William Dreuth's Study of Bird Migration
in Lincoln Park, Chicago

A 16 Year Study of Bird Migration in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Introduction

Portrait of William Dreuth

William Dreuth 1910

William Dreuth (1874 - 1944) was a naturalist and amateur ornithologist who lived in Chicago, Illinois. From 1928 to 1943 he conducted an intensive study of bird migration in Chicago's Lincoln Park*. Fellow Chicago ornithologists Charles T. Clark (1912 - 2004) and Margaret Morse Nice (1883 - 1974) summarized and tabulated Dreuth's field notes from this study into a booklet, "William Dreuth's Study of Bird Migration in Lincoln Park, Chicago." The booklet was published in 1950 by The Chicago Academy of Sciences. The information presented here is based on that publication. I've updated the taxononomy and nomenclature to reflect changes made by the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) in their seventh edition checklist (1998) and its supplements (through the 57th supplement, issued in July 2016). Otherwise, the information is presented as it appears in the booklet, with a strong emphasis on the tabular migration data. The intent of this website is to let birders, ornithologists, and other naturalists compare and contrast Dreuth's sightings with current status information on the birds of the Chicago area. As of 2017 taxonomy, Dreuth recorded 254 species in his 16 year study.

For more and detailed information about William Dreuth and his study, please refer to the Related Resources section at the bottom of this page.

Questions or comments about this website? Contact Robert D. Hughes

About the Content

The data in the tables is organized into 7 columns (as they appear in the booklet) - Species, Earliest Date of Arrival, Average Date of Arrival, Average Date Last Seen, Latest Date Seen, Number of Days Seen, and Number of Years Seen. Pay particular attention to the last 2 columns as they give a good idea of status in Dreuth's study. I've included Dreuth's status information on subspecies - Dreuth was a careful, meticulous observer and he kept detailed notes about his bird sightings, including subspecies, so I only thought it right to preserve this information. The content has been divided into 5 sections; use the navigation tabs to move between the sections.

Note: On smaller devices such as a cell phone, the tabular data may not display in its entirety and will require horizontal scrolling to view.

Legend
  • Birds that were full species in Dreuth's time, but are no longer so, have quotation marks around their common and scientific names, e.g., "Blue Goose", "Chen caerulescens"
  • Subspecies have quotation marks around the first modyfying part of their common names, e.g., "Gambel's" White-crowned Sparrow
  • Dates in parenthesis represent other dates, e.g., (Aug 21, 1936)

Part 1: Snow Goose to Killdeer

Species Earliest Date of Arrival Average Date of Arrival Average Date Last Seen Latest Date Seen Number of Days Seen Number of Years Seen
Snow Goose
Anser caerulescens
Oct 15, 1936
Oct 26 Oct 28 Nov 4, 1938 13 8
"Blue Goose" 1
"Chen caerulescens"
Oct 15, 1936 Nov 5 Nov 7 Nov 30, 1932 9 5
Brant
Branta bernicla
Oct 9, 1932
1 1
Canada Goose
Branta canadensis
Mar 8, 1938
Oct 7, 1942
Mar 25
Oct 19
Apr 18
Oct 26
May 21, 1940
Nov 7, 1939
8
5
4
4
Wood Duck
Aix sponsa
Sep 9, 1941 1 1
Blue-winged Teal
Spatula discors
Mar 23, 1935
Aug 12, 1937
Apr 23
(Aug 21, 1936)
May 14
(Sep 5, 1931)
May 25, 1931
Oct 2, 1932
46
8
14
4
Northern Shoveler
Spatula clypeata
Mar 20, 1939
Aug 31, 1942
Apr 1 Apr 8 Apr 18, 1939
Dec 29, 1939
11
2
5
2
American Wigeon
Mareca americana
Mar 19, 1940 Mar 24 Apr 2 May 4, 1937 30 8
Mallard
Anas platyrhynchos
Present all year
American Black Duck
Anas rubripes
Apr 4, 1933
Sep 21, 1928
1
1
1
1
Northern Pintail
Anas acuta
Mar 31, 1940
Sep 29, 1941
Apr 5
(Nov 6, 1938)
Apr 11 Apr 25, 1941
Dec 22, 1939
7
4
3
3
Green-winged Teal
Anas crecca
Sep 17, 1934 Oct 23, 1933 2 2
Canvasback
Aythya valisineria
Mar 21, 1939
Nov 22, 1940
(Apr 2, 1940) (Apr 4, 1932) Apr 22, 1928
Dec 17, 1938
8
2
4
2
Redhead
Aythya americana
Mar 11, 1932
Dec 14, 1938
Mar 21 Apr 12 Apr 22, 1941
Dec 17, 1938
15
4
6
1
Ring-necked Duck
Aythya collaris
Mar 13, 1938
Nov 17, 1939
Mar 27
Nov 27
Apr 11
Dec 7
Apr 19, 1939
Dec 18, 1939
15
23
7
4
Scaup2
Aythya marila & affinis
Feb 27, 1933
Oct 21, 1939
Mar 14
Oct 30
May 17
Dec 9
May 31, 1938
Dec 21, 1938
462
111
16
12
King Eider
Somateria spectabilis
Nov 25, 1932 1 1
Common Eider
Somateria mollissima
Apr 12, 1943 1 1
Surf Scoter
Melanitta perspicillata
Dec 11, 1938 1 1
White-winged Scoter
Melanitta fusca
May 4, 1933
Nov 25, 1940

(Dec 6, 1930)
May 7, 1933
Dec 28, 1937
4
6
1
3
Black Scoter
Melanitta americana
May 13, 1931
Nov 8, 1939
1
1
1
1
Long-tailed Duck
Clangula hyemalis
Oct 23, 1940 Nov 1 Apr 14 May 23, 1931 463 16
Bufflehead
Bucephala albeola
Mar 8, 1938
Nov 7, 1935
Mar 15
Nov 19
Apr 17
Dec 5
Apr 27, 1940
Dec 21, 1938
23
17
8
5
Common Goldeneye
Bucephala clangula
Nov 6, 1940 Nov 22 Apr 9 May 16, 1940 411 16
Hooded Merganser
Lophodytes cucullatus
Mar 21, 1943
Aug 9, 1937
Mar 30 Apr 14 Apr 19, 1941
Dec 18, 1939
22
17
8
5
Common Merganser
Mergus merganser
Nov 12, 1933 Nov 18 Apr 1 Apr 19, 1940 186 15
Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator
Oct 28, 1936 Nov 7 May 7 May 22, 1934 529 16
Ruddy Duck
Oxyura jamaicensis
Mar 17, 1933
Oct 21, 1939
Mar 28
(Nov 11, 1936)
Apr 28, 1939
Dec 18, 1939
11
12
8
2
Pied-billed Grebe
Podilymbus podiceps
Apr 1, 1928
Aug 22, 1941
Apr 13
Oct 6
May 2
Oct 30
May 24, 1942
Dec 12, 1931
53
36
13
12
Horned Grebe
Podiceps auritus
Feb 27, 1933
Sep 1, 1932
Apr 12
Nov 2
May 1
Nov 17
May 11, 1940
Dec 11, 1938
56
42
10
8
Red-necked Grebe
Podiceps grisegena
Nov 22, 1938 Dec 16, 1938 6 1
Eared Grebe
Podiceps nigricollis
Apr 6, 1939 Apr 9, 1939 3 1
Mourning Dove
Zenaida macroura
Mar 12, 1938
Aug 3, 1936
Mar 27
Sep 20
May 18
Oct 14
Jun 1, 1940
Nov 20, 1935
247
37
16
11
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Coccyzus americanus
Apr 29, 1936 May 18 Sep 16 Oct 19, 1938 107 16
Black-billed Cuckoo
Coccyzus erythropthalmus
May 2, 1938
Aug 1, 1939
May 11
Aug 15
May 28
Sep 21
Jun 2, 1940
Oct 5, 1942
68
51
14
13
Common Nighthawk
Chordeiles minor
May 12, 1937 May 17 Sep 11 Sep 11, 1936 246 11
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Antrostomus vociferus
Apr 24, 1937
Aug 26, 1941
Apr 27 May 12 May 24, 1943
Sep 7, 1932
22
2
10
2
Chimney Swift
Chaetura pelagica
Apr 13, 1937 May 6 Sep 12 Sep 30, 1936 367 16
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Archilochus colubris
May 10, 1942
Aug 12, 1936
May 16
Sep 2
May 27
Sep 25
Jun 2, 1940
Oct 2, 1930
68
31
16
9
King Rail
Rallus elegans
Apr 27, 1933 May 9 May 10 May 25, 1931 9 8
Virginia Rail
Rallus limicola
Apr 14, 1941
Aug 15, 1933
Apr 29 May 1 May 15, 1940
Oct 8, 1943
8
4
7
4
Sora
Porzana carolina
Apr 21, 1932
Aug 9, 1936
Apr 27
Sep 16
May 13
Oct 1
May 18, 1929
Oct 19, 1936
43
45
11
12
American Coot
Fulica americana
Feb 22, 1932
Sep 16, 1932
Apr 4
Oct 3
May 13
Nov 21
May 23, 1929
Dec 23, 1939
51
100
11
15
Black-bellied Plover
Pluvialis squatarola
Apr 26, 1940
Aug 7, 1942
May 7
Aug 24
May 27
Oct 30
May 30, 1940
Nov 26, 1938
46
380
8
14
American Golden-Plover
Pluvialis dominica
Aug 6, 1939 Aug 25 Oct 14 Nov 8, 1930 89 12
Semipalmated Plover
Charadrius semipalmatus
Apr 17, 1941
Aug 1, 1933
May 1
Aug 1
May 26
Oct 6
May 30, 1939
Nov 6, 1938
52
439
9
15
Piping Plover
Charadrius melodus
Apr 23, 1942
Aug 13, 1934
Apr 28
Aug 16
May 14
Aug 27
May 22, 1938
Sep 24, 1936
14
12
7
5
Killdeer
Charadrius vociferus
Feb 26, 1932 Mar 19 Oct 30 Nov 20, 1935 851 16
Species Earliest Date of Arrival Average Date of Arrival Average Date Last Seen Latest Date Seen Number of Days Seen Number of Years Seen

Footnotes

1Blue Goose was considered a separate species in Dreuth's time, Chen caerulescens. It's now considered a color morph of the Snow Goose.

2Dreuth recorded both Greater and Lesser Scaup, but the booklet doesn't give enough detailed information about dates.

Related Resources

Header Image: Snowy Owl at Montrose Beach in Chicago