Bird #207 — Wilson’s Warbler

wilsonia (for Alexander Wilson) pusilla (very small)

Tuesday, May 19, 1981 — 10:00 am

Elk Grove Village, Illinois — Busse Woods Forest Preserve

I spent a couple hours birding in the woods.  I came out of the trees where a short creek runs a short way across a field and empties into a nearby pond.  At the edge of the woods, there was a tangle of bushes near the creek.

The Wilson’s Warbler was foraging rapidly around in the branches about six feet off the ground.

Busse Woods is a dump.  It is part of the Salt Creek flood plain, and much of it is often flooded.  It has a massive White-tailed Deer population that has overgrazed everything so that, in the woods, very little green can be found below six feet.  On two occasions, I have found dead deer, and once I discovered a dead Raccoon.  I think the area used to be a landfill.  Scattered throughout the woods are patches of old cans and bottles.  At one place, about half a mile from any existing roads, is the carcass of an old car.  Add to this trash the tons of junk that washes down Salt Creek.  And it is always crawling with the type of people who spend their days fishing instead of working. But it is close to Des Plaines and is often a good place to bird.  In the spring, it is usually a good place to see warblers, vireos, flycatchers and thrushes.  The highlights over the years are a Mourning Warbler, a Great Horned Owl and, most amazing, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers that hung around for two or three years.

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