Early migrants have arrived (meadowlarks, red-winged blackbirds) and winter ducks are still here too

All photos taken in the Hyde Park (Chicago) area during the last few weeks unless noted otherwise.

These photos were mostly taken in the area around 63rd and Hayes:  Hayes beach, the inner harbor, the outer harbor and La Rabida

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A male red-winged blackbird

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Front-end view of displaying red-winged blackbird taken March 30, 2013

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A back-end view of a displaying male red-winged blackbird. The females haven’t arrived yet.

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Cardinals have already been singing their spring song for a couple of months

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This white-throated sparrow is puffed up because it is a cold spring day

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meadowlark singing

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meadowlark

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dark-eyed Junco

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song sparrow

 

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redhead

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ring-necked duck ( it is a mystery to me why people agreed to this common name!)

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It was great fun having the white-wingd scoters come into the outer harbor again this winter. This one is posing in the blue, blue water of Lake Michigan just after most of the ice melted

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A close-up of the white-winged scoter’s bizarre bill.

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horned grebe

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Two red-breasted mergansers doing courtship displays for the female swimming next to the second male.

This video shows some serious courtship moves of 4 male mergansers. The female is sitting on a piece of ice

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Damage done by wood boring insect.

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Eggs are laid where you see the straight line, the grubs then eat their way through the wood. Notice the lines get thicker as the grubs move away from the original straight line. This is because the insect is getting bigger.

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maple tree flowers in snow storm

 

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maple tree flowers in snow storm

 

 

moonrise, sunrise and UN-wooded isle

Here are a couple links to articles defending non-native species.  Perhaps we’ve gone overboard when we consider that all non-native species are bad for the environment and must be removed.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129621.400-loving-the-alien-a-defence-of-nonnative-species.html#.VQhFp2bN4Tk

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140724-invasive-species-conservation-biology-extinction-climate-science/

All photos were taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) during the last few weeks.  Habitat destruction at Wooded Isle photos are at the end of this post

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Bohemian waxwing

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Bohemian waxwing

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male and female white-winged scoter

Female red-breasted merganser with a few white-winged scoters

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moonrise over Lake MIchigan

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sunrise over Lake Michigan

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mystery track with 2 inch red ball for scale

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common merganser showing off red foot

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lots of healthy trees cut down

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middle of the wooded isle

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near Osaka Garden

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lots of very old, very big trees were cut down, dogs for scale

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wood chips from all the trees cut down, dog for scale

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Poplar trees cut down from bobolink meadow

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brush cut down, lots of habitat for nesting birds removed

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Young oak tree–all replacement trees are going to be 3 inches wide

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red oshier dogwood taken out too. Don’t know why it was on the hit list, native and not invasive

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

 

Polar Vortex Winter!

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coyote on lake near pier at Hayes (63rd) and the lakevideo of coyote on lake:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/01pxssikd6z4uen/RWgoz5ZRU0

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feeders helped our birds survive this winter

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raccon prints in the snow

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sundog

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mute swans

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mute swans

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white-winged scoter (sea duck rarely seen in Chicago)

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white-winged scoter with juvenile goldeneye

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