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Des Plaines Ikes Go Birding, with Technology

Where can you hear an American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, and Black-capped Chickadee on a drizzly Sunday morning in September? On the grounds of the Des Plaines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. Member Brad Drake organized the September 17th inaugural bird walk. He’d earlier explained the Merlin Bird ID app which was developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and can identify birds by sound as well as sight. Despite the rain, using the app on their phones, walkers could name and list birds by their calls. Drake anticipated this, “(T)his is the time of year when birds begin their southern migration.” He added, “(T)he habitat is ideal for future walks during their migration periods (May/September).” In addition to identifying the birds, an ongoing list of birds at the location can be maintained using E-Bird. For anyone interested the Merlin Bird ID is readily available for free and anyone can feel free to contact the Izaak Walton League to share a list of birds they identify in the woods surrounding the club.

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