Peoria Audubon Society is a local affiliate of both:
Birding the Illinois River
March 10, 2007
Hats off to John Mullen of the Peoria Park District and Maury Brucker of the Peoria Audubon Society for organizing and hosting an all day field trip that showcased wildlife conservation habitats along the Illinois River. The field trip covered several backwater habitats along both sides of the Illinois River, from Peoria to Havana.
57 species were viewed at Chautauqua, Emiquon, and Banner Marsh, as well as smaller sites along the way. John was able to procure a 15-passenger Peoria Park District van to help with the logistics. More importantly, John and Maury pointed out the highlights of the birding experience. Many of the novice birders really appreciated their patient explanations of bird identification and the stories that went along to make the day an enjoyable experience for all.
While at Chautauqua, John and Maury indicated that the recent warm weather melting of ice helped to create a feeding frenzy at a few key locations where the current concentrated "recently thawed out" fish. The birds certainly knew where the food was and our experienced guides knew where to look.
Along the way, Dennis snapped a few photos to remember the day:
Thousands of ducks and geese take flight near Banner Marsh
Northern Shoveler, male, on remnant of ice at Chautauqua
Common Merganser, female, at Chautauqua
Hooded Merganser, male, at Chautauqua
Bald Eagle at Chautauqua
Mute Swans at Banner Marsh on ice
Organizers and Wildlife Guides: John Mullen & Maury Brucker at Chautauqua
Picnic at Dickson Mounds [Thanks John for organizing this!]
Several of the participants on the "Birding the Illinois" tour reiterated their appreciation for the Peoria Park District sponsorship of this event that helps draw the community together and improve the quality of life for all.
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