On my way to work this morning in the City I thought I'd stop with two bags of bird seen to entice Robert Hughes' Harris's Sparrow to reappear in front of the Aon Bldg on Randolph Street east of Michigan Avenue. On my way I heard several White-throated Sparrows in Millennium Park and while I was stopped at the sidewalk next to the McDonald's Cyclery Center at 239 E. Randoplh St. I hear another White-throated Sparrow under a juniper along with some House Sparrows, I pished and out flew a male Black-throated Blue Warbler on one of 3 trees next to the sidewalk. I noticed sapsucker drill holes were being used by the warbler to obtain food and sap and soon I also saw the sapsucker on the other side of the tree, but I was more interested in the Black-throated Blue Warbler that also feed on the ground with the sparrows! I couldn't believe it!!! After studying the bird for 10 minutes or more I crossed the street where I almost immediately ran into Bob Hughes and told him of the news! And--he had a camera! We raced back across Randolph Street whereupon Bob began to capture images of the warbler. Whew, documentation done by a photo! Prior to this I also posted the sighting on IBET. Luckily others were able to come see this out of season warbler and latest record for Illinois and only winter record! (thanks Paul Clyne!).
Bob stated that he'd try to post photos later on today. Hopefully he can! One of my birding friends Karen Lund stated, "how come you're finding all these blue passerines lately?" Well good things come in threes and I'm waiting for number three! (Number one was an Indigo Bunting on 25 Dec on the Chicago Lakefront CBC!).
I've seen warblers at these sapsucker drill holes particularly Yellow-rumped Warblers, Cape May Warblers and Orange-crowned Warblers, and also Ruby-crowned Kinglets and I've watched them getting sap nutrients from these holes and not just insects though they can be at these holes, too.
Good Birding to All and Happy Holidays. This was a Holiday Surprise to say the least!
David B. Johnson