individuals seen, is the following. The list is in taxonomic order, with spaces between groups at the family level.

Ring-billed Gull 6

Mourning Dove 2

Chimney Swift 1

Peregrine Falcon 1

Eastern Wood-Pewee 2

Blue Jay 1
American Crow 6 (with an active nest in one of the trees in Morton Park)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2

Gray-cheeked Thrush 1
Swainson's Thrush 1
American Robin 3

Gray Catbird 13

European Starling 28

Cedar Waxwing 7

Ovenbird 4
Black-and-white Warbler 3
Tennessee Warbler 1
Nashville Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 3
American Redstart 1
Magnolia Warbler 1
Blackburnian Warbler 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Palm Warbler 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3

Chipping Sparrow 1
Clay-colored Sparrow 3
Savannah Sparrow 1
Lincoln's Sparrow 1
Swamp Sparrow 2
White-throated Sparrow 13
White-crowned Sparrow 11

Scarlet Tanager 1
Northern Cardinal 4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3

Brown-headed Cowbird 1
Baltimore Oriole 4

Pine Siskin 3
American Goldfinch 3

House Sparrow 2


The next campus bird walk will take place some time in September 2013.

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This page was last updated on 15 May 2013.
Contact Geoff Williamson with any comments, updates or suggestions.