Shawnee Chapter of Illinois Audubon Society, serving members across the southernmost region of Illinois. We are dedicated to the conservation and preservation of Illinois habitat and its diversity of native birds, animals and plants. We offer bird watching and nature-related field trips, workshops and presentations in southern Illinois.
Bird Lineup. Photo: Michael Jeffords
Join us for the Shawnee Chapter Annual Meeting and very special presentation. Biologists Michael Jeffords and Susan Post will take us on a month-long photo safari as they journey across the northeast region of Australia . They experienced everything from koalas to kangaroos, birds of paradise to bellbirds, and much, much more . . .
May 20th, 7 PM, Carbondale Township Hall
Yesterday, five of us made the annual Shawnee Chapter trip to Cave Valley for early spring migrants. The frigid dawn warmed up to a beautiful clear spring day. A little earlier in the season than we normally go, quite a few species were missing from our “normal” list. But, we all agreed that the extra long view we had of the cerulean and prothonotary warblers sharing the same branch, at eye level, with perfect lighting was the best we’d ever seen of either bird–and there they were together!
While waiting for folks to arrive in Pomona before driving down to Cave Valley we spotted barn and tree swallows, indigo bunting, blue grosbeak, black and turkey vulture, mourning dove, northern cardinal and chipping sparrow. Once in the forest, besides the cerulean and prothonotary, we picked up red-shouldered hawk, bluejay, blue gray gnatcatcher, American redstart, blue-winged warbler, yellow-throated warbler, common yellowthroat warbler, pine warbler, worm eating warbler, Louisiana waterthrush, red-eyed vireo, white-eyed vireo, yellow-throated vireo (and possibly a Philadelphia vireo), belted kingfisher and white-throated sparrow. Probably missing some–maybe Anne or Ann can add to this list!
Tony Gerard tells the story of Caleb Tucker.
Last Monday evening, everyone enjoyed Tony Gerard’s living history performance of Caleb Tucker telling his story of the removal of the Cherokee from their homeland in Georgia to Oklahoma. After leading a group across the Ohio River on a ferry into Golconda, Illinois the trek began across southern Illinois along what is now referred to as the Trail of Tears. Ice on the Mississippi River forced the group to wait at camps where they spent a cold and arduous winter. Only allowed enough time to grab a few personal items before being forced from their homes, the Cherokee did not have proper provisions to keep warm and dry. Many, especially the children, got sick and died along the way–hundreds were buried in unmarked graves. By the time the ice thawed on the Mississippi and they were placed on a ferry crossing into Missouri, Caleb Tucker had felt enough shame and seen enough pain–he quit. The next time you visit Trail of Tears State Forest or see a convenience store or some such arbitrary thing calling itself Trail of Tears this or that, remember there is a story behind that name as a reminder that we should never allow such a travesty to occur during our watch.