Birding at Montrose – Lincoln Park in Chicago

I finally had an opportunity to bird the popular migrant trap in Chicago known as Montrose. Operated by the Chicago Park District and part of Lincoln Park, Montrose is a mixture of habitats adjacent to the Lake Michigan. The park has grown from the famous “Magic Hedge” to a rather large area of trees, shrubs, meadow, beach, and dunes with numerous crisscrossing trails for birders.

Chicago skyline looking south from Montrose
Chicago

Stacia and I met up with her family friends and excellent birders Owen & Janice McHugh who live in Chicago. Together we scoured nearly every inch of Montrose and discovered 65 species of birds. Some highlights: Peregrine Falcon, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Veery Cape May, Blackburnian, Canada, Black-throated Green, and Chestnut-sided Warblers, and Caspian and Forster’s Terns.

Left to right: Ring-billed Gull, Forster’s Tern, and Caspian Tern
Ring-billed Gull, Forster's and Caspian Terns

Caspian Terns (Ring-billed Gull preening)
Ring-billed Gull and Caspian Terns

Veery
Veery

The Chicago Park District has done an excellent job blending numerous recreation opportunities at Lincoln Park. Part of the beach is used for volleyball, a large section is reserved for dogs to run loose and swim in the lake, and a large section is set aside for nature. Several rare plants are protected along with shorebird nesting grounds. We met up with numerous birders throughout the morning which is always nice to see.

Gray-cheeked Thrush
Gray-Cheeked Thrush

Gray-Cheeked Thrush

Savannah Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

We birded Jarvis Bird Sanctuary, also part of Lincoln Park, where we heard a few new species for the day but I didn’t get any more photos. It was fun to fully immerse Stacia into more migration-birding and she really loved seeing the terns.

Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler

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