Chicago Ornithological Society
Field Trip

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Will County, IL
23 June 2012

COS headed to the former Joliet Arsenal, now the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, to enjoy the prairie life on the property. Below you'll find some photos taken during the field trip, and at the bottom of the page are lists of the types of birds, mammals, butterflies, damselflies, and dragonflies that we saw (with numbers seen for each species).

We were led by John Baxter behind the gates in a car caravan to access more readilty the habitats the property has to offer. Some birders are identifiable by the license plates on their vehicles. In this case it's Wes Serafin who you'd find behind the wheel of "FALCON 6," though you won't find him in this photo. You will find Blake Lenoir (green shirt) and Luis Munoz (white shirt) in the foreground, though.


One of the leaders of the field trip was Geoff Williamson, here sporting his New Jersey Devils cap. The Devils had lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Los Angeles Kings less than two weeks prior to the trip, with the Kings winning four games to two.


Geoff claimed to be able to identify butterflies and dragonflies. Though he didn't know half of the dragonflies that the group saw, at least he was able to identify this Silver-spotted Skipper.

Here Randy Shonkwiler surveys one of the streams at Midewin. The group found the nest of an Orchard Oriole at this spot.

From left to right, Karen Fisher, Phyllis Petrilli, Geoff Williamson, and Katy Krigbaum scan the skies.


Here is a female Twelve-spotted Skimmer. It differs from the somewhat similar looking female Common Whitetail by having a solid yellow lateral stripe on its abdomen (the stripe is a dashed line on the Whitetail).


We also saw this female Widow Skimmer, another kind of dragonfly.


List of birds species seen, with number observed.

Canada Goose 1
Mallard 2

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Great Blue Heron 5
Great Egret 3

Turkey Vulture 13

Northern Harrier 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 7

American Kestrel 2

Killdeer 9

Solitary Sandpiper 1

Ring-billed Gull 43

Rock Pigeon 5
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2
Mourning Dove 8

Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1

Belted Kingfisher 1

Red-headed Woodpecker 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker 1

Eastern Wood-Pewee 3
Willow Flycatcher 5
Eastern Phoebe 3
Eastern Kingbird 8

Loggerhead Shrike 2

White-eyed Vireo 1
Bell's Vireo 2
Warbling Vireo 4

Blue Jay 8
American Crow 3

Horned Lark 6

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3
Tree Swallow 1
Barn Swallow 27

Black-capped Chickadee 2

White-breasted Nuthatch 1

House Wren 10

Eastern Bluebird 2
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 15

Gray Catbird 6
Northern Mockingbird 5
Brown Thrasher 4

European Starling 180

Cedar Waxwing 10

Common Yellowthroat 15
Yellow Warbler 3

Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 11
Field Sparrow 14
Vesper Sparrow 3
Grasshopper Sparrow 17
Henslow's Sparrow 16
Song Sparrow 25

Northern Cardinal 5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3
Blue Grosbeak 3
Indigo Bunting 14
Dickcissel 40

Bobolink 4
Red-winged Blackbird 52
Eastern Meadowlark 29
Western Meadowlark 1
Common Grackle 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 13
Orchard Oriole 6
Baltimore Oriole 1

House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 21

House Sparrow 5

List of mammal species seen, with number observed.

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel 1

List of butterfly species seen, with number observed.

Pipevine Swallowtail 1
Black Swallowtail 7

Checkered White 1
Cabbage White 24
Clouded Sulphur 14
Orange Sulphur 18
Clouded/Orange Sulphur 105
Little Yellow 2
Dainty Sulphur 2

Eastern Tailed-Blue 1
Spring Azure 2

Great Spangled Fritillary 5

Silvery Checkerspot 1
Pearl Crescent 1
Common Buckeye 1

Silver-spotted Skipper 2
Northern Cloudywing 3

List of damselfly and dragonfly species seen, with number observed.

Ebony Jewelwing 4
American Rubyspot 2

Bluet, sp. 1

Common Green Darner 5

Prince Baskettail 4

Calico/Halloween Pennant 1
Widow Skimmer 2
Twelve-spotted Skimmer 4
Wandering Glider 1
Black Saddlebags 10
Red Saddlebags 1

This page was last updated on 18 August 2012.
Contact Geoff Williamson with any comments, updates or suggestions.