Bird watching is back at Kickapoo Creek Park – Lincoln Courier

During the month of April, the bird watching station at Kickapoo Creek Park will be manned periodically by experienced bird watchers to help visitors identify the many birds that visit the nearby feeders.  University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist volunteers will be on duty from 7:30 to 11 a.m. every Saturday. 
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Observers are likely to see not only the familiar cardinals, blue jays and chickadees, but also red-winged blackbirds, at least three species of woodpecker, nuthatches, titmice and finches, among others.  Colorful orioles or rose breasted grosbeaks also stop by occasionally.  The feeders are within 20 feet of the station’s large windows, so binoculars are optional, though they provide spectacular close-ups.  Nature photographers also like to take advantage of such cooperative subjects.
When Master Naturalists Mark Tebrugge or Pam Moriearty are on duty on Saturday mornings, the station’s sign will display a special “Birdwatcher on Duty” panel.  
At other times, species identification is aided by large colored posters on the walls.
 “I can usually photograph at least a dozen species in the course of a short visit,” says Master Naturalist Bev Noble, “and it’s easy to keep track of my sightings, because the station provides checklists of common birds.” 
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The station, enclosed on three sides and with benches next to the windows, was constructed a few years ago by Master Naturalists.  It is always accessible and a fun stopping point for all ages.  Located near the park’s office and machine shed on the main road, the feeders are regularly stocked by park staff with a wide variety of food offerings.