Date: 10/30/17 6:57 pm
From: Walter Marcisz <wmarcisz...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Burnham Prairie N. Shrike, Eagles, etc. (10-30-17)
When the west wind really kicked up on Monday afternoon (30 October 2017) I figured it would be worth checking Burnham Prairie Nature Preserve to see if any raptors were on the move. I wasn’t disappointed - I arrived at 2:50 pm and ended up spending two hours doing a stationary count from the parking lot. Shortly after my arrival a very clean-looking juvenile BALD EAGLE flew in overhead from the north. Then I noticed that the local flock of MALLARDS & GREEN-WINGED TEAL had been spooked – it turns out that a juvenile NORTHERN HARRIER and a 2nd (very ratty-looking) immature BALD EAGLE were taking turns harassing the duck flock. A distant WILSON’S SNIPE made a brief zig-zag flight over the marsh and prairie, also likely spooked by the raptors. At 2:35 pm I got my biggest surprise of all when a NORTHERN SHRIKE flew in and landed in a dense shrub near the parking lot. It must have quickly exited out the back door because once I lost sight of it I was never able to relocate it. Then, almost predictably, a third BALD EAGLE showed up, as if on cue. This one was an adult which flew in from the east. The local pair of RED-TAILED HAWKS were not at all happy with its appearance, and they quickly escorted the bird off the property. As the light waned, I watched local birds like GREAT EGRET and GREAT BLUE HERON flying to roost and watched flocks of ducks from elsewhere (mostly MALLARDS with a few SHOVELERS & PINTAILS mixed in) fly in to roost at Burnham Prairie. I finally threw in the towel at 4:50 pm as I was beginning to turn into a Popsicle from the intense cold wind.

Walter Marcisz
Chicago, Cook Co.

Posted by: Walter Marcisz <wmarcisz...>


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