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Bird Tours at Wooded Island End

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A man who hosted group bird walks through a nature preserve on Chicago’s South Side for more than 30 years gave his last tour New Year’s Day.

He says the Chicago Park District drove away many of the birds by clearing trees and shrubs in the area.

72-year old Douglas Anderson made more than 4,000 walks through Paul Douglas Nature Sanctuary, better known as Wooded Island in Jackson Park.

Anderson says the area once teemed with birds -- swallows, crows, chickadees, and others.

“For the last three months from October to December we were seeing hardly any bird species at all on Wooded Island,” Anderson says. “They simply disappeared.”

The director for the Department of Natural Resources at the Chicago Park District, Adam Schwerner, says it had to clear several invasive, non-native species of plants that were growing on the island.

Schwerner says a mild winter could also be to blame for the current lack of birds.

He says the Park District’s planning to replant some native shrubs and trees on Wooded Island this spring.

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