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.


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



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


Moon appearing through clouds



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


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?


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.


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


but a cardinal still ate berries that day



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.


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.


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.”


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


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. 



Damage done by emerald ash borer


Hyde Park beavers!


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?



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


2 comments on “Birds and berries and sometimes it’s hard to be a plant

  1. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Looks like beavers are busy..very busy this winter.



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