Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nashville Warbler

I've only seen Nashville Warblers high up in trees. So I never really saw the little rufous cap that they have. I actually checked the photo in my Sibley's book because I wondered if, perhaps, this little guy had been injured on the top of his head. Not to worry, Nashville's do wear a little rufous cap.

Hey Camera Girl! Turn up the heat, please!

Like my profile?

Can you see my little red hat?

Maybe I'll just snuggle under this flower
with some Chai Tea until the weather warms up

I'm so outta here!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Black Throated Green Warbler

I find it very unusual to see a warbler flitting around the ground instead of high up in the trees. But this has been a very unusual migration season (has it really even started yet?). Anyway, this little Black Throated Green Warbler was flitting around the grass and low bushes in Grant Park on Monday. I got the impression that he was expecting temperatures higher than the mid 40s.

Hey! Down on the ground is less windy than up in the trees.

I REALLY thought it was time to migrate.
How could I be so off schedule?

Who are you and WHAT did you
do with the Spring Weather?

I know I packed my Migration Mittens. Where are they?

I may have to fly back south for awhile longer!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Don't you love it when a bird's name is sooooooo descriptive. Of course, this is a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. But he also has yellow shoulders and, if you look really closely at the second photo, you can see a hint of a yellow crown.

I hope the sighting of my first warbler of the Spring is a sign that Spring is actually here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Migration 2011: Early April

A sample of the birds that are currently coming through Chicago during the 2011 Migration:

Clockwise from top left: Eastern Phoebe, Brown Thrasher,
American Goldfinch (in its Motley Phase of Color Transition),
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, a hungry Black Capped Chickadee, Hermit Thrush

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Loony Tunes

I can't believe this Loon let me take so many photos of it swimming around a channel off Lake Michigan. That is, until another Loon arrived and in typical Loon fashion bellowed (seriously it was LOUD - perhaps because of an echo effect from the channel and because it, too, was quite close)

"Watch out for the camera"

Both loons, then, dove under and were next seen at the farrrrrrrrr end of the channel swimming further away from the nosy camera lens.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Snowy Owl

This Snowy Owl put on quite a show for awhile in a little town in Northern Illinois. (These were taken in January. Yeah, I'm a little late posting these.) It's not that it is a rare visitor to the area - Snowy Owls do reside here in the winter. The rarity was that it sat out in the open like this - periodically switching telephone/electric poles for a change of scenery - daily for weeks.

It garnered A LOT of attention. On the day we were there, the side road nearest to it - which was still a farm field away - had at least a dozen cars. On the plus side, the people who came to see it were generally pretty respectful of the bird and didn't try to get too close. On the down side, some watchers started releasing mice in the area so they could get "action shots" of the owl. Not that she (I think it is a she) needed any help getting dinner.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Long-Tailed Duck

Chicago had another rare visitor recently. This little guy, with the very striking markings, is a Long-Tailed Duck. He hung around Burnham Harbor for a few days. According to the All About Birds description, this is a non-breeding male. They typically do not come this far south, preferring the upper Great Lakes and Canada region. I love his coloring and the way his tail curls up.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cooper's Hawk

The watcher got watched! We went over to the Magic Hedge last Sunday. There had been a light snow and we were hoping to see any of our Winter Residents out and about.

I was a little un-nerved though to glance up and see this Cooper's Hawk sitting on a lower branch calmly watching me. He has a "young" look to him so perhaps he hasn't seen too many people tramping through the snow.

I got the feeling, from his expression here, that he somehow blamed US for the gust of wind that blew the new snow off the tree and onto him.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Harlequin Duck in Costume

About two months ago, I posted some photos of immature (or female) Harlequin Ducks. They were fun to watch, but I missed seeing their cool winter plumage. This weekend, I got the chance to see a Harlequin Duck all decked out for Winter.

Enjoying the waves

Surf's Up, Dude

Oh No! A Camera! Gotta Go!

Where'd He Go?

This Cold Weather Makes Me Sleepy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Red-Tailed Hawk

This Red Tailed Hawk got his feathers ruffled. By the wind ... but not by me. In fact, I think he was more than happy to get his photo taken. Initially, he greeted us at the entrance (where he then captured a snack). Later, he flew over to the other side of Northerly Island where we were walking to grab another snack. He seems to be eating well and becoming quite the urban Hawk.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Northern Shrike

Where else would a Northern Shrike be but on ... Northerly Island. And, of course, only a possible sighting of a cool bird like a Northern Shrike would lure us out on a cold winter day. This one seemed to be enjoying the sun (as we were as well) in between food reconnaissance missions.