A snowy owl at Montrose Point. [Twitter/Jreich]
CHICAGO — What's the top birding spot in Illinois?
It's right in Chicago, according to bird experts.
Dozens of birders in the Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts voted in a survey organized by Oliver Burrus, who said almost half picked Montrose as the top birding spot. Other Chicago spots in the top 10 include Jackson Park (sixth) and Lake Calumet (seventh).
Still a Snowy Owl or two at Montrose Beach in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/W5xD05HF— Josh Feeney (@1joshuafeeney) January 5, 2012
Montrose Point is Chicago's most diverse bird area with 329 bird species documented.
"Montrose Point is great for birds because it sticks out in Lake Michigan and traps migrants there and it is the perfect habitat for migrants," Burrus said.
Coopers Hawk @ Montrose Beach Bird Sanctuary in Chicago pic.twitter.com/m356ikbt— Josh Feeney (@1joshuafeeney) September 24, 2012
The full list:
1. Montrose Point
2. Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge and Emiquon Preserve
3. Illinois Beach State Park
4. Carlyle Lake
5. Hennepin-Hopper Lakes
6. Jackson Park
7. Fermilab (tie)
7. Palos (tie)
7. Lake Calumet (tie)
7. Waukegan (tie)
11. Mississippi Palisades State Park
12. The Fox River
I know, I know, the internets are full of Snowy Owl photos but I couldn't resist posting this one. I removed all color channels in Photoshop, except blue to enhance the cold, icey feel. I photographed this heavily marked bird at Montrose Beach in Chicago in March 2014. #snowyowl #montrosebirdsanctuary