Hawking and A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

This is the part three of six of Birdfreak’s 72-hour birding extravaganza. Our goal was to find as many bird species as possible within Winnebago County, Illinois.

We started the day at 0330 but hit a road block when we were unable to negotiate the tricky lock at Nygren Wetlands where we got permission to enter for the count. We walked instead to the nearby overlook and heard Wilson’s Snipe, Sora and a Swamp Sparrow.

We headed over to Sugar River Forest Preserve. A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was reported there but we had yet to find it. They are seldom seen in Winnebago County. Our luck changed when we were rewarded with excellent views of the heron.

Our one clear shot of a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

As we hiked about we found Broad-winged Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk, both regularly seen at Sugar River Forest Preserve. A really close sighting of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo made up for the lack of warblers and chillier than average temperatures.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Sugar River Forest Preserve
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

We added a few new birds on the way to Anna Page Park, including two Great Egrets.

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