Tag Archives: Woodpeckers

The Uncommon (for us) Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

An uncommon Hairy Woodpecker at Montrose (click to see the larger version)

Would you believe that Hairy Woodpeckers are uncommon along the Chicago lakefront? It’s true. They’re fairly common in Chicago and Cook County forest preserves but they don’t make it to the lakefront often. One reason for this uncommonness could be that the lakefront parks lack extensive forest, and Hairy Woodpeckers like forest. By comparison, their smaller, look-alike relative the Downy Woodpecker is regular at Montrose. They even breed there. Downys are more flexible in their habitat preferences and can live in more open, parkland habitat, which is what Montrose and Lincoln Park are.

May 1, 2013, Finally

Montrose was really hopping this morning. It never ceases to amaze me what a couple days of south winds can do in spring. In about an hour and a half I saw the following birds (not a complete list):

Piping Plover – 1, the unbanded male
American Avocets – 2, flew in from the south and landed on the beach around 6:30
Little Blue Heron – 1 adult flying south over Lake Michigan with 2 Great Blue Herons
Green Heron – 1
Red-headed Woodpecker – 1 near the golf course pond
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Least Flycatcher – 1
Great Crested Flycatcher – 1
Eastern Kingbird – 3
Sedge Wren – 1 in the meadow
House Wren – ~5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 2
Veery – ~4
Swainson’s Thrush – 3
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 1
Gray Catbird – 3
American Pipit – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 2
Nashville Warbler – 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – ~40
Palm Warbler – ~20
Black-throated Green Warbler – 1
Yellow Warbler – 2
Hooded Warbler – 1 female in the Magic Hedge
Ovenbird – 1
Yellow-breasted Chat – 1 near the water feature
American Redstart – 1
Field Sparrow – 1
Henslow’s Sparrow – 1 in the meadow
Savannah Sparrow – ~30
Swamp Sparrow – ~40
Lincoln’s Sparrow – ~10
White-throated Sparrow – +
White-crowned Sparrow – ~10
Bobolink – 1 male
Purple Finch – 1

I probably missed a few things but you get the idea.

Caspian Tern and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, April 1, 2013

I had a Caspian Tern and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker this morning. Both are new for me for the year. It was very cold today, more like late February than early April. If this is an April Fool’s joke I’m not laughing. A nice warm-up is forecast for the end of the week and weekend. There should be a big push of birds if this happens.