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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.

Sanderling at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on November 19, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee I came upon a lone Sanderling at the beach. A late one for sure migrating south, here for a stop. I only hung around for a minute and a couple quick photos, I never saw it on shore, it only stood in the water. It stood in the wave action at the shoreline and appeared to find things to eat. Mild temps, but the wind made it chilly, and sun on and off. Images were taken on November 19, 2020.

Sanderling posing pretty…

In the wave…

Getting something to eat…

Another wave…

A nice pose…

Sandhill Cranes in Waukesha County Wisconsin on November 14, 2020

Birding out in Waukesha County this morning I came across a family of 4 Sandhill Cranes. There were 2 adults and 2 juveniles. They were feeding in a field finding things to eat and actually came across a small spot where some corn was spilled. They hung around the corn for a few minutes and then left the area. It was a nice morning out, some sun to start but later clouded over, temps were cold about 31 degrees. Images were taken on November 14, 2020.

Sandhill Crane, adult looking for things to eat…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile just walking the field…

Sandhill Crane adult with juvenile (left) eating together, some of the spilled corn…

Sandhill Crane adult with juvenile (right) eating together…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile scratching…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile…

Sandhill Crane, adult just looking around…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile with corn in the bill…

Sandhill Crane, adult grabbing corn off the ground…

Sandhill Crane, adult

Sanderlings and Dunlins at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 31, 2020

I started out my birding morning at McKinley Beach walking north along the lake. I heard of a Common Redpoll being seen in that area. No luck with that but on my way back to the beach area, using my bins, I noticed  some shorebirds on the south end of the beach. A quick walk over provided nice looks at 3 Dunlins and 2 Sanderlings. They seemed hungry and fed while I was present other than a little bathing by one Sanderling. It was a chilly morning with good winds from the north with some sun. Other places along the lakefront I stopped at were quiet. Images were taken on October 31, 2020.

One of the Dunlins in nonbreeding plumage…

Dunlin with food in the bill…

3 Dunlins…

Sanderling with the waves coming in…

Sanderling bathing…

Sanderling with food in the bill…

Sanderling closeup…

Sanderling looking pretty…

Sanderling preening…

Sanderling preening…

Sanderling fluffing up…

Sanderling, some wing stretching…

Sanderling

Dunlin posing pretty…

White-rumped Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 30, 2020

While approaching the beach area at Lakeshore State Park a bird drops out of the sky 100 feet in front of me and lands at the beach. I was like what?? The bird, a White-rumped Sandpiper which is considered a rare bird for this location on this date. I quickly took a couple of photos as a guy behind me has 2 leashed dogs and he walks them at the beach everyday. I had 1 minute to photograph this bird as the dogs start coming down the beach right behind me and the bird flushed.  The bird took off and while birding at the park the next 30 minutes I did not see the bird return. It was a partly cloudy morning, a cold breeze from the north, temps around 35 degrees. Images were taken on October 30, 2020.

White-rumped Sandpiper, a white rump there…

Getting something to eat…

Back view…

More to eat in a very short time…

More to eat…

Moving out in the water before being flushed…

Dunlin at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 26, 2020

Birding Lakeshore State Park this morning I was surprised to come across a Dunlin. The bird was in nonbreeding plumage so it was not as colorful as if it were spring, but still a beautiful bird. It was feeding on the east shore of the island. It appeared it was finding plenty to eat and moving around on a few of the rocks. It was a cold morning out with snow flurries earlier in the morning, temps around 34 with a good cloud cover. Images were taken on October 26, 2020.

The Dunlin getting back up on the rock after a little slip…

A beautiful shorebird!

Something on the bill…

Down into the water for something to eat…

Looking for things to eat…

Looking for things to eat…

It seemed like it was finding plenty…

Dunlin in breeding plumage, image taken on May 23, 2017

Snow Buntings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 25, 2020

Birding along the lakefront around noon in Milwaukee produced Snow Buntings at McKinley Beach. I came across 9 of them walking the area. They continually fed on grass or weeds seeds while I was present and did not move around much. Beautiful birds they are, first of the fall for me! It was a cold late morning when I was there with a good wind from the north, cloudy skies with temps around upper 30’s.

The Snow Bunting…on the rocks…

A slight wing stretch…

Eating grass seeds…

In search of grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Just a pose…

A look to the left…beautiful feathers…

On the rocks…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Looking for more seeds to eat…

A beautiful species that blends in very well with the surroundings…

On the rocks…

California Gull at Johnson Creek in Jefferson County Wisconsin on October 20, 2020

I saw the report of a California Gull, rare for this area at  Johnson Creek and decided to check it out this morning. Far from it’s normal range of the west coast but some do come inland a few states off breeding season. I arrived at the location reported, a new large concrete Kwik Trip parking lot still under construction north of the interstate.  When I arrived, present was Jim F in his car and had the gull already located. So that made it easy for me with the couple of hundred gulls present with some always coming and going. The gull did stand out though with the mantle being a little darker and the gull being a little larger than a Ring-billed Gull. It was resting when I arrived, eyes closed I would say. After about 25 minutes the gull coughed up a large pellet, I thought wow! A few minutes later it took flight and headed east towards the landfill. I noticed the gull only had one foot. A big thank you to Spence, Christin and Sandra for finding this awesome rare gull and getting the word out. Not a lifer as I saw one here back at this location in 2012. It was a cold cloudy morning, with some wind making it feel pretty cold! Images were taken on October 20, 2020.

The California Gull…with Ring-billed Gulls…

Resting when I arrived…

A wing stretch, leg stretch…1 foot…using its wing to balance…

Coughing up that LARGE pellet, which gulls do…

Maybe more to come but other gulls, Ring-billed Gulls looking on…

It was just time to take off I guess and head to the landfill…

The gulls were not flushed, it was just time to go…

Heading east…

The bill…

Preening…

Another one of when I arrived…

Horned Larks at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 11, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park I had brief views of Horned Larks. There were 5 present feeding along the east end of the park. I got a couple of shots off, but with all pedestrians, dog walkers, bikers, etc, these birds did not hang around and left the park. It was nice to see them even for a couple of minutes. A cloudy day but temps were pleasant. Images were taken on October 11, 2020.

Horned Lark, a little bit of a horn showing here…

5 of the feeding in a area just off the walk…

Looking for something to eat, that is all they did…

Maybe something here…

A look back…

Peregrine Falcon at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 11, 2020

As I was birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee a darker subject caught my eye out in the open field on the ground. I knew this was too dark for a gull, it was a Peregrine Falcon! Peregrine Falcons are reported by some to be the fastest bird in the world, what a beautiful bird. There actually was a gull there too, but it was just the remains of a Ring-billed Gull, as the Peregrine Falcon had just finished eating most of the gull that it eats. I hung around from a distance and took a few shots. It moved a few feet from the gull killing site at one point but then eventually took to the sky. The park was loaded with bikers, walkers, joggers, even had a Yoga class going nearby. I photographed the remains of the gull for documentation,  interesting how the bird sorted out the body parts of the gull. “Dana” is this name of this beauty. (See more information on Dana at the bottom of this page) A cloudy day but temps were pleasant. Images were taken on October 11, 2020.

***** Warning, some images are graphic *****

Where I observed the Peregrine Falcon just finishing up the eating of the Ring-billed Gull…

Looking at me…

Looking around at all the park visitors…

Flies a short distance…

Leg bands are seen…

Looking at me again, mouth some what open…

Mouth closed…

The killing site…

Feathers galore, you know there was some struggling and plucking going on here…

Parts sorted out…

Distant shot leaving the area…

This information was provided to me by Greg Septon of Falconwatch.
This is a female named “Dana” (b/blu) 79/W. She was produced in 2019 at the St. Mary’s Hospital nest site in Chicago, IL. She turned up at the Veolia Water site in Milwaukee on March 31 this year as a brown immature bird. She was courted by the resident male “Rounder” (b/g) B/38 who was produced in 2007 at Milwaukee’s Miller Brewery site.
Dana laid 2 eggs between April 30 – May 2. Both eggs hatched on June 6, I banded them on June 25, and, both successfully fledged.

 

Harris’s Sparrow at Lake Park in Milwaukee County on October 2, 2020

One of my birding stops this morning along the lake was Lake Park. There were a few birds there, but it was spotty. Looking at the feeder on the south end of the park my eye caught a sparrow near the feeder that just looked different. I only got a couple of photos and it headed into the Yews that it was feeding by. I hung around for about 10 minutes and it never came back out. I thought Harris’s Sparrow on the spot but with the glare on my camera, I really did not want to call it. I saw some white on the throat there was a chance it was a White-throated as there were very many in the area. A lady birder that was close by just said, that would be a surprise, she did not see the bird. With having a busy day I did not look at my images till evening. At that time I could really tell, a juvenile Harris’s Sparrow. A beautiful day out, but cold on the lake, sunny skies and a brisk wind. Image was taken on October 2, 2020.

The beautiful Harris’s Sparrow…

Sora’s at Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 24, 2020

This morning one of my birding stops was Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee. There were Sora’s present yesterday with the Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows and today the Sora’s were still there, 4 of them. There was one that I took a few photos of that was getting things to eat, worms it appeared. Nice to see these birds out in the open for a change. Other places I stopped at birding along the lake were quiet. Beautiful morning out with mild temps, very little wind, some sunshine too. Images were taken on September 24, 2020.

Sora with a warm to eat…

Looking for something to eat…

Getting something to eat…

More looking around…

Maybe something to eat here…

Got it…

Looking pretty…

More food here…

In search of…

Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows at Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 23, 2020

One of my birding stops this morning was Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee. The flooded area on the east end of the lagoon, provided excellent views of 3 Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. They fed in the flooded area of the grass coming in and out of the cattails. It was nice to see these migrants. Also present were 4 Sora’s, that gave nice looks some of the time I was there. Other birders also enjoyed the nice views of these stunning sparrows, the sparrows were present when I left the area at 9:00 am. Not a life bird as I had this species at the Magic Hedge and Lake Barney in the past. It was a beautiful morning out with pleasant temps, low winds and sunny skies. Images were taken on  September 23, 2020.

Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow, with food in the bill, 1 of 3 present…

Looking for something to eat…

2 of them…

With a worm to eat…

Back view…

In search of food…

With something to eat…

Sora, 1 of 4 seen at this location…

Great Egret at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 15, 2020

One of my birding stops today produced a surprise Great Egret. Greenfield Park was one stop on the way home, just in case. I guess today was that day. The bird was off an island feeding when I arrived. On a couple of occasions it fed along a shore until pedestrians came along on bike or foot not realizing the bird was there and the bird flushed. Still one Green Heron present, just saw it fly by when I was there. It was a beautiful day with some sun, a nice breeze, actually had a sweatshirt today. Images were taken on September 15, 2020.

Great Egret moving through the water very slow, hunting for something to eat…

A fish!

In flight after a biker came by…

Getting a fish!

Another fish…

New catch…

I think this is the kill….squish!

Almost down…

A little bite!

Fish in the throat going down…

Sanderlings and a Semipalmated Plover at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 8, 2020

One of my birding stops early this morning was McKinley Beach. Present there were 7 Sanderlings and 1 Semipalmated Plover. They were feeding on some nice algae mats there. It was a gloomy morning out and just after seeing these birds it started raining. Nothing else special to note at the other couple of places I stopped before McKinley Beach. Images were taken on September 8, 2020.

Sanderling with something to eat…

Sanderling looking pretty…

Semipalmated Plover posing…

Sanderling with something to eat…

Sanderling in search of food…

Sanderling looking for things to eat…

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Sanderling in the wave with food in the bill…

Sanderling in search of…

Green Herons at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 28, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park I came across 2 Green Herons hunting for food. They were not very productive while I watched, but it was still nice to see some of their actions. There was one fish taken, a Rock Bass. It was a warm morning, a nice breeze helped, sunny skies. Images were taken on August 28, 2020.

Green Heron, adult

With a nice Rock Bass…

Watching for something to come by…

In search of food at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

Going for a Damselfly and getting it at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

With the Damselfly…at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

Just looking pretty…

Just looking around…

American Golden-Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 28, 2020

While walking Lakeshore State Park this morning checking out the beach area, it was empty. I started to walk east across the field and after a couple of 100 feet I turned around to look at the beach again and a shorebird had just dropped in. I’m like what?? I put my bins up and decided it was a plover by the size and body. As I got closer I assumed it was an American Golden-Plover. Someone told me once, a chunky bill is a Black-bellied Plover. This bill was not chunky. I immediately took some photos, and only getting a few, bikers, dog walkers being good, walkers in general, the area all of the sudden became very busy, I watched the bird fly off to the northeast across the grass field. Not really sure what spooked it as I was looking at images on my camera. It was a warm morning, a nice breeze helped, sunny skies. Images were taken on August 28, 2020.

The American Golden Plover

American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover, with a feather…

American Golden-Plover

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 26, 2020

I had seen a couple reports of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park so this morning I thought I would try my luck. It was there along the end of a mowed field with a Lesser Yellowlegs. After watching this bird for awhile sitting up on a clump of grass, it decided to hunt a little in the grass for insects to eat. I saw on one image it had a moth in its bill. Later it flew to the beach area and hung out for a while. When I left the area other birders had arrived and were enjoying nice views. It was a warm morning with early temps at 84 degrees, full sun, a little breeze. Images were taken on August 26, 2020.

Buff-breasted standing on top of a clump of grass…

Off to do a little hunting for insects…

A moth in the bill…

Always changing directions as it walks, looking and listening for something to eat…

Getting something here…

Near the beach area on a rock…

Those beautiful feathers…

The closeup

Preening…

A resting Lesser Yellowlegs a couple of feet from the Buff-breasted, they are friends it appeared…

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 23, 2020

I made a stop at Whitnall Park this morning with hopes to photograph my 1st Ruby-throats of the year. Whitnall Park did not let me down. I photographed a few different hummers as they came and went from Red Sage plants. Another hot day once it got to be around 10 AM with plenty of sun, temps around 85 degrees. Images were taken on August 23, 2020.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female