Barrington Area Spring Bird Walks & Hikes with Wendy Paulson

 The early birds have been singing again and that can only mean one thing. It’s about time for the return of Wendy Paulson’s Barrington Area Spring Bird Walks & Hikes! Hot off the presses, we just received the schedule from Wendy featuring upcoming dates when you can join her to learn about the birds living in the Barrington area. A ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson | American Tree Sparrow

 Recent spells of arctic weather have left many of our natural areas seemingly bereft of birdlife. Except for a crow here and a red-tailed hawk there, it appeared that most birds in the Barrington area had either flown away or were hanging around bird feeders. But there is one songbird species that I have consistently encountered, even on walks on ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: Bold & Blue

 On a recent bird walk at Beverly Lake in Spring Creek Forest Preserve, our group stood for several minutes in the parking lot, transfixed by a river of blue jays passing overhead. They just kept coming and coming and we continued to see bands of them in flight throughout the walk. September is a month for blue jays. It’s not ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: American Goldfinch

 For most birds that spend the summer in our area, August is a relatively quiet month. Courtship, nest building, incubation, chick-raising are finished chapters in the annual cycle. It’s a time to ensure that the next generation is finding its way in nature, as adults and offspring will separate soon, probably forever. But there is one local species that starts ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

 One of our local summer bird residents, despite its dazzling appearance, is so small it often goes unnoticed. Several times in June a quick movement has caught my eye and it has taken me a few seconds to realize that it was a ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilocus colubris) zooming through the flowers. Many bird enthusiasts maintain feeders for hummingbirds, filling them ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: Black-billed Cuckoo

 I probably would not have chosen the black-billed cuckoo (Coccyrus erythropthalmus) to profile in Birds of Barrington for some years (when I was running out of species!), as it’s a secretive bird, little known and seldom seen by most, even committed bird watchers. But this May I saw no fewer than five black-billed cuckoos, newly arrived from South America, in ... Read more...

Spring Bird Spotting with Wendy Paulson

 Spring has sprung and it’s time to explore nature and discover wildlife with naturalist Wendy Paulson during her series of spring bird walks and hikes. Wendy authors Birds of Barrington, a monthly series at, and says all are welcome to join her as she shares details about many of the beautiful birds that live in the Barrington area. Wendy ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: A Kaleidoscope of Color

 Even with this relatively mild winter, local ponds and lakes have retained ice cover during January and February. But as March brings more days above freezing, the ice begins to vanish and, happily for those who watch birds, rafts of ducks appear on their way back to northern breeding grounds. Though many of these waterfowl are striking to look at, ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: Red-bellied Woodpecker

 For the month of Valentine’s Day, it seems fitting to focus on a bird that incorporates the color red. The red-bellied woodpecker appears to be an apt choice. The bird, especially the male, does feature red feathers. But you have to look hard to find any on its belly! It was not until I held a specimen of a red-bellied ... Read more...

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: White-throated Sparrow

 For many people in northern temperate zones, the primary place they watch birds in winter is at feeders outside their homes. The sight of an active band of feathered visitors – chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, and others – flying back and forth for seeds and suet, brightens the bleakest winter day. One species that frequents home feeders but is perhaps less ... Read more...

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