Slideshow: A Birder’s Delight

By Geoffrey Williamson and Marcia Faye

White-throated Sparrow
Each spring and fall, IIT Main Campus bird aficionados flock to an early morning escorted walk that showcases the remarkable variety of feathered creatures that frequent this urban environment. The walk is led by Geoffrey Williamson, professor and interim chair, IIT Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with David Baker, vice president of external affairs.

This spring’s bird walk, held on May 14, began with the sighting of this white-throated sparrow on the lawn north of Paul V. Galvin Library.

All photos by Geoffrey Williamson

Common Yellowthroat
A male common yellowthroat rests on the lawn north of Hermann Hall.

Cedar Waxwing
When in bloom, the crabapple trees along the north side of Hermann Hall are always attractive to birds, including this cedar waxwing.

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore orioles, such as this female, also enjoy the crabapple trees.

Clay-colored Sparrow
Three clay-colored sparrows were spied in Morton Park, just north of Hermann Hall. Williamson, recipient of the 2013 Ludlow Griscom Award from the American Birding Association, says seeing even one clay-colored is a lucky find. The award is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions made in regional ornithology.

Ovenbirds frequent Main Campus, especially the area near to George Segal’s Man on a Bench sculpture.

Savannah Sparrow
A Savannah sparrow alights in a tree just south of Siegel Hall.

White-crowned Sparrow
Striking white-crowned sparrows can be found throughout campus.

Peregrine Falcons
Williamson says that IIT Tower is home to peregrine falcons. This specimen perches along the ledges close to the top of the building.

Chestnut-sided Warbler
The walk concluded with the sighting of a chestnut-sided warbler, just south of S. R. Crown Hall. Altogether, the group observed 41 different species of birds. The next bird walk will be held in September. Contact Williamson at for more information.