Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Eagles on the Fox River on Sunday

Sunday we went down to the Fox River to see if there were any eagles in the area.
I was showing Ron and Andy some of the places I have been stopping to photograph them.
We were on the west side of the river when Andy said he saw one. As we backed up to check it out, we saw an eagle swoop down and a hawk fly up.  The eagle took a fish away from the hawk and flew up into a tree.  I told Ron he had to creep up toward where we could see the eagle enjoying his new meal.

Here he is. He looked up, and did not fly away.

We crept closer and closer.

I used the burst feature on my camera, and came up with these pictures.

We were about 50 feet away.

We were able to just stay there and watch.  I had posted these pictures on my facebook,to the Illinois Birding Network. One of the persons posted that he thought it was a 3rd year juvenile.

He did not move a lot between pictures.

Still the same bird, we just moved a little farther along.

This time he had moved.  We could not believe our luck in being able to see an eagle this close and personal. What an opportunity we had.

We saw this adult from the other side of the river.

We had a warm front come through this weekend.  The heron was just chilling.

This male mallard had just hopped on to this ice. The burst worked this time, as I watched him slip and slide on it.  He was taking it very slowly.
A lot more of the river was open. I think in all we saw about a dozen eagles. It is amazing.
Have a great week. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Eagles on the Fox

The Fox River is souring  with eagles this year. I have hear of reports that up to 48 have been seen at one time.  This the most we have ever had. Each time I have traveled along the Fox I have seen at least 5 or more at a time.

Here are 5 in one tree.  There are adults as well as juveniles.  It takes at least 3 years before a juvenile eagle will become an adult, showing the white head and tail.

This guy looks a bit scruffy

He is morphing into an adult.

They are interesting to watch and to hear.  

Here is an adult and a juvenile.

Two adults

The backside of an adult.
This one had just landed, and was working on gaining his balance.

I saw what looked like a clump of something on the ground as I was driving north. Another eagle was flying around right by there and as I drove slowly up to it, this is what I came upon.  He had caught a critter and was protecting his lunch from the other eagle. It did not take long before he flew up into a tree not far away with lunch in tow.

I  have a Panasonic, Lumix , DMC-ZS19 to take these pictures.  I have taken well over 300 pictures and deleted a lot. Trying to get the one good one is hard.  The blurry ones are easy to get rid of, but it is hard to delete some just because.
I keep trying. I want go down by the river every day to try for the perfect one.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter creatures

The other day I was out and about I stopped at one of the forest preserves.  This cute little fellow was peeking out from the base of a tree, at me.

Watched and listened to this red-bellied woodpecker.

The squirrels came out for a breath of fresh air. Look how fat he is.

Have seen several great blue herons.  Did they leave and are just coming back?

Along the Fox River the bald eagles are appearing.  I have heard that up to 48 have been seen at one time. I have seen up to a dozen.  It is amazing.
This bunny came out during the storm and dug around the base of one of our trees to find the bird seeds that had been kicked out.

The dark-eyed junco is just chilling on one of my feeders.
Even in winter the creatures are out and about.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lets start the new year with birds. 1-3-2014

We still have a pair of cardinals coming to our feeders.  I am having to take the photos through our kitchen window.

Charlie, our kitty is hiding from me behind the plants.  He likes to nibble on them.

With this really cold weather, I went out to put feed in the feeders.  Within an hour mourning doves found a seat on a planter to enjoy the fair.

House finch and a sparrow enjoying the feast.

American Tree Sparrow

And look what else flew into the yard.  The sun was setting and this robin showed up.  I know there are robins in a forest preserve about 4 miles  from our house, So where has this fellow been hiding.  He did not stop at the feeder, just sat on the branch above it.
What a great start for the new year.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The last of the birds of 2013

American Tree Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Is it possible these are eagles nests?

We are thinking we may have found eagles nests down by the river.

Female Cardinal.

Cooper Hawk having a tasty meal in our backyard.

The Coopers Hawk does come through our yard on a regular basis looking for mourning doves.

Coopers Hawk

After he finished his meal, he flew into the tree in our back yard.  He was just on the other side of the tree trunk.  It was like he was watching us.

"Should I go back and have more?"

He stayed in the tree for at least 10 minutes while I watched.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Backyard 12-29-2013

American Tree Sparrow
They have a bright reddish-brown crown, a gray face with a bright reddish-brown eyeline, broken white eye-ring. They have a two tone bill, a pale gray breast and belly; warm buffy flanks' dark blurry central breast spot. Their wings and back are reddish brown with 2 white wingbars.

House Sparrow
They have a black bill and chin and bib contrasting with grayish cheek and underparts. They have a dark gray crown.

Cardinal, male

Love it when they have their crown feathers up.