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  • Susan
    Activity #3. I am a new birder. Yesterday, I confirmed identification of a large bird I've heard and seen swooping across the park outside my front windows over the past several weeks. I live on the third (and top) floor of a vintage building in Oak Park, Illinois. The building is just north of the Village's small downtown main street and faces longways into a block-long and -wide park with many mature trees. A fellow bird enthusiast in the building told me there is a Cooper's Hawk living in the park, but after hearing the bird's call and comparing to the bird calls on Merlin, I knew that wasn't the bird I have been hearing. During my walk in the park yesterday, the bird flew overhead and landed in a large nest high up in a tall Oak, and in a completely different location from where I assumed the bird was nesting. As I watched the bird and pointed it out to a friend who was with me, it left the nest to fly to a tree closer to us, which gave us a great view. Had the bird noticed us looking and was drawing attention away from its nest? I burned the bird's image into my brain and checked my Kaufman's guide as soon as I got back inside. A Red-Shouldered Hawk it is, as I had identified on Merlin from the bird calls! I couldn't get a good photo on my cell phone camera, but this bird looks exactly like the photo of the adult Red-Shouldered Hawk in the guide. Also according to the guide, this bird can live in the area all season but is rare. What a treat!
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