Bouyant, graceful flight. Date flexible. Bright red throat, breast is black, belly is yellow, and flanks are barred black-and-white.

Flight is short and low, alternating rapid wing beats with glides. Bill is dull yellow to gray-green (eastern) or orange-yellow (western). The bill is small and triangular. For contact info for the current spring season field notes editor, please visit http://www.illinoisbirds.org/meadowlark-journal-info/. Wings have large white stripes visible in flight; tail has dark central stripe above and is white below. Common Snipe: Longest-billed of all snipes, best identified by broad white stripe at base of underwing. Underparts have scattered rufous streaks. Red-necked Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has a brown-striped dark gray back, mottled gray breast, white throat and belly, gray head, nape, and flanks, rust-brown neck and upper breast and a thin black bill. Eats seeds, insects, caterpillars. Direct flight with steady wing beats. Legs are yellow with very long toes. Sage Thrasher: Small thrasher, gray upperparts, dark-streaked white underparts with pale brown wash. Black-headed Grosbeak: Large, stocky finch, black-streaked, orange-brown back, black head, wings, tail. White underwings contrast with dark brown body in flight.

In August and September a hummingbird feeder will attract migrating ruby-throated hummingbirds, and dripping water will attract various warbler species, especially the more common ones like Tennessee warbler and yellow-rumped warbler. Sexes similar, but male is smaller with a brighter bill base. Tail is black with white undertail coverts. Female is olive-green above, with gray back and yellow underparts.

Legs and feet are gray. Dark wings with white wing bar.

Legs and feet are black. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats.

Graceful, bouyant flight.

Turkeys were first reintroduced in the Shawnee Forest in 1959 from out-of-state stock. Tail is long, broad, edged with white (black near base). Direct flight with strong deep wing beats. It has gray upper wings, white-edged with white-spotted black tips. The wings have pale rust-brown patches and black flight feathers. Vermilion Flycatcher: Small, stocky flycatcher, gray-black upperparts and scarlet-red crown, throat, and underparts. Legs, feet are red. Kirtland's Warbler: Rare, medium-sized warbler with black-streaked gray upperparts and yellow underparts with black streaks on sides. Bill is black. Band-tailed Pigeon: Large dove, small, purple-gray head and broad neck with distinctive, thin white band on nape. It eats a variety of plant species and parts, especially grasses, sedges, grain and berries. Ash-throated Flycatcher: Medium flycatcher with gray-brown upperparts, pale gray throat and breast, and gray-brown tail with rufous highlights.

Tail is brown with white edges. Head is large, glossy, and purple-black with golden yellow eyes and a crescent-shaped white patch behind a dark bill.

Short black tail. Has a 15-16 inch-long black tail with deep fork. It feeds on squid and fish. Wings are dark with thin,white bars. The wings show rufous primaries in flight.

Diet includes fish, crustaceans and insects.

Curve-billed Thrasher: Medium-sized thrasher (palmeri), with gray upperparts and spotted, pale gray underparts. Swift direct flight. Forages in shrubs, brush, weedy fields for seeds and insects. Cackling Goose: This small to medium-sized goose has a mottled gray-brown body, black legs, tail, neck, head and face, with a white chin strap stretching from ear to ear and a white rump band. Sexes are similar. Represented on the list are 62 families and 21 orders of birds. Tail is long and dark gray. It’s the only songbird that hunts other songbirds and impales the carcasses if its prey on thorns of trees, barbed wires, and other places, storing the food for another day.

Dark-streaked, white throat bordered by dark necklace. Very active bird, nervous and restless while foraging.

It has a swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. White eyebrows are conspicuous.

Meanwhile, buff-breasted sandpipers are visiting sod farms in northern Illinois. The tail is deeply forked and white with dark edged outer feathers. In Illinois impressive numbers of Canada geese fly overhead or feast in cornfields in October, November and December—if you look among the crowd you may find some snow geese, a few greater white-fronted geese, and even an occasional Ross’s goose. Head and sides of neck are gray, throat is dark red, nape is black-and-white striped. Direct flight on rapid wing beats. Outer tail feathers are white. Wings are dark with two white bars. Swift direct flight, rapid wing beats. Marbled Godwit: This large sandpiper has black-marked, dark brown upperparts, and lightly barred, chestnut-brown underparts. Bill is pink with dark tip. Such evidence may include an identifiable specimen, photograph, a digital or electronic image, video or audio tape recording, and/or written documentation. Feeds on insects, fish, worms, small crustaceans and seeds.

Wings are black-tipped above and black-edged below; tail is deeply forked.

Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with brief periods of wings pulled to sides. On a warm September day at dusk, nighthawks can be seen, even right over your house, as they feed on the wing.