Date: 3/7/17 12:58 pm
From: douglas stotz <dfstotz...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Cliff Swallow near McCormick Place
Wendy Paulson led a field trip to the McCormick Bird Sanctuary this
AM. We had 15 participants and 35 species. The highlight was a flyover
Cliff Swallow. Someone called out Tree Swallow, and looked up to see a
swallow flying south with other "reverse-migrant" robins and blackbirds.
As soon as I got my binoculars on the bird, it was clear that it was not a
Tree Swallow, With a dark throat, buffy rump, and dirty white underparts,
Josh Engel and I independently concluded it was an extraordinarily early
Cliff Swallow.
I looked at e-bird and was reminded that Fran Morel had a Cliff Swallow
at Montrose last year on 17 March. It seems clear that March Cliff
swallows in Illinois are an increasing phenomenon, but northern Illinois
records are still very few, and this date is really at least 2 weeks before
the first few typically are found in southern Illinois. Bohlen's Birds of
Illinois lists only 2 March records from Illinois, nowadays there are
usually several March records annually. Last year there were 7 records in
e-bird from Illinois in March and 3 in 2015. Nearly all were the last week
of March.

Besides the swallow, interesting birds included an adult male
Northern Harrier, Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers and a somewhat early Eastern
Douglas Stotz
Conservation Ecologist/Ornithologist
Environmental and Conservation Programs
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605

Phone: (312)-665-7438
Fax: (312)-665-7433
e-mail: <dstotz...>

Join us on Facebook!