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.