Fall 2019

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female blue-winged teal

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male blue-winged teal

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female red-breasted merganser

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male wood duck

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ruddy duck

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male and female ruddy duck

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ruddy ducks

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female red-breasted merganser

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female red-breasted merganser with male and female mallard

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scaup

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female golden-eye

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male hooded merganser

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northern flicker

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northern flicker peeking out of  wood duck box

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northern cardinal

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flycatcher

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carp

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caspian terns and ring-billed gulls

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raccoon

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great blue heron in Osaka Garden

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kestrel

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moon rise

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tree fungus

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murmuration of starlings

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starlings

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coyote in Oak Woods cemetery

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coyote in Oak Woods cemetery

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Canada Goose and greater white-fronted goose in Oak Woods cemetery

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greater white-fronted goose in Oak Woods cemetery

Summer 2019

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turtles

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carp in lagoon

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indigo bunting

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front view of indigo bunting

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baltimore oriole

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baltimore oriole

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great crested flycatcher

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dragonfly

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red-spotted purple

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american lady butterfly

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black-crowned night heron

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black-crowned night heron

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green heron

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mallard ducklings and mom

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mallard ducklings and mom

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Canada Goose and goslings

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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