Surveying Lincoln Park's Bird Species

Bird surveys a century apart in Lincoln Park can shed light on the impact of urbanization.

Seeing How Bird Species Have Changed Over a Century

In 1910, a survey on the birds of Lincoln Park was published. The authors took note of the different species residing in the park, their relative abundance and the dates of their arrival during the spring migration.

Although Lincoln Park has changed little since that time, Chicago and the surrounding area have been transformed by development. Now, a century later, researchers at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute are taking the unique opportunity to measure how 100 years of urbanization has impacted migratory and local bird populations.

By recreating bird surveys conducted a century ago, scientists can measure how bird diversity has changed and spot differences in migration patterns. Furthermore, this study will shed light on exactly how invasive species, such as the European starling, have impacted bird communities.

During the 2012 survey, researchers observed almost 100 different bird species during peak spring migration.


Staff

Mason Fidino is coodinator of wildlife management in Lincoln Park Zoo's Urban Wildlife Institute.   Mason Fidino
Coordinator of Wildlife Management, Urban Wildlife Institute
  Research Coordinator Julia Kilgour, M.S.   Julia Kilgour, M.S.
Adjunct Scientist, Urban Wildlife Institute
Allison Sacerdote, Ph.D., is a reintroduction scientist in Lincoln Park Zoo's Urban Wildlife Institute.   Allison Sacerdote-Velat, Ph.D.
Reintroduction Biologist, Urban Wildlife Institute
    Seth Magle, Ph.D.
Director, Urban Wildlife Institute
Joe Frumkin is a research intern in Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute   Joe Frumkin
Research Intern
   

Multimedia

To see how urbanization has affected Lincoln Park’s birds, zoo scientists are doing daily counts to compare today’s species with those surveyed more than 100 years ago.

100 Years of Chicago Birds
To see how urbanization has affected Lincoln Park’s birds, zoo scientists are doing daily counts to compare today’s species with those surveyed more than 100 years ago. Follow their sightings from 2013!

 

To see how urbanization has affected Lincoln Park’s birds, zoo scientists are doing daily counts to compare today’s species with those surveyed more than 100 years ago.

Post from the President—Call of a Century
To see how urbanization has affected Lincoln Park’s birds, zoo scientists are doing daily counts to compare today’s species with those surveyed more than 100 years ago. In his latest post, President and CEO Kevin Bell shares their findings.