Cooper's Hawk, Grant Park

Cooper’s Hawk, Grant Park

If I were better organized I would only upload pictures I was actually going to use in a blog post, but I am too often compiling posts on the fly and consequently I wind up making last-minute decisions of what to use and never going back to delete the unused, or “unattached” photos.

Black Vulture 4-26-14

Black Vulture 4-26-14

So this is a photo essay with no particular subject, only some previously unattached, unrelated blasts from the past.

Bewick's Wren, 4-26-14

Bewick’s Wren, 4-26-14

Northern Cardinal, Lake Shore East Park, 4-23-14

Northern Cardinal, Lake Shore East Park, 4-23-14

Lincoln's Sparrow, Songbird Meadows, 4-26-14

Lincoln’s Sparrow, Songbird Meadows, 4-26-14

White-Winged Crow, Daley Bicentennial Plaza Tennis Court

White-Winged Crow, Daley Bicentennial Plaza Tennis Court

Superb Starling

Superb Starling

Leopard 11-24-13

Leopard 11-24-13

I’ll be back in real time soon. 🙂

Let my wings do the talking

White-Wing never speaks. Her peers caw incessantly, but she always arrives in silence and gets her point across with her presence.

So when all the cawing in the world didn’t seem to be pulling me away from trying to find migrants in the park yesterday…

Fox Sparrow foraging in the yews

as I finally turned to walk back toward the crows, White-Wing flew toward me and landed just a few feet away. Her body language conveyed, “don’t worry, I’ll get her attention.”

So why doesn’t she talk?

(a) She’s mute;

(b) She’s low in the hierarchy;

(c) She’s too cool;

(d) None of the above.

One thing’s for sure. She doesn’t mind the one-on-one, in fact, she invites it. But as soon as she’s ready to leave, she tries to beat the camera.

And she wins every time.

First Fall for Young Crows

The juvenile crows in the park already seem to know me better than previous generations, which makes me think I am genetically imprinted on them. They ignore all other humans but me, and have grown so bold as to sit and caw loudly like impatient children when I have stopped to talk to a friend. I suppose I’ve been encouraging them by showing up three to four times a week under the guise of looking for migrants before the season runs out. And I have seen them over a longer period of time, since June this year, whereas in previous years I never got to see juvenile crows until August.

White-winged Crow

The white-winged crow likes the fact that I notice him and returns the favor.

He’s still living a life of leisure in the park, food is plentiful, not much to worry about. He can spend a lot of time shelling peanuts, as in this video clip.

There have been sparrows flocking to the leaf litter and the lawns, and along with them, Golden-Crowned Kinglets.

Golden-Crowned Kinglet

And here’s a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet in a small tree.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

And a Hermit Thrush was also curious to see who was taking pictures. In the park, they’re a lot less hermetic.

Hermit Thrush

A Splash of White

I’ve seen this crow around the park off and on all summer and now that he seems to be acquiring his more adult plumage, the white in his wings is all that more dramatic.

Juvenile Crow

You can really see the white in the flight feathers as I just barely managed to catch him here on this cloudy day.

White flight feathers

There was a semi-leucistic Canada Goose with the flock in Butler Field this morning as well.

Partially Leucistic Canada Goose