Sierra Club - COS
Birding and Nature Walk

Montrose Point
Lincoln Park
Chicago, Cook County, IL
19 April 2014

Geoff Williamson led a nature walk in Chicago's Lincoln Park at Montrose Point on 19 April 2014 with about 15 people participating. It was a bright, sunny day, though with chilly temperature (39 to 45 F) and with an ENE wind blowing at 10 mph.

In order to sample the variety of habitats at Montrose Point, we visited the beach and the bird & butterfly sanctuary, and we walked the north edge of the harbor. We found 42 species of birds and three species of mammals (aside from human beings and domestic dogs), but it was too chilly for butterflies or dragonflies to be present. Lists of all these creatures along with the number observed are provided at the end of this report.

On the beach we found a nest of a Killdeer with four eggs. We were careful to move on our way pretty quickly, so that the parent bird could get back to the eggs. According to The Birder's Handbook by Paul R. Ehrlich et al. (Simon & Schuster, 1988), the eggs of this species are incubated for 24 to 28 days, with both male and female birds responsible for incubating.


Though we observed six species of sparrows, we had only seven individuals. The one species accounting for two individuals was Eastern Towhee, with both a male and a female seen. This Swamp Sparrow was foraging on the ground next to the Magic Hedge.

The Yellow-rumped Warbler was the only warbler species present, but we had nice looks at a couple of adult male birds.

Northern Cardinals like this one always brighten up the day.

Montrose Harbor afforded us nice looks at both Horned Grebe and Pied-billed Grebe. Here is the Horned Grebe.

And here is the Pied-billed Grebe.

At the northeast corner of the harbor are Purple Martin houses, already with tenants.

Hermit Thrushes were the one species of migrant thrush that we saw. The others are still in warmer climes.

Here is the group that was left as we were coming back to the beach house at the end of the walk.

And here is some of the trash collected by volunteers during the beach clean up after the walk. The pile of bags to the left is garbage; the pile behind the Sierra Club banner is recyclables.

Now for the lists....

List of birds species, with number observed.

Canada Goose 17
Mallard 9
Blue-winged Teal 5
Redhead 1
Greater Scaup 3
Lesser Scaup 6
Red-breasted Merganser 28
Ruddy Duck 3

Pied-billed Grebe 2
Horned Grebe 1

Double-crested Cormorant 55

Cooper's Hawk 1

American Coot 45

Killdeer 1

Ring-billed Gull 38
Herring Gull (American) 6
Caspian Tern 2

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 4
Mourning Dove 1

Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 10

American Crow 10

Northern Rough-winged Swallow 10
Purple Martin 8

Black-capped Chickadee 5

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2

Hermit Thrush 3
American Robin 35

Brown Thrasher 1

European Starling 26

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 4

Eastern Towhee 2
Fox Sparrow (Red) 1
Song Sparrow 1
Swamp Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 1

Northern Cardinal 5

Red-winged Blackbird 49
Common Grackle 51
Brown-headed Cowbird 17

House Sparrow 32

List of mammal species, with number observed.

Eastern Chipmunk 1
Eastern Gray Squirrel 4 (including one black morph)

Eastern Cottontail 2

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This page was last updated on 19 April 2014.
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