I previously posted about how I came to join the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (CBCM) and mission they pursue—rescuing birds in trouble throughout the year. It’s a rare day the hotline (773-988-1867) doesn’t get a call about a Chicagoland bird—only one day in 2015 came and went without a call for help.
And now fall is coming. Birds and their fledglings are preparing to take wing en masse, to head south to the comforts such climes offer. Now is a great time to join the CBCM as a downtown monitor, rescuer in the city or suburbs, advocate for bird-safe building practices, or transporter of rescued birds to one of CBCM’s wildlife rehabilitation center partners. Take a look at the training session schedule and sign up today. One session and you’ll be winging your way to a multifaceted, humane experience.
One morning in downtown Chicago, standing near Calder’s Flamingo sculpture waiting for the post office to open, a gray-haired woman strode up to me holding out one of her gently clenched fists. Thinking I was a bird monitor (I was carrying a bag and wearing a backpack, but had no net), she offered me the bird she held, and I replied, “That’s a Black-and-White Warbler, but I’m not a bird monitor.” We chatted for a moment and she walked away toward the lake to release the bird. I posted my package and headed toward my office. En route I found a grounded warbler, still alive, by one of the buildings. I put it in my cloth shopping bag and decided to also go to the park to release the bird. As I headed east, lo and behold, another living (oven)bird lying stunned in the middle of the sunny sidewalk. I added that one to the bag and soon released them under some trees in the relative quiet of morning.
I thought it was too early for birds to be passing through, but I knew the Loop, with its walls of glass and lights everywhere was a trap for many migratory birds. I knew the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (CBCM) group existed and that I should have contacted them at their hotline number, 773-988-1867. At Wild Things, I used to walk by their table, peering sidelong with interest; I would see volunteers in the streetlight shadows as I left my train and walked to my office. I had thought I didn’t have time to be involved, but now I was seeing birds everywhere and I decided to do something.
Welcome to our community of inspiring souls who live and breathe nature in the greater Chicago region called the Chicago Wilderness!
Wasn’t the 2015 Wild Things Conference terrific? (Read about it and some of the other the past Wild Things conferences.) The volunteers who brought you the 2015 conference, plus new volunteers are creating this community website and blog to keep you abreast on the latest happenings—we invite you to join the conversation.
Readers of our blog will find feature articles on a wide range of topics: