Before I ever geocached, I was a bird watcher. I went on trips to different parts of the country to meet up with folks at Hawk watches and to enjoy the spring and fall warbler migrations. I planned trips based on the tides to optimize my opportunities for seeing wading birds when the tide was low. After discovering geocaching I took to it with a similar passion and soon I started merging the two interests together combing two things I love to do into one outing.
Wings & Waypoints is an event which brings together two activities which work together in nearly perfect harmony. As you're walking down the trail to find your next cache you spot a flicker of orange and black ahead... what could it be? If you're prepared you grab your binoculars for a closer look at an American Redstart Warbler as he flits from branch to branch in search of a meal or resting briefly as he works his way north in the spring. The Forest Preserve District of Dupage will be providing us with waypoints in areas of Fullersburg Woods which have a high probability of spotting this warbler along with many others at this particular time of year.
Christopher Gutmann (Naturalist) will conduct an introductory talk in the visitor center near the "Now Showing" board. He'll provide participants with a good idea of what to keep an eye out for while geocaching in order to spot birds which previously remained hidden in the background of our daily treks. Folks can then migrate to the observation deck where various feeding stations can be viewed and Chris will provide pointers for proper techiques for using binoculars before heading out on the trails in search of wings and waypoints.
You probably have have an interesting experience with birds while geocaching. This event will be your opportunity to share your story with fellow geocachers. And if you have photographs please share those as well at the event and in your log on the event page.
There will be waypoints distributed the day of the event so that geocachers can head out in small groups and visit areas of Fullersburg where specific species of birds are known to frequent. Participants will be given instructions of what sorts of birds to expect and where to look for them. Needless to say there will be caches to be found along the way.
Sunday May 3, 2009 at Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve.
The event will kick off at 7:30AM and you're welcome to join us as late as 9:30AM but be warned, the earlier you head out the better your chances are for seeing more birds like the Black and White Warbler (pictured above) or the Yellow Rumped Warbler (picture to right). Birds tend to lay low as the day gets warmer. At 7:30AM we'll have introductions and then folks can either hang out for some good old conversation and story telling, or head out on the trail to look for birds and caches, or join Christopher Gutmann (Naturalist) for an introductory bird watching talk.
Avid bird watchers tend to be into lists, much like some geocachers are into their statistics. Here's a list of the top ten wood warblers most likely to be seen at Fullersburg Woods:
- Yellow-rumped warbler
- Tennessee warbler
- American redstart
- Black-and-white warbler
- Magnolia warbler
- Common yellowthroat
- Northern waterthrush
- Blackburnian warbler
- Nashville warbler
- Chestnut-sided warbler
If you're looking for an uncommon bird sighting, we can make no promises but here's a list of uncommon wood warbler sitings at Fullersburg Woods:
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- Swainson's warbler (only seen once at FBW)
- Kentucky warbler
- cerulean warbler
- prothonotary warbler
- golden-winged warbler
- black-throated blue warbler
- Connecticut warbler
- yellow-throated warbler
- hooded warbler
Forest Preserve District Contact Information
Pictured on this page:
Upper right - American Redstart
Center left - Black and White Warbler
Middle/right - Yellow Rumped Warbler
Bottom right - Blackburnian Warbler
Background - Chestnut Sided Warbler
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