Tuesday afternoon, before the rains came, I got a chance to go to Lake Shore East Park and visit with the Crows. There were two fledglings present. I expected to see them because I had already seen my first fledgling crow while sitting in the office last week: the Fire Escape Crow was taking one of its youngster for its first trip to the zoo, meaning the fire escapes that go up the sides of two buildings facing each other in an alley. If you are a Crow, you can hop from one level to the next and watch the people in cages inside.
So I had preening and flying Crows at Lake Shore East Park, and of course we had peanuts, but I was most intrigued by these two very young-looking fledged kids who were pretty quiet, a lot of just checking things out with those big blue eyes.
And it was nice to get a couple flight shots, seems to be easier now that I finally figured out the back button auto focus, I barely tried. Love when the feathers look like they’re dripping down.
On the way back from Lake Shore East I caught a Red Admiral on a flower in Millennium Park.
And the cicada below was sitting on a wall underneath the locust trees still left after the Maggie Daley remodeling. It almost looks like a fledgling to me.
One more Flying Crow shot almost out of the frame.
Lots more coming when I get around to it. It’s a toss up these days as to where one spends more time, between sweat and air-conditioning. 🙂
No longer distracted by passerine migration, it’s time to get caught up with the crows. Available territories downtown have shrunk considerably and with it the resident crow population. But a couple weeks ago, on May 20, to be exact, I caught my first glimpse of two fledgling crows at Lake Shore East Park.
Every year the breeding season seems to start earlier, and this is by far the earliest I have seen crow kids. So young their eyes hadn’t turned brown yet.
Then I went down to the lakefront parks before work on May 29, and while individual crows were not following me, I witnessed a joyous celebration of fifty to sixty crows (a true “murder”) out on their Spring Fling. I never know how they organize these group flight events, whether they all came from a communal roost or if there was an invitation to fly en masse over Michigan Avenue to crows up and down the lakefront, but whatever brought them together that morning to fly repeatedly overhead, it was a sight to behold. I couldn’t shoot pictures of them in the air fast enough.
But at one point they all descended upon a fire escape, so I could capture some of the group.
Yesterday at Lake Shore East Park I snuck a few peanuts to the parent crow and waited to see if this was going to be a peanut-cracking lesson.
But it looks like it was more like a Start-to-Wean-You event.
Not as many opportunities this year, without the bigger, continuous park space, to spoil the kids early and teach them bad habits. I suspect they will be going on more field trips with the larger community. That’s good, in a way. They will learn first to be wild.