Five species of swallows nest at Montrose – Barn, Bank, Northern Rough-winged, Tree, and Purple Martin. In mid summer, the young and adults of several of these species like to perch on the ropes and fencing in the Dunes. If you want to work on swallow identification and aging, the Dunes provide an excellent opportunity for study and photography. Similar species will often queue up side by side, making the differences between them more obvious. Watching the adults feed their begging children is also entertaining.
A Carolina Wren was a pleasant surprise on July 1. Carolina Wrens aren’t rare in most of Illinois, but the further north you go in the state the less common they are, and they’re uncommon and irregular as far north as Chicago. Oftentimes, and for unknown reasons, they appear in the middle of summer. This is a kind of post breeding dispersal well documented in other species, like Great Blue Herons and Swallow-tailed Kites.