Migrating monarchs and other fall wildlife in Hyde Park (Chicago)

Migrating monarchs in a roost (or bivouac) on 63rd Street near the Lake

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monarchs in silver maple

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monarch on michaelmas daisy at 47th and Cornell

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monarch on Mexican sunflower in lovely garden at 65th and Cornell

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two skipper butterflies mating in garden by the golf driving range

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Snowberry clearwing hummingbird moth on zinnia. Other common names include sphinx moth or hawk moth.  In the UK they are known as bee-hawk moths.  Photo taken at garden around 65th and Cornell

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Clearwing hummingbird moth on butterfly bush in garden around 59th and Cornell

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An actual hummingbird which I first thought was another hummingbird moth!

crayfish on 63rd Street beach

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An itchy great blue heron near the golf driving range

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a juvenile black-crowned night heron in the Osaka Garden

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Lots of white-crowned sparrows are migrating through Wooded Island

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brown creeper at 47th and Cornell

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flycatcher from Bobolink Meadow

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coyote near 63rd Street not happy to see me

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It’s a girl!

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It’s a boy! A photo from around 5 years ago

Mostly photos of great garden at 65th and Cornell

Thanks for your help identifying the garden flowers in these photos.   Want to visit this garden?: park on 63rd and Cornell and walk south two blocks.  Watch out for golf balls.

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Cosmos

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Zinnias

 

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goldfinch eating sunflower seeds

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tiger swallowtail on sunflower

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goldfinch eating sunflower seeds

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painted lady butterfly

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bumblebee

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tiger swallowtail

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male black swallowtail

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female black swallowtail

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silver spotted skipper and beetle

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hackberry emperor

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pearl crescent on black-eyed susan

 

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monarchs

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hummingbird moth

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male monarch butterfly on Tithonia (Mexican sunflower)

 

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common buckeye butterfly

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cabbage whites

 

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crab apple in circle garden at midway and stony island

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green heron

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last batch of ducklings this year?

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cooper’s hawk

 

Summer herons, beach birds and butterflies

All photos taken in the Hyde Park Area during July and August 2018.

 

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water lily in Columbia Basin in back of MSI building

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green heron near Osaka Garden

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black-crowned night heron in Osaka Garden

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black crowned night heron with waterfall and mulberry tree

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great egret in Columbia Basin behind the MSI building

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western painted turtle in Oakwoods Cemetery

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spotted sandpiper on 63rd Street Beach

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One of this year’s hatchlings–spotted sandpiper

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Ring-billed gull and Caspian tern on 63rd Street Beach . You usually see Caspian terns diving beak first into the lagoons.

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A few pink ring-billed gulls showed up at 63rd Street beach.  Juvenile ring-billed gull on the right

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A blue Swedish duck or maybe a manky mallard (mix of mallard and domestic ducks) showed up with 2 mallards

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chipmunks have moved into Wooded Isle

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chipmunk checking out white mulberry fruit

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squirrel in white mulberry tree

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adult cliff swallow hanging out in nest

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cliff swallow nest on 63rd Street beach house wall

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young cliff swallow nestlings with white feathers that perhaps fool potential predators into thinking they are bird poop

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an older cliff swallow nestling

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female or juvenile red-winged blackbird with snack

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female monarch on joe pye weed

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monarch caterpillar

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black swallowtail on butterfly bush

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silver-spotted skipper– another candidate for bird poop camoflague

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female white form– clouded sulfur–looks blue when wings are open

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red-spotted purple butterfly

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eastern comma on milkweed

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Underside of this butterfly’s wing has a very faint comma. Again, nice camouflage

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tiger lily in wooded isle

 

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July (summer in the city)

 

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single gosling

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bullfrog

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Osaka Garden irises

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male purple martin and fledgling

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spotted sandpiper

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lots of monarchs this year

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pioneer spiderwort (snotweed) on 63rd Street beach

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mallard duckling with cottonwood seeds

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older mallard ducklings

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wood duck ducklings

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older wood duck ducklings

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older goslings

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why goslings can’t fly- look at the size of their wings

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starling nestlings

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starlings bathing on golden lady statue

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nest in Osaka Garden

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house wren parent

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house wren fledgling

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western painted turtle

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great blue heron

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great blue heron with 3 juvenile black-crowned night herons

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adult black-crowned night heron

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great egret

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fledgling barn swallows

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fledgling barn swallows

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monarch on milkweed in mini-garden near parking lot at 53rd and Dorchester

moon watch and new groups (natural areas and dogs) meeting this weekend

New groups forming for people concerned about protecting our natural areas and/or the proliferation of “no dogs allowed” areas
The weather is supposed to be reasonable both nights so we’ll meet at The Point in time to see the moon rise.  Meeting will occur even if it is cloudy.
Saturday February 11 at 6:18   natural areas
Sunday February 12 at 7:23     dogs
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Courting ducks and night camera videos

Most of these photos and videos were taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the last couple of weeks.

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow, I’ve seen and heard some signs of spring during the last couple of weeks: chickadees and cardinals singing their spring songs, squirrels mating, and ducks courting in the inner and outer harbor.

Field trip idea:  Go to inner or outer harbor to scout for courting ducks and look for signs of beavers.  To walk around inner harbor:  park on the street just west of Lake Shore Drive at 63rd Street (Hayes) or in the parking lot on the north side of the street.   You can walk over to the outer harbor if you park in the 63rd Street beach parking lot and walk south.

Male and female red-breasted mergansers.  Just the males are doing courting displays in this video.  Females have red heads and more white on their chests.

This is the first video I have where both male and female common goldeneyes are displaying.  After the brown female on the left hand side starts displaying, you can hear some of the beeps that the males make when they throw their heads back

At the beginning you can see this hooded merganser raise his crest and make his white patch bigger.  He then displays to a female mallard who already has a male mallard mate.

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Common goldeneye male courting female common goldeneye.   You couldn’t hear it very well in the video but there is also a beep with this move.    Male and female red-breasted merganser in the background

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I’ve never seen this version of the common goldeneye display before

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male and female hooded merganser– male’s white patch is relatively small when his crest is lowered

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female is sleeping, male’s white patch is still small

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male in sleeping position but he has raised his crest, why?

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because a female common goldeneye has hopped up next to him?

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canvasback duck

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diving

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front view

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female mallard on ice

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herring gull on ice

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american goldfinch

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coyote on ice at 63rd Street Beach

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winter is a good time to see nests in trees and find them on the ground

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This northern oriole who nested near the inner harbor used ribbon and fishing line in her nest

I like how beaver nonchalantly steps out of the way of the truck. This video taken in 2011.

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beaver with female mallard duck for scale (this photo not taken in last two weeks)

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chicken wire wrap stopped beavers from taking down this tree

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The saved tree

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I’m pro tree and pro beaver.  If you remove beavers from an area, other beavers move in. Wrapping some trees with wire and planting other trees for the beaver is one partial solution.  I think newly cut down healthy trees from all over Chicago should be brought to places where the beavers live to see if they will use them.  Above quote is from the beaversolutions.com website.

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Meeting tonight about proposed PGA champion golf course in Hyde Park

ANOTHER IMPORTANT MEETING ABOUT GOLF COURSE PROPOSAL with Chicago Park District CEO, Michael Kelly, at Alderman Leslie Hairston’s monthly meeting– January 24 at South Shore Fine Arts Academy, 1415 E 70th, 6-8 pm

Don’t want a PGA tournament golf course or a big music venue in your back yard?  Write your alderman or come to the 5th ward meeting tonight!

If our neighborhood decides that this PGA level golf course is a good idea, my personal opinion is that golf course should be organic (no pesticides).  Organic golf courses already exist!   This would  prevent contamination of our neighborhood and lake. And, the design should include wildlife habitat. Again, there are golf course that are wildlife friendly!   Finally, since habitat destruction threatens wildlife more than non-native species (many non-native species are benign or actually support native species*,  I think there should be a moratorium on tree destruction in all of Hyde Park. We have already lost 1300 trees/shrubs in Jackson Park through the work of the Army Corps of Engineers and Project 120. It will take years before the replacement young trees they have planted and will plant in the future will grow into mature trees.  An organic, wildlife-friendly course with no destruction of trees would be great and might attract more people to the game.    As was said in the JPAC meeting, many of the Chicago Park District golf courses in Chicago are under-utilized.

* “Where do camels belong?  Why invasive species aren’t all bad”  Ken Thompson 2014

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Birds and berries and sometimes it’s hard to be a plant

These photos were taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the past two weeks.

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Lots of plant parts coated in ice at the edge of the lake on The Point

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Some trees on The Point were also covered with ice on the night of the full moon

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Moon appearing through clouds

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Outside my house are 2 crab apple trees.  One tree has been stripped of its crab apples.

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The fruit on the other crab apple tree are all still there.  Maybe the crab apples on this second tree needed more freeze-thaw cycles before they are soft enough to eat?  Or maybe they just don’t taste very good?

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Across the street, robins are beginning to strip this hawthorn tree of its berries.  Usually once the berries are soft enough to eat, they strip the tree in a couple of days but this year was different.

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A couple of doors down from the hawthorn trees, I saw this cooper’s hawk.  All the robins decided to eat somewhere else that day

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but a cardinal still ate berries that day

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These berries look soft enough to eat but location matters too.  It may be too dangerous to eat these berries if eating them causes the bird to be out in the open and vulnerable.  As you saw above, our neighborhood has Cooper’s hawks.

Plants on fences often provide food, shelter and nesting sites for birds.

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This used nest, note the bird wove plastic into its nest, gives us a sample of what the birds sitting in the branches above it were eating.

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Lots of coral berries have been planted in Jackson Park, but the wildlife don’t seem to like them.   The author of “Birds in the Yard: Month by Month” agrees  “I planted them (coral berries) because certain nurseries gave them high marks as bird food. Every year, come spring, berries still hang, dry, ugly, untouched.”

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Oak trees usually don’t drop their leaves in the fall but these leaves have hole-punch shaped holes in them for the second year in a row

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Some nearby magnolia trees have the same hole-punch damage and have also not dropped their leaves this winter, which is unusual!  Lots of maples in our neighborhood didn’t drop their leaves this fall either. 

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Damage done by emerald ash borer

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Hyde Park beavers!

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In video below, crow caws and then rattles.  It seems to swallow air in order to rattle. I wonder if that is always the case?

 

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Long-earred owl in Osaka Garden.  The right eye and left ear are easiest to see.

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Mostly winter ducks and swans

Photos taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) area during the last couple of weeks.

Field trip suggestion:  Walk around the outer harbor to see the swans.  You can park in the 63rd Street Beach lot off of Lake Shore Drive and walk south around the outer harbor or you can park in the La Rabida parking lot.  To get there:  turn left on Marquette Drive when LSD ends and then turn left into the La Rabida parking lot at the first stoplight.  I like to stay left and park at the turn around at the north end of the hospital property.   I saw swans twice on December 30th. In the morning  (in front of old coast guard station, 6400s) and afternoon (northwest end of La Rabida parking lot, I had to walk by the edge of the water to see them)  Seize the day if you want to see them; they aren’t always there!

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I usually see mute swans in the outer harbor only when it is very cold but this year I saw a couple on a 50 degree day.

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Mute swan accompanied by cygnet (less than a year old)

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Mute swans are very big birds.  Use the two mallards in the background for scale

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It is quite cold today and more swans have arrived.  The first six are mute swans, adults and cygnets  but the last one with the black bill is probably another kind of swan, maybe a trumpeter swan?

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juvenile herring gull

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On very cold days, many birds spend a lot of time preening to keep ice from forming on their wings

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American coots with ice on their wings

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American coot puffing her feathers up to stay warm

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female red-breasted merganser on a warmer day

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female red-breasted merganser on a cold day deciding whether to get up or stay curled up sleeping

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female red-breasted merganser resting on a slab of ice

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size comparison of male red-breasted merganser and female common goldeneye

 

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lots of male common goldeneyes, leading duck on left has ice on his wings

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male common goldeneye on warmer day

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redhead

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redhead

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canvasback ducks also have a red head (one male and two females here)

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From left to right in middle of photo- redhead and then 3 canvasback ducks and a couple ring-necked ducks

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a better look at the ring-necked duck—

  • This species might better be called the “Ring-billed Duck,” for its chestnut neck ring is usually seen only at close range, while the white ring on the bill can be a prominent field mark.  From whatbird.com

 

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Lots of puffed up birds staying warm:  house sparrow on burning bush

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American Tree Sparrow – here in the winter, nests in the tundra in the summer

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american goldfinch

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northern cardinal eating pokeweed seeds

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downy woodpecker

 

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red-bellied woodpecker

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another view of red-bellied woodpecker

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On a clear day, you can see Navy Pier from 63rd Street Beach

Photos from my 2017 Wildlife and Dog Calendars and JPAC meeting Monday!

Here are the photos from my 2017 calendars. I included astronomical events: meteor showers, total eclipse of sun and times of full moonrise and moonset.  I’ve got free calendars for people who attend the birding group, people who attend my nature walks, people who attend or help in my dog training classes and people who attend JPAC (Jackson Park Advisory Committee) meetings about the future of Jackson Park.  If I still have extra calendars in mid January, I will be happy to donate one to your child’s classroom.   I also sell calendars for $15.  I can drop them off if you have a safe delivery place in Hyde Park or I can hang them on my door (53rd and Dorchester) and you can pick them up there

Moon watch — Tuesday December 13– meet at the lake near the Field House on the Point at 4:25 for an 4:34 moonrise. There is a parking lot and an underpass at 55th and Lake Shore Drive.

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There is more information after my photos about why I think it is so important for people who do not want a music venue building (Project 120’s Phoenix Pavilion) to be build in Jackson Park behind the Museum of Science and Industry to attend these monthly meetings.

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Canis Sapiens’ Dog Calendar       http://www.hydeparkdogtraining.com2017dogkimsunrisebeach

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Although most of the 100+ people who attended the May meeting with the Chicago Park District CEO convened by Leslie Hairston (38 spoke against it, 4 spoke for it), most of the regular attenders of JPAC meetings are pro-Project 120’s Phoenix Pavilion pictured below:

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Sara Paretsky’s letter to the editor of the Sun Times

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This map needs to be updated:  As of the May meeting, the Chicago Park District CEO said the basketball courts would not be moved.  He also said only bicycles and pedestrians would be allowed on the rebuilt Darrow Bridge (no road connecting LSD and Cornell).

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This poster was presented at a Project 120 meeting.  Patricia O’Donnell told me that 1300 trees and shrubs had been cut down in Wooded Isle and the surrounding areas.  My orange-colored comments say I don’t want more trees cut down for a Music Pavilion or a Great Lawn.

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This is a view of the proposed Great Lawn.  As of May of this year, the basketball courts will  not be moved but the tennis courts will be destroyed,  bark park relocated,  golf range relocated, free parking removed and lots of paid parking removed plus LOTS of trees destroyed.

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