Illinois & Indiana: Winter 2021–2022

Winter 2021–2022: 1 Dec–28 Feb

James D. Hengeveld

Keith A. McMullen

Geoffrey A. Williamson

Recommended citation:

Hengeveld, J.D., K.A. McMullen, and G.A. Williamson. 2022. Winter 2021–2022: Illinois & Indiana. <> North American Birds.

The region’s second warmest December on record—5.6C warmer than average—was undoubtedly at least partially responsible for the amazing presence of 13 warbler species during the period and first winter records for several other species. January was slightly cooler and drier than normal, while February was very wet (80% greater precipitation above the average) with near normal temperatures. The rather rich list of notable species included Cinnamon Teal, King Eider, White-winged Dove, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Gyrfalcon, Prairie Falcon, Small-billed Elaenia, Blue-headed Vireo, Rock Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bullock’s Oriole, Great-tailed Grackle, and Summer Tanager, with Indiana logging first winter records for Caspian Tern and Forster’s Tern.

Sub-regional Compilers: Kenneth J. Brock (Indiana).

Abbreviations: Crab Orchard (Crab Orchard NWR, Williamson Co, IL); FP (Forest Preserve); FWA (Fish and Wildlife Area); L. Gibson (L. Gibson, Gibson Co, IN); L. Monroe (L. Monroe, Monroe Co, IN); Patoka R. (Patoka R. NWR, Gibson Co, IN); SFWA (State Fish and Wildlife Area).

Waterfowl through Hummingbirds

A notable count of 200,000 Snow Geese was made at L. Gibson on 3 Feb (Chuck Mills). An estimate of 75,000 Greater White-fronted Geese at Universal Mine, Edgar Co, IL 31 Jan (Ron Bradley) provided one of the highest daily totals for this species in IL. An excellent count of 750 Trumpeter Swans was made near Havana, Mason Co, IL 27 Dec (Brian Fox Ellis), and an estimated 1000 Tundra Swans in Thomson, Carroll Co, IL 26 and 28 Dec (Daniel Bellich) also provided a nice total.

Blue-winged Teal are rare in winter. Late fall migrants included one at Crab Orchard 7 Dec (Don Mullison), two at Muscatatuck NWR, Jackson Co, IN 9 Dec (ph. Christine Hayden), and one at Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis 10 Dec (ph. Peter Finley). Early spring migrants included two at Crab Orchard 26 Feb (Keith A. McMullen, Mark Seiffert), two at Prairie Creek Res., Delaware Co, IN 27 Feb (Clifford Wright), and three at Patoka R. 28 Feb (Jeremy Ross). At Hovey L., Posey Co, a male Cinnamon Teal was photographed 1 Feb (Jared Emmack), furnishing IN’s fourth winter record. Few American Wigeon were reported from IL; the high count was only 116 at Crab Orchard 21 Dec (Rhonda Rothrock).

On 4 Dec, a hunter shot a female King Eider (fide Bob Huguenard) at Kingsbury FWA, LaPorte Co, that provided IN’s first record in six years. Another King Eider was found on Heidecke Lake, Grundy Co, IL 23 Dec (ph. Matt Misewicz); this is IL’s third record in the 21st century. Three Harlequin ducks were noted. One was at Chicago’s Park No. 566 2 Dec (m. ob.), a male was in the vicinity of Winthrop Harbor and Illinois Beach SP, Lake Co, IL 13 Dec–27 Feb (m. ob.), and a third was seen flying past Ft. Sheridan FP, Lake Co, IL 14 Feb (Jim Hully). An impressive 95 White-winged Scoters were counted moving past Wilmett’s Gillson Park, Cook Co, IL 26 Dec (Woody Goss). The 14 Long-tailed Ducks photographed on L. Monroe on 21 Jan (Amy Kearns) represented IN’s fourth largest inland count. On L. Gibson, 625 Hooded Mergansers were tallied 30 Dec (Chuck Mills), which constituted IN’s third largest count. A good-sized aggregation of 5045 Red-breasted Mergansers was observed at Chicago’s Navy Pier 25 Dec (Geoffrey A. Williamson et al.).

Four Red-necked Grebes were reported in IN, including two at Beverly Shores, Porter Co on 31 Dec (Jeff McCoy, Bill Sharkey, Katey Powell, Jeremiah Oden). The lone IL Red-necked Grebe was an individual at Baldwin L., Randolph Co 22 Jan (Keith A. McMullen, Mark Seiffert). A White-winged Dove appeared at an Indianapolis residence 6 Jan (ph. Susie Sweeney Strickland) and was seen and photographed by many through 12 Jan (Cary Floyd, Michael Clay).

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird at an Antioch, Lake Co, IL feeder since mid-November was last seen 2 Jan (Cheryl Van Duyse, †ph. Adam Sell). IN’s first January record of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was logged by Brainard Palmer-Ball on 5 Jan at a Floyd Co feeder near Greenville. An Archilochus hummingbird that was photographed by a homeowner at her Dearborn Co, IN feeder 12 Nov (Lois Hollingsworth) was subsequently photographed 12 Dec (Don Gorney, Ryan Sanderson) and determined to be a first-cycle female Black-chinned Hummingbird. IN’s second record of the species, it remained through at least 13 Dec. A Rufous Hummingbird from the fall season in Le Roy, McLean Co, IL remained to 7 Dec (Lorenzo D’Alessio, Chirstopher Hensel, m. ob.). The female Rufous Hummingbird that was first reported at a Tell City, Perry Co, IN feeder on 15 Nov, lingered through at least 22 Jan (Kirk Roth). An adult male Rufous Hummingbird was photographed at a residence on the north side of Indianapolis, IN on 4 Dec (Katy Taggart).

Shorebirds through Terns

Two amazingly early-arriving American Golden-Plovers were spotted at Easter Slough, Pulaski Co 26 Feb (ph. Keith A. McMullen, Mark Seiffert), providing a record-early arrival date as well as the first winter record for IL. IL’s third highest winter count of Killdeer was 210 in Tamms, Alexander Co 28 Dec (Rhonda Rothrock). Late-lingering Least Sandpipers included three at Rend L., Jefferson Co, IL 2 Dec (Michael Heaney), six at L. Gibson on 6 Dec (Chuck Mills), and 14 more at Rend L., Jefferson Co, IL 17 Dec (Ari Rice, Rebecca Rice). Two Least Sandpipers, apparently wintering, were seen in Alton, Madison Co, IL 10 Jan–9 Feb (ph. Frank R. Holmes, ph. Mike Thelen, m. ob.). Three late Long-billed Dowitchers were at Crab Orchard 1 Dec (Michael Heaney). Late Spotted Sandpipers included one at L. Waveland, Montgomery Co, IN 1 Dec (Mark Rhodes) and one in breeding plumage on the Fox River in Carpentersville, Kane Co, IL 13 Dec (ph. Paula Mitchell) and 2 Jan (ph. Alan Magerkurth). Early arriving Lesser Yellowlegs included a single south of L. Gibson on 21 Feb (ph. Matt Seaton, Joseph Caruso) and two at Patoka R. on 26 Feb (ph. Matt Seaton). A group of three Greater Yellowlegs tarried at Crab Orchard 1 Dec (Michael Heaney).

Black-legged Kittiwakes were observed at Michigan City Harbor, LaPorte Co, IN 20 Dec (Jeremiah Oden), at Wilmette’s Gillson Park, Cook Co, IL 24 Dec (Audrey Carl) and 25 Dec (ph. Woody Goss), and at Chicago’s Park No. 566 15 Jan (ph. Kelly Ballantyne). Franklin’s Gulls were noted on L. Springfield, Sangamon Co, IL 9 Dec (ph. Trevor Slovick) and in Wilmington, Will Co, IL 13 Jan–26 Feb (ph. Debi Shapiro, m. ob.). California Gulls included an adult in Niota, Hancock Co, IL 29 Dec (ph. Colin Dobson) and a third-cycle individual at L. Carlyle, Clinton Co, IL 17–22 Jan (Dan Kassebaum, m. ob.). The peak count of Iceland Gulls was 12 at Chicago’s Monroe Harbor 25 Jan (Woody Goss). High counts of Lesser Black-backed Gulls included nine at Prairie View Landfill, St. Joseph Co, IN 27 Dec (Ryan Sanderson, Jeff McCoy, Nick Kiehl, Aidan Rominger et al.), nine at L. Springfield, Sangamon Co, IL 26 Feb (Colin Dobson et al.), and seven at Horseshoe L. SP, Madison Co, IL 26 Feb (Frank R. Holmes). The three Glaucous Gulls at Lock and Dam 21, Adams Co, IL 15 Jan (Adam Reyburn) and the three at the Elkhart Co Landfill, IN 9 and 21 Feb (ph. Eric Michael) represented the season’s largest concentrations. A rare downstate IN Great Black-backed Gull was seen at L. Monroe 25–29 Jan (ph. Scott Evans, Bence Kokay, m. ob.), providing the fourth record for Monroe Co. Great Black-backed Gull numbers peaked at 11 at Chicago’s Steelworkers Park 21 Feb (Paul Quintas et al.). The most astonishing winter record in IN was of a Caspian Tern that appeared in Hammond, Lake Co on 1 Feb (ph. J.T. Santangelo). Surely the same bird was seen again in Hammond on 14 Feb (Kalia Monet Carter). Late Forster’s Terns included an individual in Jackson Co, IL 3 Dec (Mike Heine), one at Rend L., Jefferson Co, IL 18 Dec (ph. Michael Heaney), and another on L. Monroe 20 Dec (Cathy Meyer) that was a first winter record for IN. Amazingly, three Forster’s Terns were described (Joseph Caruso) and two photographed (Matt Seaton) at Cane Ridge WMA, Gibson Co, IN on 21 Feb.

Loons through Falcons

The high count of Red-throated Loons in IN was of 35 from the green tower at Dunes SP, Porter Co on 4 Dec (Brendan Grube); an incredible downstate count of nine was made at L. Monroe on 18 Dec (Jim & Susan Hengeveld, Matthias Benko). Other good counts of Red-throated Loons included five at North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Lake Co, IL 2 Dec (Andrew Stewart) and 12 Jan (Andrew Stewart), plus four at Wilmette’s Gillson Park, Cook Co, IL 26 Dec (Woody Goss). A basic-plumed adult Pacific Loon on L. Monroe on 18 Dec (Jim & Susan Hengeveld, Bence Kokay, Steve Bell et al.) added spice to the IN CBC list. Also tallied on L. Monroe on 18 Dec was a fine count of 117 Common Loons (Jim & Susan Hengeveld, Matthias Benko). An excellent northern-tier winter count of 16 Common Loons was made at North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Lake Co, IL 9 Dec (Beau J. Schaefer).

Eighteen Great Egrets (13 in IL, five in IN), mostly in Dec, reflected a good number of lingering birds. Reports from Jan/Feb included three in Fairmont City, St. Clair Co, IL 13 Dec (Frank R. Holmes), two at Horseshoe L. SP, Madison Co, IL 1 Feb where a single individual had been 11 Jan (Frank R. Holmes), one in Channahon, Will Co, IL 9 Jan (Glenn Giacinto, Steven J. Huggins), and single reports in IN from each of the two months.

Notable were single Ospreys in Blackford Co, IN 11 Dec (ph. John Velasquez), in northwest Cook Co, IL 16 Dec (Jim Vanderpoel), and in Evansville, Vanderburgh Co, IN 29 Dec (Zach Matchinski); there are few winter records for the region. It was a good winter for Golden Eagles with 10 reported in IL and 19 in IN. An excellent total of 16 Rough-legged Hawks was carefully determined in a five mile stretch in southern Woodford Co, IL 16 Jan (Matthew E. Fraker). The winter flight of Snowy Owls in IN was above average with 34 birds reported, four of which were reported in the southern tier. In IL, three Snowy Owls reached the southern tier. Remarkably, two Gyrfalcons were seen in IN. An immature gray-morph was photographed in western Gibson Co 15 Jan (Norman Cline), and an adult gray-morph was photographed in southeastern LaPorte Co 16–17 Jan (ph. Donald Estep, Katey Powell, Jeremiah Oden). Another exciting IN CBC bird was a Prairie Falcon that was found on the Oakland City CBC on 29 Dec in Gibson Co (ph. Evan Speck, Dan Collins, David Ayer). The bird remained in the general area through at least 6 Feb (Jeremy Ross, m. ob.). The lone Prairie Falcon in IL was the bird wintering in the usual Coles Co site, where it was still present 20 Feb (Jarod Hitchings).

Flycatchers through Old World Sparrows

The Small-billed Elaenia found in Nov at Waukegan, Lake Co, IL was last noted 7 Dec. A rare winter record was provided by the sighting of a Blue-headed Vireo 4 Jan (ph. fide eBird) and then 27 Jan (ph. Aerin Tedesco) at Homer L. FP, Champaign Co, IL. Six Loggerhead Shrikes were reported in IN. The total of 20 Northern Shrikes recorded in IN was slightly lower than the seasonal average but included four in the southern tier. Two Northern Shrikes reached the southern tier of IL. One was at Gaskin L., Clay Co 6 Dec (Robert E. Shelby), while the other was in West Union, Clark Co 15 Dec (Ted Hartzler). A single Northern Rough-winged Swallow found at Turtle Creek Res., Sullivan Co, IN 5 Dec (ph. Michael Brown) likely lingered, as one was found at this site during the Sullivan Co CBC on 22 Dec (Steven Lima, ph. Michael Brown). The latter date marks IN’s third latest record, not counting two early Jan reports. A Barn Swallow was also seen on 5 Dec (and 12 Dec) at Turtle Creek Res., Sullivan Co, IN (ph. Michael Brown) and again at that site during the Sullivan Co CBC 22 Dec (Steven Lima, ph. Michael Brown).

At Cane Ridge WMA, Gibson Co, Matt Seaton found and photographed a Rock Wren on 3 Dec, providing IN’s fourth record and second for 2021. The bird was seen by many and lingered through 21 Dec (ph. Sarajane Damin). Late House Wrens, all singletons, were at Silver Springs SFWA, Kendall Co, IL 19 Dec (ph. Ryan Jones, Jude Vickery), at Crab Orchard 21 Dec (Don Mullison), in Pike Co, IN 27 Dec (ph. Ian Wiist, ph. Ethan Wiist), and at Horseshoe L. Conservation Area, Alexander Co, IL 28 Dec (Ted Wolff). A House Wren at Igleheart Park in Evansville, Vanderburgh Co, IN 22 Jan (ph. Ethan Wiist) was likely attempting to overwinter. A Marsh Wren lingered in Chicago’s L. Calumet area 18 Dec (Carl Giometti). Single Sedge Wrens were noted at the Bartel Land and Water Reserve, Marion Co, IL 12 Dec (Michael Heaney); at the Upper Sangamon R. Land and Water Reserve, Piatt Co, IL 12 Jan (ph. Aerin Tedesco); and at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Jasper Co, IL 27 Jan (Robert E. Shelby).

An impressive 24 Gray Catbirds were reported in IN with a high count of three in Beverly Shores, Porter Co on 31 Jan (Brendan Grube). There were three Townsend’s Solitaires present in IL. One was at Garden of the Gods Recreation Area, Saline Co, IL 31 Dec–9 Jan (ph. Stephanie Beilke, m. ob.). A second was at Moraine Hills SP, McHenry Co, IL 6 Jan+ (ph. Chuck Fields, m. ob.). The third was at Hampshire FP, Kane Co, IL 5–18 Feb (Walt Lutz, Jim Shotsberger, ph. Scott Cohrs, ph. Jason Newton, m. ob.). Eurasian Tree Sparrows were reported from 50 of IL’s 102 counties, indicative of the species’ recent outward spread from its core range.

Finches through Sparrows

Finches were in good supply this winter, with many Purple Finches, redpolls, White-winged Crossbills, and siskins. A peak count of 70 Purple Finches was made at Lost Mount NWR, Jo Daviess Co, IL 16 Jan (Steven J. Huggins, Matthew Igleski, Vicky Igleski), and 35 at Raceway Woods FP, Kane Co, IL 2 Jan (Jason Newton) were also notable. Triple digit counts of Common Redpolls were frequent. Those of 300+ birds included 420 at Mudsinger Woods, Kendall Co, IL 31 Dec (Ryan Jones), 355 at Des Plaines Conservation Area, Will Co, IL 31 Dec (Douglas F. Stotz), 330 in Glenview, Cook Co, IL 14 Jan (John Leonard), 317 at Northwestern University, Evanston, Cook Co, IL 17 Jan (Xiaoni Xu), and 300 at Hickory Grove Highlands Conservation Area, McHenry Co, IL 2 Feb (Jeff Aufmann). IN’s high count was of 200 at Pigeon R. FWA, LaGrange Co on 24 Jan (John Cassady). This winter was also a banner season for detecting Hoary Redpolls, with 15 found in IL’s northern tier plus one near Evergreen L., Woodford Co in IL’s central tier 12–14 Feb (ph. Bode Thompson, m. ob.). There was one report of two Hoary Redpolls, in Naperville, Will Co, IL 8 Jan (Robert Russo). A single Hoary Redpoll in IN was found at Potato Creek SP, St. Joseph Co on 31 Jan (Aidan Rominger).

Red Crossbill reports consisted of two at White Pines Forest SP, Ogle Co, IL 19 Dec (Dan Williams), two at Deer Grove East FP, Cook Co, IL 26 Dec (Graham Deese, Henrey Deese, Suzy Deese), and one at Spring L. SFWA, Tazewell Co, IL 16 Jan (Bert Foquet). White-winged Crossbills were plentiful this season in six northeastern IL counties, with no sightings in IL outside that region. Representative high counts included 35 at Lyons Woods FP, Lake Co, IL 31 Jan (Annette McClellan) and 35 at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Cook Co, IL 21 Feb (Janet Pellegrini). In West Lafayette, IN, Edward Hopkins found a male White-winged Crossbill on 14 Feb, furnishing Tippecanoe Co’s first record in a decade. Another male attended a feeder in LaGrange, LaGrange Co, IN 17–25 Feb (ph. Sam Plew et al.), and a flyby flock of six was found at Pigeon R. FWA, LaGrange Co on 22 Feb (Sam Plew). There was a good, but not exceptional, supply of Pine Siskins in IL, with the peak count an estimated 100 in Hickory Grove Highlands Conservation Area, McHenry Co, IL 9 Dec (Jeff Aufmann). Pine Siskins were much more scarce than usual in IN with a high count of only 21 in Hammond, Lake Co on 12 Jan (J.T. Santangelo).

A large flock of at least 850 Snow Buntings, counted in a photograph of part of the flock, was observed near Malta, DeKalb Co, IL 17 Jan (ph. Heather Mall) representing IL’s best count in 11 years. The season’s rarest sparrow was a Grasshopper Sparrow noted at Waukegan, Lake Co, IL 3 Jan (ph. Jenny Vogt). Chipping Sparrows remained in IN by the droves, and the monthly distribution of the reports indicated that many overwintered (or at least attempted to). Reports of 112 birds in 30 of IN’s 92 counties were distributed as follows: 23 reports in Dec, 24 in Jan, and 16 in Feb. Seven lingering Chipping Sparrows were detected in IL’s northern and central tiers, while nine recorded in Jonesboro, Union Co, IL 23 Jan (ph. Mark Vukovich) may have been wintering. Quite rare for winter was a Clay-colored Sparrow at Grunwald Farms Family FP, Kane Co, IL 19 Dec (ph. Jason Newton, Jay Sturner). Two Harris’s Sparrows were detected in IL, one in Mascoutin Recreation Area, DeWitt Co 2 Dec (Emily Walker) and the other in Winnebago Co 28–30 Jan (ph. John Longhenry, m. ob.) and again 25 Feb (ph. Dan Williams). Two LeConte’s Sparrows at Wabashiki FWA, Vigo Co on 4 Jan (ph. Steven Lima) were noteworthy as the species is seldom reported in winter in IN. Three LeConte’s Sparrows found in IL’s southern tier was a typical number.

Blackbirds through Buntings

The lone Yellow-headed Blackbird report was of a single individual at Des Plaines Conservation Area, Will Co, IL 19 Jan (Mike Madsen). A first-cycle male oriole that was reported by homeowners near Pine Village, Warren Co shortly before Thanksgiving, was confirmed as a Bullock’s Oriole on 29 Dec (Susan Ulrich), representing IN’s second record of the species. A small group of birders was permitted to see and photograph the bird on 22 Jan (Susan Ulrich, Lucas Wilson, Ed Hopkins, Aidan Rominger), and it was last seen on 7 Feb, three days after -7F temperatures and 12 inches of snow hit the area. An adult male Baltimore Oriole that was first noted on 6 Nov, lingered at a feeder in southern Porter Co, IN to 16 Dec (Debbie Hyndman), providing IN’s third Dec record for the northern tier. Great-tailed Grackles are rare for the region, making very welcome the long-staying individual found in Monee, Will Co, IL 17 Jan+ (Douglas F. Stotz, ph. Susan Zelek, m. ob.).

Lingering warblers were present in incredible numbers. A late-departing Ovenbird was in Chicago 3 Dec (ph. Hazem Alkhan), while one at Homer L. FP, Champaign Co, IL 18 Jan (Alex Lowe-Massi) was present much further into the season. At a Tippecanoe Co residence, a Louisiana Waterthrush was photographed 17 Jan (Tatyana Soto), providing IN’s second winter record. A late Northern Waterthrush was in Chicago 30 Dec (Joe Cesolini). Late Tennessee Warblers included one in West Lafayette, Tippecanoe Co, IN 5 Dec (Mark Arvin), one in South Bend, St. Joseph Co, IN 18 Dec (Lindsay Grossmann) that furnished IN’s latest fall and third Dec record., another at Herrick L. FP, DuPage Co, IL 18 Dec (Nancy Allured, Mark Freeburg, Glenn Perricone), plus one noted in Batavia, Kane Co, IL 20 Dec (Bob Andrini) that was possibly the same bird seen not far away at Les Arends FP, Kane Co, IL 21 Dec (Jon J. Duerr). A winter-record 24 Orange-crowned Warblers were reported in IN, and the species was noted in 19 of IL’s 102 counties. IN’s fifth Dec Nashville Warbler was found, along with the Tennessee Warbler mentioned above, in South Bend, St. Joseph Co on 18 Dec (Keshava Mysore) during the South Bend CBC.

A Common Yellowthroat at Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, Grundy Co, IL 26 Dec (Matt Misewicz) was quite late. Five singleton Common Yellowthroats reported in IN included possibly overwintering birds at Patoka R. on 27 Jan (Julia Farmer) and 4 Feb (Jeremy Ross) and in Posey Co 31 Jan (Jared Emmack). One in Spring L. Bottoms, Tazewell Co, IL 19 Feb (Bert Foquet) was likely another overwintering bird. Unusually late was an immature male American Redstart in Waukegan, Lake Co, IL 4 Dec (Jen Fenner, Pete Fenner, ph. James Wheat, ph. Jeffery Sole, m. ob.). A late Cape May Warbler was in River Forest, Cook Co, IL 13–14 Dec (ph. Jill Anderson); another was identified at a feeder in LaGrange Co, IN 22 Dec (Robert Guth) and was photographed there the following day (Leland Shaum); and a third was in New Lenox, Will Co, IL 1 Jan (ph. Daniel Peterson). Adding six days to the latest IN record for Magnolia Warbler was an individual south of Shoals, Martin Co on 26 Dec (Sean Verkamp). A record season for Palm Warblers in IN involved 25 individuals, the peak daily count being seven that was logged at Cane Ridge WMA, Gibson Co on 5 Dec. (Amy Kearns), IN’s second largest winter count. IL hosted five Palm Warblers: one in Metropolis, Massac Co 13 Dec (Anne Parmley), one at Big L., Brown Co 15 Dec (ph. Ian Souza-Cole et al.), one at Bellrose Waterfowl Reserve, Pulaski Co 20 Dec (Kimberly Rohling et al.), and Jan sightings at L. Charleston, Coles Co 6 Jan (Ron Bradley) and in Urbana, Champaign Co 20 Jan (ph. Melissa Records). Pine Warblers were spotted in good numbers (18 in IL and seven in IN), and an IN season-record 1404 Yellow-rumped Warblers were reported, the high daily count of the latter being 23 at Stone Head Nature Preserve, Brown Co on 16 Jan (Jim & Susan Hengeveld et al.).

Single Summer Tanagers were photographed in IN at Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis on 14 Dec (Juanita Johnson) and at a Zionsville, Boone Co feeder on 16 Jan (Caroline Rhodes), the latter representing IN’s fourth Jan record. Tardy Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were noted at Beaver Dam SP, Macoupin Co, IL 23 Dec (Brent Schindewolf) and at Greenwood, Johnson Co, IN 28 Dec (Michael Bryant), the latter providing IN’s second latest record. Two different Indigo Buntings were detected at Clinton L., DeWitt Co, IL 4 Dec (Colin Dobson), and another was found in southwestern Marion Co, IN 17 Dec (Don Gorney). The Painted Bunting found in Alden Township, McHenry Co, IL on 30 Nov remained to 2 Dec (ph. Randall Schietzelt, m. ob.). Unusual for winter, a Dickcissel visited a feeder in Pana, Christian Co, IL 3 Jan (ph. Brian Lockwood).

Report processed by Eric DeFonso, 06 Feb 2024.

Photos–Illinois & Indiana: Winter 2021–2022

A very nice find in Illinois was this King Eider at Heidecke Lake, Grundy Co, 23 Dec 2021. Photo © Matt Misewicz.

Indiana’s second record of Black-chinned Hummingbird was furnished by this first-cycle female attending a feeder at Hidden Valley Lake, Dearborn Co. First noticed and photographed by the homeowner on 13 Nov 2021, it was not definitively identified until diagnostic photos were taken on 12 Dec by Don Gorney and Ryan Sanderson. The hummingbird remained at least through the following day. Photo © Ryan J. Sanderson.

One of two Gyrfalcons photographed in Indiana this season, this bird was found southwest of Cane Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in Gibson Co on 15 Jan 2022 and, unfortunately, was not seen subsequently. Photo © Norman Cline.

First spotted 4 Jan 2022 and then relocated 27 Jan (as seen here) at Homer Lake Forest Preserve in Champaign Co Illinois, this Blue-headed Vireo was an amazing find and quite the surprise. Photo © Aerin Tedesco.

Found by Matt Seaton on 3 Dec 2021 at Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area in Gibson Co, this Rock Wren was the fourth for Indiana, was seen by dozens, and remained at the site through 21 Dec. Photo © Michael R. Brown.

Seeing a Grasshopper Sparrow foraging in snow is quite unusual in Illinois, or perhaps anywhere. This unexpected find by Jenny Vogt occurred in Waukegan, IL 3 Jan 2022. Photo © Jenny Vogt.

Coming to a feeder at a private residence in northern Warren Co, this first-cycle male Bullock’s Oriole was only the second for Indiana. Unfortunately, it was not available for general viewing by the birding populace and was seen and photographed on a single day—22 Jan 2022. Photo © Edward M. Hopkins.

Doug Stotz found this Great-tailed Grackle in Will Co, Illinois. Its long stay from 17 Jan 2022 into spring (here 17 Jan) and being conveniently close to an interstate highway exit allowed many individuals to see it. Photo © Geoffrey A. Williamson.