Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary - Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 57.780 W 087° 38.106
16T E 447371 N 4645863
Located in Lincoln Park, Montrose Point is a 10-acre bird sanctuary that attracts tens of thousands of migratory birds of more than 300 different species each spring and fall. They stop here for rest, food and shelter.
Waymark Code: WMCRHE
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 10/07/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Team Sieni
Views: 9

Continued from the City of Chicago Things to See and Do website at (visit link)
"East of the bathhouse is “The Magic Hedge”, a 150 yard stretch of shrubs and several trees, so-called because it attracts a curiously high number of migratory birds. Important migrants include most species of Warblers seen in the Chicago area, Thrushes, Sparrows, Purple Martins, Woodpeckers and many others. Nesters include Common Yellowthroats, Catbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Mourning Doves, and Brown Thrashers. It is no wonder “The Magic Hedge” has become an internationally recognized birding area.

“The Magic Hedge” did not just appear on its own. During the 1950’s through 1970’s, the Army leased land at Montrose and built two barracks. Honeysuckle was planted to screen them from public view. Long after the Army left, the honeysuckle remains and forms the basic feature of “The Magic Hedge” today. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s birding organizations and the Park District cooperated to enhance bird-friendly plantings around “The Magic Hedge”. These plantings included blackhaw and nannyberry viburnum, serviceberry, chokeberry, fragrant sumac, and other shrubs.

In 2001, the Park District’s renewed its commitment to preserving and enhancing habitat for migratory birds by planting hundreds of bird-friendly, native shade trees, flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the sanctuary. Other improvements include the installation of a stone birdbath that releases a constant trickle of water and the conversion of a non-native meadow to a prairie habitat. Birding organizations and community volunteers assist with public education and stewardship activities at the site."

The Hedge is on land owned by the Chicago Park District. In recent years, the District has allowed a nearby grassy meadow to grow taller, providing even better bird habitat; some grassland birds and butterflies have been spotted here. The District has also planted species, such as honeysuckle, known to provide shelter and sustenance for birds.

Visitors are also likely to witness some of the threats to urban bird habitat — litter, unleashed dogs that have torn up ground cover, and 'social' trails through the Hedge area made by fishermen and beach users. Nonetheless the Hedge is still a significant harbor in the annual migration of thousands of birds, and a magical place to watch them.

DIRECTIONS: Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary can be found by following Montrose Avenue West until crossing Lake Shore Drive and into Lincoln Park. From there, take a right at the street next to the gray-colored bait shop. Follow the curve and Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary will be on your left. There are signs along the street with additional information.

I have listed the Audubon Society's website below. There is also a pdf map with additional information from the City of Chicago at (visit link)

Growing up nearby, we used to play in the park and swim in Lake Michigan from the adjacent Montrose Avenue Beach. The hot dogs they sold out there always tasted better. Also pretty cool was the Nike Radar Base at this point that always buzzed as the big radars turned. Make sure you walk out to the pier to glimpse a beautiful view of Chicago's far northern lakeshore. Enjoy the boats in Montrose Harbor on your way back from the Sanctuary. A bike friendly destination.
Park Name: Chicago Park District

Sponsoring Organization: City of Chicago

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Website: [Web Link]

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Parking Coordinates: N 41° 57.780 W 087° 38.106

List any Hides, Birding Towers, or other structures to assist in Birdwatching found at the location: Not listed

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