Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Green Heron

When in the Quad Cities a few months ago, we were in Port Byran, Illinois we stopped in a small park by a dam on the Mississippi River.  I was actually looking at the American White Pelican's and saw movement in an area by the shore. I had come upon this Green Heron.
He was nice enough to stand still for me while I took a couple of pictures.

They are a short stocky heron with a blue green back , rusty red neck and chest..  He has short legs that are normally yellow, but turn orange during the breeding season. They female looks the same. They build a platform nest, Both Male and female build.  They can have up to 2 broods a hear.
Information says it sometimes looks like it doesn't have a neck, because it holds it close to the body. It has a crest that it raises when excited.
They hunt for fish and aquatic insects by waiting along a shore or wades stealthily.  Has been known to place an insect on the water surface to attract fish to catch.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, or Greater Yellowlegs

Well I seem to have a problem trying to identify this bird. My gut says it is the Lesser or Greater Yellowlegs rather then the Sandpiper.  These first two pictures were taken hear my home a couple of years ago.

There is an area that fills with water and that is where I came upon them.

This one was seen a couple of days ago in a pond not far from the house.

This bird was right on the marsh edge. It was cloudy and this was as good a picture I could get.

The Yellowlegs summer range is a lot further north, Canada, then we are. The Killdeer that are in the second picture summer around here in Illinois

The Spotted Sandpiper in one book shows it summers in Illinois.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cedar Waxwing

Saw my first ever Cedar Waxwing on the 23rd. I had just come home and happened to catch a glance of him. in the tree in
front of the house

Naturally, he had to sit in the very top of the tree.

He was kind enough to sit there while I got my camera out.

There actually was a pair of them.

This one was sitting farther down in the tree.

Then today coming home, I saw them again.

This time it was more the silhouette that caught my eye.

This was definitely harder to view.

Again the silhouette was the give away

I hope they will stick around a while so I can see them again.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Red Tailed Hawk

In an area not far from our house I saw from a distance what appeared to be a big bird!  To my surprise I had!
Check out this Red Tailed Hawk. He is sitting a rather small tree, pretty close to the ground, just chilling.

I knew there were some in the area, just not this close.

There would be lots in the area to prey upon.

Here is the tree. He is almost as big as the tree!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Great Blue Heron Fishing

The other day at a marsh area not far from our house we happened upon this heron fishing.  He had just landed on this muddy bank and caught a fish.
He needed to get the fish just right for feeding.

It looks like he was washing it off, now who would want a muddy fish?

He is getting it positioned.
He got it in his gullet.

Now how satisfying was that?

Time to take a little stroll in the pond.

Is it time to look for another catch?

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Killdeer are large birds, 10 1/2 inches. The are slim, long-tailed plover with a long thin bil. They have a small head and broad neck 

This one is playing that it has a broken wing.  Because they make their nests on the ground, by playing that they have a broken wing, they are leading you away from the nest.

A baby Killdeer

Mom and 2 kids.  These unfortunately are not the best pictures.  We saw the babies  3 summers ago, when I had not as good a camera. No babies seen since.  The young ones look identical to the adult.  They have the same coloring, only they look fluffier. They do have a loud very high-pitched kideeer.
The killdeer are easy to find. It is the nests and the babies that are not so much.  There is fields not far from where we live that the killdeer love.  It has rocky areas, water, and plenty of weeds and grasses for them to hide in.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dragonflies Oh My

This afternoon I stopped at the Kane County Forest Preserve to check it out.  This one is near our house and I have never been to it..  I caught this dragonfly.  Looks like I am going to now have to get a "bug" identity book.
I did find out this is a Halloween Pennat.

This was amazing to me.

There is a big pond or a small lake on the grounds. I think Water Lilies are so pretty. I saw a lot of walking and hiking trails.  It looks like there is even a toboggan run.

There was this pair of mallards along the edge of the pond.

If you look closely you can see a blue bug.  I could not see any wings, but they have to be there, as he flew around by my feet.  Blue Dasher, male.

Then I got this beauty, which is a Widow Skimmer.

This one stopped by to have his picture taken as well.
Blue Dasher

Can you believe, I caught one on this lily pad.

There was a little bridge over this creek that fed into the pond.  It was such a pretty setting.

There were a couple of fisherman. One actually caught 2 that were at least 12 inches long. When I asked if they were going to keep them, they said no and unhooked them and put the fish back.

Who knew there was such a beautiful setting about 4 miles from my home.

Love the waterlilies.

This was supposed to be the first picture of this series.  Why do they not  post  in the same order they were taken?
All in all, I had a wonderful time watching for "Birds".   Actually, I did find a new one, but have to identify it.
It started out raining today and turned into a beautiful sunny day.
Enjoy your day.