Birding Tips


This afternoon, I was driving east on Belt Line Road south of the Chicago Rockford airport. On the south side of Belt Line Road, just East of the radar facility and locked gravel quarry, is a storm water retention area that still has a lot of water in it. It has a lot of sand and gravel, plus mud, and had quite a few shorebirds, including 5 Stilt Sandpipers, most of which were in various stages of molt, but which were all adults. A total of 9 species were present, including more Semipalmated Sandpipers than I have previously seen this summer (8).

So, if you are in that neighborhood, check that spot. Even though it is close to the road, a scope will be handy for the peeps.

3 immature Bald Eagles were flying over the quarry pond or perched in a dead tree on the east side of the quarry. One of them was a 3rd year bird with a white head and tail, but with black through the eye, much like an Osprey. Its belly was mostly, but not quite, molted into brown feathers.

Barbara and I drove through Greenwood Cemetary this morning to check the conifers for cone abundance this winter. The trees are fairly heavily loaded. This will be a good place to look for winter finches this year, although we did not see or hear any this morning. Greenwood Cemetary is located at the intersection of N. Main and Auburn Streets in Rockford. Please remember that this is private property and act accordingly.

Please remember that bird nests, particularly raptor nests, are vulnerable to disturbance. Even well-meaning people can disrupt birds’ nesting behavior or inadvertantly lead predators (including human predators!) to nests. The general rule is to keep the location of all nests secret. Yes, secret from everyone! Even other birders!