As of November 2020, 347 species of birds have been recorded at Montrose Point. This represents 77% of the 450 birds recorded in the state of Illinois. The pie chart below compares these two numbers. Not bad for a sliver of lakefront park in one of the largest and most densely populated urban areas in the United States.
To see a list of the birds recorded at Montrose, refer to the Birds Recorded at Montrose Point in Chicago page.
I’ve been seeing a lot of garbage in Montrose Dunes. I pick up what I can but we need everyone to pitch in to make a dent in the problem. If you visit Montrose Dunes please pick up some of the trash you find. Garbage and recycling bins are on the path that borders the beach and Dunes. If we don’t do it no one else will.
eBird is a great tool for adding your sightings and contributing to ornithology. Scientists can use your data to better understand bird distribution and abundance. eBird is also a great way to share information with other birders. When I plan birding trips I check the eBird hotspots for the locations I intend to visit. I then look for information about any birds I’d like to see. eBird makes it easy to add details about your sightings. When you enter numbers for species in an eBird checklist, a small button labeled Add Details appears. Clicking this button opens a text field where you can add additional information about each sighting. To help other birders, you should be as precise as possible about where you saw a bird. For example, a Surf Scoter was hanging around Montrose Harbor in November 2020. This is an uncommon species at Montrose that other birders might like to see. Below are screenshots of my entry for this sighting in an eBird checklist I submitted, with extra information about where I saw it (hold your mouse over each image to increase the image size).
To add additional information about your sightings in eBird
- Click the button labeled Add Details that appears after you’ve entered numbers for a species in an eBird checklist.
- In the text field that appears, enter details about your sighting, including where exactly you saw it.
- If you need to edit the details later, just click the Show Details button and make your edits.
The eBird database will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on November 17 until 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on November 19. You won’t be able to enter your sightings or view checklists using the ebird.org website. You can still enter your sightings with the eBird Mobile app and submit them when eBird is back up. This article from Cornell has more information – Cornell Lab Scheduled Database Maintenance.
People have been asking me about parking and restroom availability at Montrose since COVID-19 affected visiting the park. This is what I know.
Parking is not allowed on West Montrose Harbor Drive or West Montrose Avenue. You run the risk of getting ticketed or towed if you do. The safer bet is to park on North Marine Drive (west of Lake Shore Drive) and walk in. See the map below for details.
The public restrooms at the beach house are closed. The only options are portable toilets at the north end of the harbor, just west of the yacht club building, and on the south side of the harbor. The toilets are within easy walking distance of the Magic Hedge. They’re not the Ritz but if you’re in a pinch they’ll do.
If you visit Montrose wear a face mask, don’t gather in groups, and maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others. These rules are meant to promote public safety. The city closed Montrose in March because visitors were gathering in large groups and not maintaining enough distance between each other. Don’t be part of the problem, and don’t give the city an excuse to close Montrose again. We missed most of spring migration in 2020 because of irresponsible behavior by selfish people.
Map of Montrose Point
(Click to see the larger version)
If you want to know what’s going on bird-wise at Montrose, there’s no better resource than eBird. Migration is picking up and more people are reporting their sightings using this invaluable tool. Click the image below to be taken to the Montrose Point eBird hotspot.