Winter 2015: Chicago snow birds (ducks who migrate south to spend the winter in balmy Chicago)

All photos taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the last few weeks.

Common goldeneye shows off his best courtship move. See more in video below.

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Male common goldeneye in upright position

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female common goldeneye

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White-winged scoters sometimes show up near shore during the winter months. In the video below, watch one bird with a goody (crustacean?) get chased.

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common mergansers

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canvasback duck

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female long-tailed duck

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female red-breasted merganser

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How big are these ducks compared to a herring gull? White-winged scoter (juvenile) at 2:00. Other ducks are scaup.

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How big are these ducks compared to a herring gull? Adult herring gull and first winter herring gull are in the background. Left to right in front: scaup, white-winged scoter, and common goldeneye

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Windy and cold at the lake

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Raccoon prints with keys for scale

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Full moon setting

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tree sparrow

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black-capped chickadee

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white pigeon

 

Green herons growing up, Great Egrets hanging around

All photo were taken in Hyde Park area during the last couple of weeks.

An American Dagger moth caterpillar

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Young green heron hatched in the Osaka Garden still has a little baby fuzz left

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A question mark on a butterfly bush

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A good look at a hooded female merganser’s feet.

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A female hooded merganser

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We’ve had a couple of great egrets hanging around this past week.

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Green Darner dragonfly–Large dragonfly that migrates south for the winter. Color of lower abdomen and tail changes color from purple to blue to silver depending on ambient temperature.

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bullhead catfish

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Painted lady on thistle

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American lady on Queen Anne’s lace.

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How to tell the difference between a painted lady and an american lady butterfly, from bugguide.net

Mostly bluebirds and butterflies

All these photos were taken in Hyde Park during the last couple of weeks except when noted.

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red spotted purple

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tiger swallowtail

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tiger swallowtail on sow thistle

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tiger swallowtail

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crayfish

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orange sulfur

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black swallowtail

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hummingbird

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bluebird (photo taken May 4 in Palos)

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juvenile bluebirds

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juvenile molting into adult plumage

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another juvenile molting into adult plumage

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juvenile bluebird

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juvenile bluebird with touch of blue

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another juvenile starting to get adult plumage

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green heron (downy young stage)

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rabbit in clover

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young cooper’s hawk (young hawks have vertical rather than horizontal stripes) who lost his/her tail

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Hackberry emperor

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Hackberry emperor

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Question mark (or is it a Comma?) on butterfly bush

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 6.55.16 AM

From http://www.gardenswithwings.com

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Looks like a eastern comma

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sunrise on a foggy day

Sunrise walk and more butterflies/moths

All these of photos were taken in the Hyde Park area during the last couple of weeks.   Feel free to join us on a nature walk/moon watch tonight at 6 pm.  We will start at the east entrance of the Museum of Science and Industry.

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red spotted purple butterfly

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bunny at 47th Street and Cornell

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monarchs mating

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indigo bunting eating grass seeds

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white underwing moth– forewing pattern provides camouflage IF the moth is resting on a birch tree

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sunrise

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sundog- bright spots in the sky caused by refraction of sunlight by tiny ice crystals

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juvenile double crested cormorant-The feather structure of cormorants decreases buoyancy so they are better able to catch fish underwater. This feather structure also makes their feathers less waterproof than other water birds’ feathers and so they spread their wings to help them dry faster.

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green heron

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juvenile black-crowned night heron

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purple martins lining up– thinking of heading south?

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Mostly herons and butterflies

All photos taken in Hyde Park during the last couple of weeks.  Baby raccoon video was taken in Indiana but a raccoon family was spotted in Jackson Park this past Saturday.

The next nature walk/ moon watch is this Sunday, August 10.  We’ll meet at the east door of the Museum of Science of Industry at 6 pm  for the nature walk and meet at the Field house on the Point for the moon watch at 7:30 (moon rises at 7:43).

 

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cone flower

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I saw lots of herons on an evening walk including this great blue heron

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black-crowned night heron

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juvenile black-crowned night heron

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double-crested cormorant having trouble swallowing a fish

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young purple martin begging from a sibling

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white-faced meadowhawk dragonfly

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spotted sandpiper looking more grown up but no spots yet

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very beautiful great blue heron

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Museum of Science and Industry

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green heron peeking out of nest

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juvenile mallards with their mom

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song sparrow singing

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song sparrow showing off

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tiger swallowtail

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monarch butterfly on coneflower