by Carl Strang
This has been a good spring for migrant birds at Mayslake Forest Preserve. Some are species that nest in DuPage County, but use Mayslake only for day stops.
One morning my walk across the mansion grounds was arrested by a distinctive, repeated “pick-a-tuck.”
Summer tanagers are among the southern birds that increasingly are appearing in the Chicago region. The point of all these birds stopping for the day is illustrated in the next photo.
Caterpillars and other herbivorous insects start early in the season so as to take advantage of the newly opened leaves’ relative lack of defensive chemicals. The caterpillars themselves have only camouflage for defense, and birds like the vireo have sharp eyes.