Cook County - Cook County Forest Preserves

Ford Road/Bergman Slough/Bergman Slough Field

Ford Road is north of McCarthy Road between Will-Cook and Wolf Roads.  There are pull-over parking spaces on the south side of Ford Road.  To the south is Bergman Slough Field and to the north is Cap Sauer Forest Preserve.  Near the east most parking space where the road starts to curve south a Summer Tanager has been on territory for the last few summers.  In winter Northern Saw-whet, Eastern Screech, Barred and Great Horned Owls can all be found along Ford Road.  Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows nest near the road in the field to the south (note: the Forest Preserve District has done controlled burns in the field recently, 2011-12, that has caused the Henslow’s to move to the near by John Duffy Grasslands).   In most years Henslow’s can be found throughout the grassland.  Farther back in the field (farther south) are breeding Dickcissels and Bobolinks and usually an Eastern meadowlark or two.  In late summer Sedge Wrens often arrive for a second round of nesting from other locations unknown.  In spring watch and listen for displaying American Woodcocks.  On the west edge of the field on the wooded edge south of the houses there has been a Blue-winged Warbler or two for a couple of years.

Farther east along Ford Road is the caretaker’s house (sometime occupied, sometimes not).  A Yellow-throated Vireo has been found in the woods across the road since 2008.  Listen for the/a Summer Tanager here as well.  An Orchard Oriole can usually be found behind the house.  In the past a Blue-winged Warbler has been found by the house.  On 8 June 2008, 9 June 2009 and 14 June 2012 a male Least Flycatcher has been recorded behind or east of this house, but breeding has not yet been confirmed.  Red-headed Woodpeckers breed in the woods just to the northeast of the house in Cap Sauer.  Ospreys breed at Bergman Slough south of the house.  The area immediately around the lake is off limits from 15 April to August.  Do not park at the small parking space east of the caretaker’s house, even if you are in the woods across the street looking for Red-headeds!  The Ospreys can be viewed with a scope from the parking places mentioned at the beginning of this post.

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