• Terry Wise

Our Avian Visitors Make Spring Arrival on Carillon Stonegate Pond!

Spring arrived here at Carillon Stonegate Pond some five weeks ago. And, as with any Spring in the Chicago area, we have seen all types of weather – warm sunny days (very few!), cool rainy days (quite a few!) and an April snow storm dropping more than 5 inches of snow!


But on Carillon Stonegate Pond, Spring brings the arrival of our birds!


This year we had our biennial prescribed burn to eliminate invasive growth. This burn took place during the first week of April around the shorelines of both of our ponds. The bright green vegetation is now emerging around the ponds.


We also started to see the arrival of a variety of avian visitors to Carillon Stonegate Pond, More than 23 species have made an appearance so far this Spring. Visit Life on CSG Pond for updates on our birds!


The male Red-winged Blackbirds arrived in mid-March to begin their role in establishing nesting grounds. The female Red-winged Blackbirds began to show up in early April. You will find these birds among the remaining tall grasses just off the shoreline north of our western pond.


Our pond began to see Tree Swallows arrive in early April. You will find small flocks of these birds on the western Carillon Stonegate Pond skimming the surface of the water. As you observe these aerial acrobats, you may think of them as “Blue Angels” performing their skilled maneuvers above the pond or as “Starfighters” darting in and out defending the Alliance in Star Wars.


The tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet has been bouncing from branch to branch among our shoreline trees. This high-energy bird moves quite rapidly and may be difficult to catch a clear glimpse!


Our American Goldfinches were recently seen at one of our bird feeders.

Some of our smaller birds have become more active. We have seen Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, American Tree Sparrows and House Finches.


Other year-around residents have made their appearances: Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays and Downy Woodpeckers.


On the pond, we have started to see Mallards and Canada Geese. There were several flyovers by a Double-crested Cormorant. Recently, the majestic Great Egret and Great Blue Heron have stopped in and waded the shores of our ponds in search of lunch.


Our Caspian Terns have appeared and provide a daily viewing of their fishing and diving skills – plummeting into Carillon Stonegate Pond!


We have also seen European Starlings and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Both birds with somewhat unsavory, bully-like reputations.


And we have seen our raptors. Cooper’s Hawks can be seen flying low from tree to tree is search for food. Red-tailed Hawks can be seen high in the sky soaring on the thermals.


As Chicago begins to see the “real” springtime, we will see much more activity and the arrival of additional avian visitors.


Special thanks to Kane County Forest Preserve District for all they do to support this preserve. And to the Carillon at Stonegate community for their efforts.


Keep walking our trails or observing from your patios. The avian community is wonderful to observe!

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