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Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

Eastern Screech Owl at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center on November 14, 2018

I decided to make a run up to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center this morning in search for any owl species. Walking a trail there I spotted this beautiful gray morph sound a sleep. It was a chilly 12 degrees when I left for birding but with full sun and no wind, it was a very pleasant day to be out. First owl of the season for me, it was nice to see one again. Images were taken on November 14, 2018.

A sleeping Eastern Screech Owl, gray morph…

At a distance…

Tundra Swans at Grobschmidt Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on November 11, 2018

I got a tip this morning from Mike W that swans were at Grobschmidt Park in Milwaukee County. I made the trip over there, they turned out to be Tundra Swans. I have never seen Tundra Swans in SE Wisconsin so it was a treat to see them there. It was a pair and they were resting when I arrived with a few Ring-billed Gulls. This is a difficult place for photos and today was no different, there is only one access point. They remained pretty much opposite the one access location on Mud Lake and it was a long distance at that. After a while the pair swam a little north and then back south and feed. It was a mild November day with low winds, some sun, temps in the lower 30’s. Images were taken on November 11, 2018.

The pair of Tundra Swans swimming south at a distance…

Earlier….On a mud flat, one resting, the other one on alert…

A leg stretch and one resting…

The other one with a leg stretch and the other preening…

Just before the swim…

Swimming south….

Snow Buntings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 23, 2018

One of my birding stops on Milwaukee’s lakefront produced a small flock of 3 Snow Buntings. 1st of the year for me so that was a real treat. They fed in a gravel area finding and eating grass or weed seeds. They are a stunning-beautiful bird anytime of year, and today they were just that. I hung around for awhile and took a few shots to share. A few walkers in the area flushed the Snow Buntings not knowingly but the birds returned after a few minutes and continued to eat weed or grass seeds. It was a beautiful morning out with full sun, low winds and temps in the upper 40’s at the time I was there. Images were taken on October 23, 2018.

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Binomial name: Plectrophenax nivalis

Category: Longspurs and Snow Buntings

Size: 6.75” long, 14” wing span

Weight:  1.5 oz

Note: An arctic breeder that winters in the northern US and western Canada

Snow Bunting eating seeds…

The Snow Bunting looking for seeds in the gravel…

Removing the seed from the old grass stalk…

Two of them…

Something in the bill, a seed I’m sure…

The Snow Bunting eyes up the seed on this old stalk…

Then it takes the seed and eats it…

Eating more seeds…

Looking for seeds in the gravel…

The beauty in the back…they blend in so well in their surroundings…

A little fluffed up here…

Perched pretty…

Snow Goose, Blue Morph at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 22, 2018

A Snow Goose, Blue Morph was reported yesterday at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I stopped in at the park late morning and it was still present out near a baseball field. This adult bird was content eating the turfgrass there and was by itself. It was a beautiful day with temps in the 50’s, low winds inland and full sun. Images were taken on October 22, 2018.

Snow Goose, Blue Morph adult hanging out in a grass area enjoying the parks turfgrass…

Snow Goose, Blue Morph

Binomial name: Chen caerulescens

Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Size: 28” long, 53” wing span

Weight: 5.3 lb

Getting that bite!

Yum…

Eating away…

At takeoff…

Paddling around in the pond, hanging near Canada Geese…

Cooper’s Hawk bathing at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 22, 2018

A stop at Greenfield Park this morning produced a stunning show of a Cooper’s Hawk bathing. It bathed in a grass flooded area at the park for a good 5 minutes. The Cooper’s Hawk did not seem to mind me being there. It was a gorgeous morning with temps in the upper 40’s, full sun, low winds. Images were taken on October 22, 2018.

Cooper’s Hawk just up from bathing, splashing…

Going in…

Taking a look around just after bathing…

Splashing in the water…

A look to the right…

Another dip in…

Bathing…

Shaking off…

More shaking off…

More shaking off…

Just before exciting the water hole, then it flew into the woodland edge…

Dunlins at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 19, 2018

Birding the Milwaukee lakefront this morning the bird species of the day was Dunlin. There were two nonbreeding adults present at the beach area at Lakeshore State Park. They fed up and down the beach area along with some gulls hanging around. Other birds to note along the lakefront this morning was a Ruddy Duck, male in the lagoon at Lakeshore State Park, also, two Sanderlings at McKinley Beach. Sanderlings this fall have been frequent along the lake, they have been seen on and off since August 22, sometimes as many as 31 in a flock. It was a dark gloomy morning and as I was leaving it was starting to rain. Chilly temps with good breeze, it was scarf weather for me. Images were taken on October 19, 2018.

Dunlin, very more colorful in their breeding plumage in the spring of the year…

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Going into the water for something to eat…

Something to eat in the bill…

Dunlin, a nice pose…

The two of them…

As I watched, they pick up things, must assume food and drop it…

Close up…

With something to eat…

They are often in the water with their bill and sometimes the head too getting food…

More food in the bill…

Getting something to eat…

The beauty of the back feathers…

Getting things to eat…

Dunlins bill is under the water getting something to eat…

Walking along the beach towards me…

Sailbirding at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 12, 2018

The third Sailbirding trip of the season was made from the Milwaukee Community in Milwaukee this afternoon. Two sail boats were taken out and it was an exciting time for all! Bird counts in the study area were: 60 Double-crested Cormorants, 29 Ring-billed Gulls, 21 Herring Gulls. Out of the study, the control area just south along the breakwall, the bird of the day was a Lesser Black-backed Gull, along with 25 Herring Gulls, 22 Ring-billed Gulls and 41 Double-creasted Cormorants. Some other nice birds seen on our way out to the study area were 2 Sanderlings and a Surf Scoter.  Some nice algae was present along the breakwall too. Participants on this sailbirding run included in sail boat #1, sailor and birder Carl Eisenberg, Jennifer Rutten, and Drew Shuster. In sailboat #2, sailor and birder Helen Bolgrien, Jym Mooney and I. It was a mostly cloudy day with a couple minutes of sun, winds around 10-12 mph. Images were taken on October 12, 2018.

NOTE: The purpose of this sailbirding trip today was to document bird species on a portion of the breakwaters (breakwall to some). This portion of the breakwall has been changed by the Army Corps of Engineering by strategically adding smaller rocks to the giant ones along the breakwall structure. The Army Corps has collaborated with UWM with hopes to create breakwall habitat for a variety of living creatures including birds. Announced today, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is backing the Sailbirding Citizen Science!

Sailing out to the study area to do some sailbirding…

Approaching the study area, gulls were just flushed, we don’t know why…

The study area on the breakwall from the lighthouse right to where the rocks get larger…

Double-crested Cormorants in the study area…

Herring Gulls in the study area…

The other sailbirders looking intense for what birds they might see with sailor and birder Carl Eisenberg…

A Ring-billed Gull does a stretch in the study area…

The sailboat I am on, we are all counting birds and species…

Jym looks through his bins, looking for something different out there!

A Double-crested Cormorant does a flyover by the study area…

 

Sailor and birder Helen Bolgrien…she did an amazing job with the sailboat!

Bird of the day, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, with a darker back, in the control area…

Gulls galore!

A Herring Gull looks to the left in the control area…

Another view of the study area from the south…

Ring-billed Gulls loafing…

A wave to us from the other sailbirders…

Sailbirding north, the other sailbirders are in front of us…

2 Sanderlings seen on the way out to the study area feeding along the harbor rock wall…

Herring Gull coming in for a landing in the control area…

Sailbirding group…

Cackling Goose at Veterans Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 5, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Veterans Park in Milwaukee. Canada Geese numbers have been increasing there lately. I typically will check them out with my binoculars looking for something different. Today I picked out a Cackling Goose in one of the Canada Geese flocks feeding in the grassy areas. To my thinking, we get a few in migration but that is about it here in Milwaukee.  At times it was hard to locate this goose at a distance when most of the heads are down feeding, this bird just did not stand out, at times I thought it left the area, but it did not. The Canada Geese present did not hang with this goose, a lot of the time the Cackling was 10-20 feet from them. It rained continually for the morning, when it was just misting, that was great. A lot of wind off the lake, temps were chilly to start. Images were taken on October 5, 2018.

Cackling Goose, shorter bill, rounder head than the Canada Goose…

Cackling Goose with a piece of grass in its bill…

Cackling Goose in the front, Canada Goose behind, comparison shot…

Both Geese feeding, Cackling on the right…

Cackling Goose on the right…

Getting a drink…

Cackling Goose in the middle…

Canada Goose, longer bill……in the rain…

Walking through puddles…

Walking through puddles…Cackling in the front…

Cackling Goose feeding on the grass…

More feeding…

Moving along in the mud…

Misty back…

American Pipits on the Milwaukee Lakefront on October 5, 2018

Birding the Milwaukee lakefront in the rain and mist this morning gave surprising views of American Pipits. Hitting the beaches for the second time I found an American Pipit at the north end of Bradford Beach. Birding Veterans Park near the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center I found 8 American Pipits near the parking area. Cars coming and going had them flushed all over the place but I did manage a few images before they starting moving south out of that area. All birds I observed appeared to be eating well, moths, gnats and other insects. It was a rainy misty morning that never let up up, temps were chilly with a stiff wind of Lake Michigan. Images were taken on October 5, 2018.

The American Pipit at Bradford Beach…The tail was always bobbing up and down, a characteristic of this species…

American Pipit

Binomial name: Anthus rubescens

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.5” long, 10.5” wing span

Weight: .74 Oz.

Note: Pipits are found on all continents, except Antarctica

The American Pipit finding things to eat…

Searching the beach area this bird found plenty to eat…

A look back…

This bird moved fast along the beach area picking through debris and finding things to eat…

American Pipit in the grass, 1 of 8 at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center at Veterans Park…

Moving through the grass area in search of food…

This one catches a large moth..

And eats it…

More things to eat…

Looking around…

A beautiful bird!

A pair of American Pipits off a ways looking for and getting things to eat…

Sailbirding at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 28, 2018

The second Sailbirding trip was made from the Milwaukee Community in Milwaukee this afternoon. It was an exciting time for all! Bird counts in the study area were: 1 Ruddy Turnstone being the highlight, 1 Sanderling, 30 Double-crested Cormorants, 40 Ring-billed Gulls, 25 Herring Gulls, 2 Mallards and 2 Sparrow spp. Out of the study area a Peregrine Falcon and  30 American Coots were located near the breakwall. Some nice algae was present along the breakwall too. Participants on this sailbirding run included in sail boat #1, sailor Carl Eisenberg, Jennifer Rutten, and myself. In sailboat #2, sailor Helen Bolgrien, Ann Lowrey and Jym Mooney. It was a cloudy day with some puffs, winds around 14 mph. Images were taken on September 28, 2018.

NOTE: The purpose of this sailbirding trip today was to document bird species on a portion of the breakwaters (breakwall to some). This portion of the breakwall has been changed by the Army Corps of Engineering by strategically adding smaller rocks to the giant ones along the breakwall structure. The Army Corps has collaborated with UWM with hopes to create breakwall habitat for a variety of living creatures including birds.

Sailing out to the breakwall to count birds present in the study area set up by the Army Corps of Engineering…

Ruddy Turnstone, bird of the trip in the study area!

Ruddy Turnstone

Double-crested Cormorant

Herring Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Sailbirding sailboat #2 checking out the breakwall…

Sailbirding boat #2 looking and counting with sailor Helen…

Another image of the study area were smaller and flatter rocks have been set for species habitat…

Sailor Carl at the controls of sailboat #1 with sailboat #2 in the background…

Jennifer with intense looks at the breakwall for bird species as we approach it…

Sailbirding group…

Red-winged Blackbird Eating Big Blustem Seeds at Lakeshore State Park on September 27, 2018

On a birding walk through Lakeshore State Park one of the highlights was watching a Red-winged Blackbird eating seeds from the native grass Big Bluestem. This female bird did not seem to mind me watching the show. Nothing goes to waste, as it knocked some seeds on a rock below it went down and ate them. It was a beautiful morning, quite chilly to start, with plenty of sun and light winds. Images were taken on September 27, 2018.

Red-winged Blackbird sitting on some stalks of the native grass Big Bluestem…

Gathering the seeds off the seed head…

Nibbling on some seeds of the Big Bluestem…

A stem of seeds, it moves it through its bill…

Nibbling on seeds…

More eating of the seeds…

Closeup of the seed in the bill…

Fallen Big Bluestem seeds on the rock below where the bird ate…

Eating the fallen seeds on the rock…

The stalks of the native grass Big Bluestem blowing in the wind…

 

Black-bellied Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 27, 2018

Birding the beach at Lakeshore State Park just after sunrise gave nice views of a Black-bellied Plover. I would call this a juvenile bird. It fed back and forth along the beach area finding things to eat. It was the highlight of the day there. It was a beautiful morning, quite chilly to start, with plenty of sun and light winds. Images were taken on September 27, 2018.

Black-bellied Plover with something in the bill to eat…

Going for something to eat…

Something to eat in the bill…

A closeup…

Making a quick stop to eat something…

Looking into the water for food…

Always looking for food…

Getting something here…

Along the waters edge in search of food…

Closeup…

Going for something…

Into the gravel for food…

Eating…

Walking to the north along the beach…

Bathing…

Being still…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Start of a stretch…

Stretching…

The stretch!

Green Darner Dragonfly Migration at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 27, 2018

While birding Lake Park in Milwaukee this morning one could not miss the 1000,s of Green Darner Dragonflies that filled the air feeding on small insects. Walking near a woodland edge while birding and having a 100 Green Darner Dragonflies come out at you was quiet impressive, a sight to see.  The area I stayed in for a few photos was near the Erastus Wolcott statue. The dragonflies rested on lower trees and shrubs in the sun out of the wind. One limb had 9 dragonflies more less in a row but the image just did not look like much. It was a beautiful morning walking Lake Park with sun, cool temps and some light wind. Images taken or more for documentation purposes, not anything fancy. Images were taken on September 27, 2018.

2 Green Darner Dragonflies resting and warming up in the sunlight…

Note: The Green Darner Dragonfly migrates south from the Northern US to humid climate regions like Mexico and Texas. Regions like the Monarch Butterfly goes to.

4 Green Darner Dragonflies

On a Yew Shrub…

A pair resting in the warm sun…

ON a Yew…

 

Chimney Swifts at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 24, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Lake Park in Milwaukee. I had went there with warblers on my mind but the excitement was the Chimney Swifts high above the tree tops at the park. 100’s of them present eating gazillions of gnat’s I would assume. I have seen swifts many times, usually at Lake Park, today I took a few minutes to photograph some of the action. Warblers species to note that were present Palm, Cape May, American Redstart, mainly Yellow-rumped Warblers. It was a beautiful morning out with plenty of sun, pleasant temps, a light breeze. Images were taken on September 24, 2018.

Chimney Swift

Can you see the Gnats??……………just speckles….Gnats, Gnats, and more Gnats…

 

Look hard….speckles, Gnats, Gnats, and more Gnats…

Pectoral Sandpipers at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 21, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee. As I was scoping out a group of about 75 Ring-billed Gulls picking through a grassy area for things to eat, I spotted 2 sandpipers. Getting a closer look at them, they were Pectoral Sandpipers. They were feeding right along with the Ring-billed Gulls. It was a nice little surprise this morning considering what has been being seen there. The other species to note were, juvenile Green Heron, a juvenile Red-winged Blackbird and ~25 Double-crested Cormorants. A cooler morning with little sun early turning cloudy. Winds were calm to start but were picking up quickly. Images were taken on September 21, 2018.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Feeding….something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

A closeup…

Looking around in the grass for something to eat…

These birds move fast through the grass….going to get something here….

Going for something to eat…

Walking through the grass in search of something to eat…

Grabbing something here to eat…

A beautiful bird…

They squint as they go down in the grass to catch their food, not to poke their eyes…

Something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

I might think two juvenile birds…

One by itself…

Profile…

Sanderlings at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 19, 2018

One of my first birding stops in the morning was Bradford Beach in Milwaukee. You never know what will be there. 8 Sanderlings were present across the whole shore of the beach. Walkers on the beach not even knowingly flush the feeding birds around which is very typical. The Sanderlings usually when flushed just fly out over the water a few 100 feet and return to a different area on the beach for more feeding. While running up and down the beach they are feeding on small crustaceans, amphipods, etc. Sanderlings like following waves in and out along the beach as that is where they find their fresh food. It was an overcast morning, low winds, mild temps. Images were taken on September 20, 2018.

The Sanderling feeding with something in the bill…

Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 Oz.

Note: An arctic breeder, a long distance migrator, winters in South America, South Europe, Africa, and Australia

Finding something small to eat…

Something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

Two of the Sanderlings moving along the beach together…

The Sanderling follows the wave in, the quickly runs to see what has been brought in…

Wave recedes back out, the Sanderling has something in his bill but continually looks for more food…

A pair…

The Sanderlings run in all directions with waves coming and going looking for things to eat…

The big bite!

Moving along in search of something to eat…

The Sanderling probes into the sand, I think the bill filters out the sand and what remains is the food…

Something in the bill…

Probing…

Running along the receding wave…

Looking around after some wave action for things to eat…

Looking…

Getting something small…

Something in the bill…

On the run…

Green Heron Takes a Minnow for Lunch at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 19, 2018

One of my birding stops today was the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee County. The highlight was watching a juvenile Green Heron fishing for something to eat. The Green Heron was perched on some downed branches in water near Mystery Lake. A Golden Shiner minnow came swimming by the Green Heron, the heron grabbed it and that was it for the Golden Shiner. A couple flips of the small fish in the herons mouth and it was gone. Some of the other birds to note, Belted Kingfisher, Coopers Hawk, Northern Flickers, Brown Creeper, warblers~ Common Yellowthroats, Palms, Blackpoll and a Nashville. Overall kind of quiet. It was a gloomy day with some brightness at times, temps were about 65 degrees, a nice breeze from the east. Images were taken on September 19, 2018.

Perched and fishing, waiting for something to come by…

The catch, a Golden Shiner!

Holding onto the minnow tight…

The heron decides it is going to come down on the perch to eat…

Gets closer to the water…

Going to get a better grip here…

Re-grabs the minnow…

Getting ready to swallow it…

In it goes…

And the gulp!

A quick drink of water which is what herons usually do after eating something….

Perched pretty for more fishing…

Sailbirding at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 12, 2018

A first for everything I guess! Sailbirding, birding and bird watching from a sail boat! It took place today at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center from a moving sail boat. The purpose of this sail birding trip today was to document bird species on a portion of the breakwaters (breakwall to some). This portion of the breakwall has been changed by the Army Corps of Engineering by strategically adding smaller rocks to the giant ones along the breakwall structure. The Army Corps has collaborated with UWM with hopes to create breakwall habitat for a variety of living creatures including birds. It was an exciting time with bigger waves then we would have expected by the forecast. The great sailor Carl Eisenberg got us out to the breakwall, excellent birders Marilyn B. and Jennifer Rutten were present for birding ID. I went along for bird ID and taking a couple of photos for documentation of the birds. We did not get as close to the breakwall as we had hoped with the 18 mph winds out there but we could still ID birds well. We have formed a Facebook group “Wisconsin Sailbirding” for anyone who gets out and does this, there is a to report your sail birding adventure. A fun time for all! It was beautiful sunny day, along with mild temps. Images were taken on September 12, 2018.

Sailing out…

Still on the way out to the breakwall..

Black-bellied Plovers, 2 of them resting…

Sanderling…

Another Sanderling, 4 of them seen here today…

Double-crested Cormorants, approx. 50 seen at this location…

Black-bellied Plovers, 2 of them still present on our way back…

Spotted Sandpiper

Black-bellied Plover in flight from a distance…

More Double-crested Cormorants…

Double-crested Cormorant flying near the breakwall and lands a distance away…

On our way back…

Getting into calmer water on the way back…

The captain…

The sailbirding group…

Red Knot at Racine North Beach in Racine County Wisconsin on September 11, 2018

I arrived at North Beach in Racine at sunrise with hopes to see the Red Knot that was reported yesterday. After 45 minutes of walking the entire beach from the north to the south, I found this juvenile bird right near the pier on the south end. After only a moment of watching it through my bins, the beach cleaning machine flushed the bird far to the north. It remained there for awhile feeding and going through mussels, etc finding things to eat. I took a few images of this rare visitor and it was present when I walked away. Thanks to Rick Fare for finding this 2nd Red Knot as another one was had just been reported in the same location on September 8th. Thanks for getting the word out to for others to see it. Not a life bird as I got one back on August 16th 2014 in Hustisford. It was a beautiful morning with full sun, a light breeze, mild temps. Images were taken on September 11, 2018.

Red Knot, a juvenile bird…

Red Knot

Binomial name: Calidris canutus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 10.5” long, 23” wing span

Weight: 4.7 Oz.

Note: A rare  visitor as the normal range for this species is breeding on the Canadian coasts and wintering on the southern east and west coasts of the United States.

Picking through the mussels and finding food in them…

Food in the bill…

More food in the bill…

Something in the bill…

Going to eat it…

Gets something out of a mussel…

Sanderling , left – Red Knot, right

Blurry flight shot, but look at the amazing feather patterns…

Walking along the beach checking out mussels, looking for something to eat…

More things to eat…

More…

Hunting for food…

Looking pretty…

Moving up and down the beach…

Tossing a mussel around……………and it gets something, it is on the tip of the bill….

Going inside the mussel for something to eat…

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Getting Nectar from Bottle Gentian in Waukesha County Wisconsin on September 9, 2018

A couple of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been hanging around the yard all summer and I thought I would take a couple of minutes today to photograph the action. They made repeated stops for nectar at the Bottle Gentian so I took some shots there. They get nectar from all over the yard with loads of native plants to chose from. We do see them on the nectar feeders too. It felt like a beautiful fall day with temps around 75, full sun, light winds. Images were taken on September 9, 2018.

A adult female going into the Bottle Gentian bloom for some nectar…

Getting the bill in there…

Lets check out this bloom…

Getting that great nectar!…

Thinking on where to go next…

Getting more nectar…

Finished with this plant… onto the next…

Thinking about what plant is next…

Perched pretty…

Resting for a second….

Still resting on the bloom…

Inside the bloom of the Bottle Gentian getting the nectar…

Switching blooms…

It is all great stuff in there…

At takeoff….

Filling up…