This page has photos of some of the birds that passed through Douglass Park during fall migration (and a few that liked what they found here and wound up staying for the winter).
The warblers that pass through Douglass Park in fall continue south, sometimes all the way to Central or South America.
Palm Warbler (September, 2016)
American Redstart (September, 2016)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (October, 2016)
Most flycatchers head south fairly early, but Eastern Phoebes sometimes linger. Somehow they still find bugs to eat even on cool fall mornings.
Eastern Phoebe (October, 2016)
Thrushes move south from forests in Wisconsin and Canada, stopping by Douglass Park to fuel up on bugs and fruit.
Swainson’s Thrushes arrive a little earlier (September, 2016)
Hermit Thrushes arrive a little later and stay until late fall. ((November, 2016)
American Robins are a type of thrush. Their numbers peak in mid fall, when crab apples are ripe. As long as there is fruit to eat, robins can survive the cold. A few even stay all winter.
American Robin (October, 2016)
Some woodpeckers migrate, too, joining the resident Downy Woodpeckers for at least a few weeks (and sometimes for the full winter).
Northern Flickers usually visit for a few weeks during early fall. (September, 2016)
This year at least one Red-bellied Woodpecker stayed at Douglass Park into February. (October, 2016)
The blackbirds that nested in Douglass Park usually leave the park by September. However, blackbirds that nested further north stop by the park during their southward migrations.
Rusty Blackbirds nest in bogs as far north as Canada. (October, 2016)
This young male Red-winged Blackbird was hatched and raised in a marshy area farther to the north. (November, 2016)
Green Herons and Black-crowned Night-Herons usually head south by early fall, but Great Blue Herons may stay at Douglass Park until late November, as long as the lagoons don’t freeze solid.
Young Green Heron (September, 20016)
Cold-looking Great Blue Heron (November, 2016)
The streaky bird in the back is a young Black-crowned-Night-Heron. It was photobombed by at Double-crested Cormorant drying its wings. A female Wood Duck is peeking out above the cormorant’s right wing. (September, 2016)
Hundreds of Canada Geese fly south to Douglass Park each fall. Many spend the winter if the snow is not too deep. If you search the goose flocks carefully, you might find some specially marked Canada Geese or some different species of geese in the mix.
Canada Geese with white neck collars are part of a Chicago-area study of wintering geese. (October, 2016)
Canada Geese with white leg markers were banded in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Many of them, like C120, return to Douglass Park year after year. (November, 2016)
This young dark-morph Snow Goose arrived at Douglass Park during October, 2016, and stayed until snow fell in early December. (October, 2016)
This is the first Greater White-fronted Goose recorded in Douglass Park. (November, 2016)
Small, white Ross’s Geese are uncommon in Chicago. When this one visited Douglass Park during November, 2013, many bird watchers came to see it. (November, 2013).
Raptors include falcons and hawks. The three types of raptors shown below can be found at Douglass Park all year. but they are much easier to see once leaves fall off the trees.
Female American Kestrel, a type of falcon (November, 2016)
Young Red-tailed Hawk (November, 2016)
Young Cooper’s Hawk (November, 2016)
American Goldfinches can also be found in Douglass Park year round. Large flocks visit the sanctuary each fall to eat seeds from dried wildflowers.
American Goldfinch eating Evening Primrose seeds. (October, 2016)
Many types of sparrows stop by Douglass Park during fall migration. You can sometimes see more than a hundred individuals on the golf course foraging for seeds.
White-throated Sparrow foraging on a path near the Lily Pond. (November, 2016)
Flock of mostly White-crowned Sparrows searching for seeds on the golf course. (October, 2016).
Young White-crowned Sparrows eating wildflower seeds in the sanctuary. (October, 2016)
Song Sparrow foraging on the lawn north of the lagoon. (October, 2016)
Swamp Sparrow in the reeds around the sanctuary lagoon (November, 2016)
Fox Sparrow foraging near the Flower Pavilion. (October, 2016)
Dark-eyed Juncos foraging on the lawn north of the lagoon. (November, 2016)
Dozens of Dark-eyed Juncos arrive at Douglass Park each fall. Many juncos stay all winter, along with 20 other kinds of birds. To learn more, go to
BIRDS IN WINTER