Date: 6/3/18 7:44 pm
From: Jeff Bilsky <jbilsky...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve--Willow Rd., Cook, Illinois, US
Almost didn't go birding today. You know, the post-migration, mosquito
swarm let down. But then I remembered that every time I think it's going to
not be good, it ends up surprising me. So was the story tonight.

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On 5/28, I noted a male prothonotary warbler on territory and said he had
apparently picked a nest hole and was looking for a mate. On 5/31, I noted
that there was some moss that had apparently been placed in the bottom of
the nest cavity. I researched that this is behavior of male Prothonotaries
to show the female various nest options and then she completes the building
of the nest. Seemed like a good sign but didn't see any warblers when I was
checking. Today, checked the nest cavity and it was immediately apparent
something had been working on a nest. There were sticks, leaves etc. So I
stood way back, got my camera ready and watched. Eventually I was rewarded
with the male Prothonotary returning, but he brought a friend with him this
time. Apparently she was pleased with the accommodations. I watched for a
while as she would fly in with nesting materials. Often, he stood proud and
defensive watch. He occasionally flew around the territory singing a bit as
well. I saw him defend the area vigorously and successfully against a pair
of much larger Gray Catbirds. He checked me out momentarily, but for the
most part they seemed unbothered as I kept my distance, crouched down,
watching. During the couple hours I was around, they would sometimes leave
for long periods of time, likely foraging, but always came back. During one
of these absences, I observed a cowbird interloper scoping things out
unfortunately. Also of note, there are at least two AMERICAN REDSTARTS on
territory in the area as well as singing ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS. Will keep
an eye out for breeding success on all species. Last summer I do recall an
inordinate number of species feeding cowbirds here. I am hopeful that the
Prothonotaries will fledge at least some of their own.

Good birding!

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Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve--Willow Rd., Cook, Illinois, US
Jun 3, 2018 4:28 PM - 8:28 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.83 mile(s)
28 species

Canada Goose 2
Wood Duck 3
Mallard 2
Great Blue Heron 5
Chimney Swift 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 3
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Warbling Vireo 2
Red-eyed Vireo 3
Blue Jay 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 3
Tree Swallow 4
House Wren 2
American Robin 6
Gray Catbird 2
European Starling 8
Prothonotary Warbler 3
American Redstart 2
Yellow Warbler 1
Song Sparrow 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 4
Baltimore Oriole 1
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 3
Common Grackle 2

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This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Jeff Bilsky

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