Rosyfinch Ramblings
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May 2024
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Finding Spring in Illinois
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Florida & SE US, Illinois, Birding "Patches", Bald Eagle Nest
Posted by: Ken @ 10:01 am

After participating with a hard-core bunch who have monitored the local Bald Eagle nest since two eggs were laid in mid-December, we must now be content in our new role as virtual eagle-watchers.  Here is Mike Fossler’s slide show depicting recent events in the lives of the two Pembroke Pines eaglets, Hope and Justice, now 14 weeks old and flying freely for three weeks. They still return to the nest to rest and sometimes are fed by their parents, but they are surely learing how to find food on their own. (If you have trouble loading it, access the slideshow directly at this link):

It had snowed in Chicagoland the day before we arrived. To our delight, temperatures had warmed to the high 70s by noon, and the sun was shining bright. We took our three year old granddaughter to nearby Jones Meadow Park. While Mary Lou supervised her at the swings and slides near the park entrance, I walked the 3/4 mile asphalt path that skirts a lake, woods and wetlands to the north, and the back yards of homes to the south. The brown grasses and sedges have been flattened by the weight of the past winter’s generous snowfall. Low spots in the meadows and woods are flooded in spots aptly called “fluddles” by local birders. Various frogs and toads chirp and croak. The trees are mostly bare, though willows at the edge of the path are greening up.

Early-blooming White Trout Lilies abound at woodland edges and openings:

White Trout Lilly 20090427

Willow shoots push through the asphalt track with energy and exuberance that signals, indeed, spring has arrived:

Willow Pushing Up Asphalt 20090424

In Florida, American Robins are often hit-and-miss during the winter, and disappear to the north for the rest of the year.

This guy has to work hard for his breakfast:


A Great Blue Heron wades thigh-deep in a flooded meadow:

Great Blue Heron 20090427

This Song Sparrow sang blissfully, until he eyed…

Song Sparrow20090424

… a parasitic female Brown-headed Cowbird, waiting for the sparrow’s mate to begin laying her eggs:

Female Brown-headed Cowbird 20090424

A male cowbird forages nearby:

Brown-headed Cowbird 20090427

This first-year male Red-winged Blackbird lacks the bright coloration of the older males, but sings its “Konk-ra-lee” song and displays shoulder patches with only a hint of red:

First Year Male Red-winged Blackbird 20090427

A Downy Woodpecker is captured in mid-leap:

Downy Woodpecker Leaping 20090424

A pair of Mallards may be looking for a nesting site above the water level:

Mallard Pair 20090427

A female Northern Cardinal brightens up the leafless branches:

Female Cardinal 20090427

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