A Little Local Color

The past two weeks have been challenging and I can’t seem to find a breather anywhere. Yet we race ahead into spring, even if temporarily yanked back to winter by strong winds, so I’m here with a few local images from a couple recent outings and the yard. This morning my cardinal was singing before sunrise… likely the same guy pictured below.

My windblown Northern Cardinal

Male Red-Winged Blackbirds have been coming back to claim their breeding territories for the past couple weeks. The one below was at Miller Meadow.

Also at Miller Meadow, tossed around in the wind, was a distant Red-Tailed Hawk. These pictures are cropped extensively but I liked how they captured the hawk’s maneuvers and the confirming red tail.

There was a somewhat leucistic American Robin at Miller Meadow and it was really hard to get a picture of it but it seemed worthy of documentation. I’ve never seen this before.

Below is what the Chicago Portage and the Des Plaines River nearby looked like last weekend. There were maybe 60 Common Goldeneye on the Des Plaines. I managed to get a closer view of one through the trees at the back of the Portage.

Common Goldeneye

I keep getting distracted by this shelf fungus every time I see it at the Portage.

Black-capped Chickadee, Chicago Portage
Mallards at Miller Meadow

Song Sparrows are returning to the Portage to set up territories too. I heard one singing, might have been this one.

Song Sparrow, Chicago Portage

Hadn’t run out of “winter” sparrows yet, there was a sizable flock of American Tree Sparrows at the Portage.

I will never run out of House Sparrows in my yard.

More windblown photos of my Cardinal visitors.

I never get tired of Canada Geese flying overhead in formation. People are reporting Sandhill Cranes and I hope to see some of them soon as well.

My plan is to get through a very busy weekend and return here soon! Something keeps pouring extra salt on my chaos… lately I’ve been surprised to land on two feet.

One more Downy Woodpecker at Miller Meadow…

4 thoughts on “A Little Local Color

  1. In spite of the ‘chaos’ you have seen a good selection of birds and captured them very nicely for us. I hope that things calm down both in the weather and in life.

    • Thanks. In spite of everything I have these moments when I feel intensely grounded and they surprise me. It could just be the additional light, longer days. Whatever it is, I can’t expect it but I should try to accept it. 🙂

    • I agree about the local Cardinals and abundance of Goldfinches. Although there are always a lot of Cardinals at the Portage, so it must be their flock preference in the winter. And I think Woodpeckers tend to be solo opportunists so they show up everywhere.

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