Labagh Big Year update - One Third done!

See this full report with images by clicking this link:   COS LaBagh-COS Web page-insert re LaBagh May 2015

It seems like just yesterday that COS kicked off the LaBagh Big Year with a field trip there on a snowy January 1. Here we are now in May, with migration in full swing, over one-third of the way through 2015. So how do we stand?

Here are some amazing facts:

  • $5,996 has been raised so far, of which $1,965 is pledges (assuming only 140 species are seen). Our members have been successfully enlisting support of their friends and families: $2,290 of these donations are from non-members!
  • 116 native shrubs were planted by volunteers on two planting days. 91 were purchased from Possibility Place Nursery for $1,148.50 and over 25 were donated by Ken Schaeffer, master naturalist.
  • All shrubs planted and the locations of the plantings were preapproved by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
  • Over 500 feet of fencing and 200 feet of chicken wire were purchased from Farm & Fleet to keep the hungry deer from lunching on our new shrubs. The cost of the fencing and tools to build it was only $674.61.
  • With the careful scrutiny by dedicated Team LaBagh members, 137 species of birds have been seen through May 7! At this rate, we are going to SMASH our goal of seeing 140 species!
  • SEVEN nest boxes for Prothonotary Warblers were installed in the slough. A female Prothonotary has been observed checking them out!
  • Monitoring of birds at LaBagh has begun. The information gathered will be used to evaluate which plantings work best for our feathered friends.


Fran Morel at Labagh installing protonotary warbler nest boxes

Fran Morel at Labagh installing protonotary warbler nest boxes


Have you made your donation yet? Here is the reason one donor gave for his contribution:

“It’s definitely more rewarding to contribute locally than on a larger scale, where you have no idea where the money goes, other than the near certainty that most of it goes toward more fundraising.  At least at LaBagh the money seems highly-leveraged with volunteer installation and preferential pricing from Possibility Place, as well as thrifty shopping at Farm and Fleet.”


It is so easy to donate! Just click on Donate LaBagh on the home page of this Web site. Become a part of Team LaBagh!


Review and provide comments on the Montrose Point Master Plan by February 20

Recently, a number of COS members, other birders and park stewards attended the second public meeting about the Montrose Point Master Plan, where CDF, the design firm, presented a revised master plan and management process. Over the last year since the initial public meeting, stakeholders’ groups and others have provided feedback to the Chicago Park   […]

The 2015 COS Team LaBagh Big Year Begins! (report #1)

LaBagh Woods (photo by Jeff Skrentny)

As 2015 began for Illinois birders, all the attention was on Quincy, Illinois, with its RARE visitor, an adult Ivory Gull. And the day after it became a no show, a Slaty-backed Gull was a one-day (one hour?) wonder in Peoria. It was a VERY “gullciting” start to   […]

COS Launches LaBagh Big Year Fundraiser

COS has launched its 2015 fundraiser for LaBagh Woods, located at Foster Avenue and Edens Expressway. LaBagh Woods is a critical habitat for migrating birds, but is not in good shape. Years of neglect have resulted in a significantly degraded habitat. Thanks to recent re-dedication by the Cook County Forest Preserve, volunteers have received a   […]

Chicago Park District Montrose Hearing - January 22 at 5:30pm

For over a year the Chicago Park District has been engaged in revising the master management plan for Montrose Point. COS has been a participant on a group of stakeholders as have many other environmental and parks advocacy organizations. At the last stakeholders’ meeting in December, we were glad to see that most of the   […]

Palos Trip Report - November 3, 2014

Sixteen birders showed up on a cool but sunny fall day. It was a great to be out birding. Unfortunately birds have wings and all of the swans seen yesterday were gone. We did have some quality birds. An American Pelican swam around and was very visible. An adult Bald Eagle flew around but   […]

Wind & Wildlife: Event report

Wind conference photo

November 8, 2014

By Christine Williamson


COS and Sierra Club Chicago Group designed a program that brought in experts from around the U.S. to talk about the impacts of wind turbines, one of the cleanest energy production methods, on wildlife.

Our panel was comprised of three pre-eminent U.S.-based wildlife biologists who work on wind   […]

COS-Illinois Young Birders - Douglas Park Field Trip

COS and Illinois Young Birders at Douglas Park

September 28, 2014

A joint Chicago Ornithological Society-Illinois Young Birders field trip led by Eric and Aaron Gyllenhall attracted 40 birders to Douglas Park on Chicago’s Westside. Combining eBird lists of four different birders, the group list for the trip stands at 62 species!

We spent more than two and a half hours birding around   […]

Bartel Grasslands Field Trip Report - 7.7.2014

Photo by Clara Coen (c) 2014

On July 6, 2014, a beautiful Sunday morning, Dick Riner escorted our group of about 20 birders around Bartel Grasslands. After dousing ourselves with insect repellant and some folks donning rubber boots we were ready for the birds and mosquitoes. But before heading out, Dick ‘warned’ us that a large flock of bobolinks departed on   […]

Field Trip Report – Montrose Birding Trip 7.26.2014

Semipalmated Plover photo by Geoff Williamson

By Geoffrey Williamson:

Christine and I led a group of about 20 individuals around Montrose Point in Chicago’s Lincoln Park this morning (Saturday, 26 July 2014), and we located 38 species of birds. We spent some time looking at the 64 shorebirds (of six species) at the beach, which included the following.

Semipalmated Plover 3   […]

Join the COS LaBagh Big Year 2015! Help us raise money to support local forest preserve LaBagh Woods. Donate using the PayPal button below or make a pledge using this form.

Visit the LaBagh Big Year 2015 page for complete information on the project.

Chicago Ornithological Society is a modern birding club that promotes the scientific and educational aspects of ornithology in the greater Chicago, Illinois area.

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