Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dickcissels of Deer Run

Deer Run Forest Preserve is an unassuming natural area that over the years has become one of my favorite places to bird. With nine and a half miles of trails and nearly 600 acres, it takes some time and effort to cover all the different habitats.

Coneflowers at Deer Run

My focus on an after work hike was to find Dickcissels and Orchard Orioles to photograph. I struck out on the Orchards but found seven Dickcissels all singing on territories.

Dickcissel Dickcissel Dickcissel

I did find the brightest Baltimore Oriole I think I've ever seen.

Baltimore Oriole

The prairie habitat at Deer Run is some of the best in northern Illinois and always provides fun finds. In past years I've photographed Henslow's Sparrows (state endangered) as well as many other species (145 in one year of surveying).

Deer Run Forest Preserve


  1. Looks like marvelous habitat for birds! That is a very bright Oriole.

  2. Great place for bird watching, wish I could get there.

  3. Looks like a sweet spot jam-packed with sweet birds. Dickcissel's and Henslow's Sparrows? You are the envy of the southwest...

  4. wonderful scenery and my favourite is the Oriole!

  5. Thank you for identifying the birding area and for the wonderful captures. We felt the same way while the Baltimore Orioles were here... visiting before continuing their journey north.

  6. Hi there - great set of pictures - I have never seen any of these birds!

    My problem with the Ravens is that in southern Australia we have 3 species of ravens and no crows - so I know the birds I see are not crows - but its a matter of working out which raven it is!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  7. i do agree this is indeed a very nice place to watch birds. I really like the photos you share.

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  9. Thanks for the wonderful comments! I only wish I could have gotten better photos of the Dickcissels.

    Despite being obvious, they are usually a distance away and the wind was blowing fiercely. But that also helps carry their voice a great distance.

  10. Wonderful post! I have yet to see a Dickcissel or Orchard Oriole, but I keep looking. I might have to take a drive out to Deer Run Forest Preserve (I'm in Chicago). It looks like a beautiful area. Love the radiant Baltimore Oriole and beautiful Dickcissel photographs!