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.
I like how beaver nonchalantly steps out of the way of the truck. This video taken in 2011.
These photos were taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the past two weeks.
Plants on fences often provide food, shelter and nesting sites for birds.
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?
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!
- 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
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.
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.
Canis Sapiens’ Dog Calendar http://www.hydeparkdogtraining.com
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:
Sara Paretsky’s letter to the editor of the Sun Times
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).
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.
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.
Photos all taken during the past two weeks in Hyde Park (Chicago)
Our year round resident mallards taking a bath
The first snow also lets you see who is around when you aren’t there!
For the last few years, we have been lucky enough to hear and see sandhill cranes migrate through our neighborhood when we get our first blast of arctic cold.
Here are some videos taken at Jasper-Pulaski. Scroll down for a video taken of a whooping crane flying with the sandhill cranes last Saturday.
Another Hyde Parker shot this great video with the whooping crane in it!
Here is the website with information about the sandhill crane migration site which is about 1.5 hour drive from Hyde Park: 5822 Fish and Wildlife Lane Medaryville, IN During the day you can sometimes see cranes feeding and sometimes dancing by turning right from the viewing platform parking lot and driving slowly looking for cranes in the fields. There are often cranes near the Schahfer Generating Station in nearby Wheatfield, IN
Meet at the field house on the Point to watch the supermoon rise:
Monday 5 pm — moon rise at 5:08 pm Tuesday 5:45 pm — moonrise at 5:58 pm
great blue heron catches common carp in east lagoon
Nature walk- Meet October 30th at 9:30 am at golf range driving parking lot. If driving south on LSD, exit to the right at 63rd Street (Hayes) and take the first right turn into the parking lot. Drive through the parking lot until you get to the golf range building and park there.
Tree lover group meets at 11 am in Osaka Garden
It is best time of year to catch a sunrise! This photo was taken at 63rd Street beach this morning. Arrive 15 minutes before sunrise on a partly cloudy day for your best shot at catching a very beautiful sunrise. This week, the last week before daylight savings time begins, you just have to arrive about 10 minutes after 7 am. Starting next Sunday you’ll have to get there about 10 minutes after 6 am. You’ll have another shot at relatively late sunrises around December 21 but the weather might not be as nice.
Concerned about our local trees? Everyone is invited to attend a new tree lovers group. We will meet after the nature walk at 11 am Sunday October 30 in the Osaka Garden. You can get to the Osaka Garden by walking over the south bridge (parking lot at 63rd and Cornell). You will need to walk through wooded island to get to the garden. You can also park on Stony Island and then walk over the north bridge (Nancy Hays bridge) to get to the garden.