I did not make it to the Chicago Portage this past weekend to check on the possibility of hummingbirds again. But maybe it’s still worth commenting on the remaining creatures I encountered on the 17th.
It’s that confusing time of year again. Young birds are as big as their parents, but distinguishing them is sometimes difficult, especially in poor light. Often I take a picture I know will be lousy just to blow it up later, adjust the exposure and see if I can figure out what it was I was looking at. As it is, the “sparrowy” looking birds all turned out to be Song Sparrows (except for the Red-Winged Blackbirds). There were several Indigo Buntings too but due to poor light and whatever else they hid themselves within, they did not make the cut.
Now that you’ve seen both the juvenile Red-Winged Blackbird and the Song Sparrow, see if you can figure out what the bird is below. You could almost make a case for either one, I think.
Then there are the group photos. The birds don’t always cooperate but sometimes the challenge of how many you can fit in the frame takes over.
There was a group congregating in the water too. A family of Wood Ducks getting ready to depart.
Shorebird migration is in full force, but the Portage isn’t a hot spot. Still I had the two most likely suspects in attendance.
I love the look of juvenile European Starlings. Until they turn mostly black, it’s possible to see they do have eyes.
Another black bird, but instead of a shiny navy blue head, this juvenile Common Grackle is a rich dark chocolate brown.
The Cedar Waxwing below strikes me as an adult, but chances are some of those in the Waxwing Tree above, if only we could see them, were youngsters.
Down by the second bridge was a very friendly Eastern Phoebe enjoying flying off his perch for insects,
Now comes the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The bugs that I cannot identify. This beetle looked to me like it would be easy to find in my Big Beetle Book (not the title) but so far I have been unable to identify it. While I don’t think I’ve discovered a new species, I am beginning to understand this confusion is often the way it is with insects. Period.
The ladybug could be the most common native species, but I’m not going out on any limb.
More birds–and bugs — pardon me, insects — to come.