A Townsend’s Warbler in Chicago?

Townsend's Warbler Millennium 4-28-2016-7362I usually miss these exciting events because I’m at work, but I decided it was crazy not to walk a few blocks over to Millennium Park yesterday to see this bird which I first saw in Washington State last fall. Below is the one I saw much better there. Although it looks as if the light wasn’t any better!

TOWA 9-17-15-2418However, in spite of the overcast and the fact the bird was flitting about at the top of very tall crabapple trees, the blossoms of which were snowing on the sidewalk, I managed to get a few shots.

These birds belong west of the Rockies and go up to British Columbia and the Yukon to breed. So this constitutes a Rare Bird Alert. And it’s also likely this warbler will be around for a little while, until more favorable winds than the ones that blew it off track occur. The Townsend’s was reported still being seen this morning at 6:30 AM. If there’s any chance for me to get out this afternoon I’ll likely try to find it again. Could be just as easy as yesterday when I saw three people with binoculars staring into the trees.

Below is a Nashville Warbler that was also in these tree tops.

Beyond that I discovered scores of White-Throated Sparrows hanging out in a planted area of Maggie Daley Park, so maybe there will be some recreated habitat after a while.

The weekend birding prospects look very iffy with clouds and rain periodically, so I’m trying to psyche myself up for coming downtown an hour earlier Monday morning when sunshine and a bit more warmth is predicted.

WTSP Millennium 4-28-2016-7463

White-Throated Sparrow

6 thoughts on “A Townsend’s Warbler in Chicago?

  1. With the fluctuation of the weather patterns it wouldn’t surprise me to hear reports of bird species out of their usual territories. Same as happened with the last migrations. We’re having warm weather like Summer right now. Nice post Lisa! 🙂

    • Thanks, H.J., and thanks for your comment. When I looked up this warbler’s range it appeared that this wasn’t the first Townsend’s that’s ever been reported around here but it’s still enough to bring out the birders! As for warmth or the lack thereof, we’re in the 50’s and not likely to break out of the 70’s by Thursday but I’m glad we will start to warm up a bit next week. So far we’ve had summer twice, 2 days at a time…!

  2. We just had rose breasted grosbeaks show up at our feeders yesterday, and there are plenty of white crowned sparrows. I know nothing of Townsend’s Sparrows, but if that’s what your bird is it reminds me of the varied thrush which appeared in our yard years ago, way out of its normal range.

    • I saw my first Rose-Breasted Grosbeak this morning at the Portage. I’ve had White-Crowned Sparrows in my yard, and White-Throated, but have not seen any White-Crowneds downtown yet, maybe tomorrow. I don’t know if there’s a Townsend’s Sparrow…this is a warbler. Maybe it will visit your yard on its way northwest! 🙂

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