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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.

Green Heron perched in the hedge at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 20, 2017

One of the highlights today at Greenfield Park was a juvenile Green Heron perched in a hedge north of the large pond. It was a highlight because it was a slower day than the usual there plus you typically see these birds on the pond perched on a stick. 4 Green Herons were present today along with a Great Blue Heron and Belted Kingfishers to name a few. Thanks to Dave F for finding this bird perched in the hedge and getting the word out to others at the park as this bird gave nice views. A warm day at the park, low winds, mostly cloudy skies and of photographers visiting from different parts of the state. Images were taken on August 20, 2017.

Some preening here…

When I left the heron was just resting up there enjoying the nice day…

Showy Sunflower, wildflowers on wildflowers on August 15, 2017

With the Showy Sunflower blooming away these days I took advantage of the opportunity and tried to make something with them. This sunflower, a stunning native to Wisconsin is Helianthus laetiflorus. Images were taken in Waukesha County on August 15, 2017.

Showy Sunflower, Helianthus laetiflorus with the native Meadow Phlox still blooming

Showy Sunflower

Binomial name: Helianthus laetiflorus

Habitat: Prairie, grows to a height of 36″-60″

Note: The majority of this plants native range is generally MN, NE, OK, KS and TX north into Canada then east to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s range also includes states OR and MT out west.

Showy Sunflower, Helianthus laetiflorus with the Royal Catchfly

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly gathering nectar from the Smooth Phlox in Waukesha County Wisconsin on August 8, 2017

I saw a Giant Swallowtail in the yard hovering around the native Smooth Phlox this afternoon. I went out and took a few images of this stunning butterfly in action going from plant to plant gathering nectar. One thing to note is that the wings on this species never stop fluttering when they are gathering nectar from plant blooms. This is Wisconsin’s largest butterfly. Images were taken on August 8, 2017.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

Binomial name: Papilio cresphontes

Wingspan: Can sometimes exceed 5″

Note: Wisconsin’s largest butterfly

The legs of the butterfly hold the butterfly in place and help balance it while the nectar gathering takes place…

The Cup Plant, wildflowers on wildflowers on August 6, 2017

With cloudy weather today and a good chance of rain I decided to try my luck at some Cup Plant in the yard. These plants are currently about 5-8 feet tall. Images were taken on August 6, 2017.

Cup Plant, Silphium perfoliatum

Most occasions the leaf cup holds water at the start of the day, birds frequent this plant for a drink…

The Cup Plant with Meadow Phlox in the background…

The Cup Plant with Royal Catchfly in the back ground

 

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron and Juvenile Green Herons at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 5, 2017

A stop this morning at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County proved worth while. Juvenile Green Herons and a Black-crowned Night Heron gave nice views and put on some shows. The Green Herons fished for food, but came up with very little size wise if anything as they are still learning the ropes. The juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron just hung out at a few locations there, preening was the highlight. Also present, the pair of Belted Kingfishers which are seen often flying back and forth around the pond. Plenty of juvenile Wood Ducks are at most ponds. A beautiful morning out with low 70’s, sun and a nice breeze from the northwest. Images were taken on August 5, 2017.

Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile preening

Black-crowned Night Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile eyeing up it’s next meal

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile, in for the catch!

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile, it may have something here!

Green Heron, juvenile, heads out of the water…

Green Heron, juvenile, on to the log…

Green Heron, juvenile, a look around…

Green Heron, juvenile

Green Heron, juvenile, back to fishing…

Green Heron, juvenile on alert!

Green Heron, juvenile, the closeup…

Green Heron, juvenile, more fishing…

Green Heron, juvenile, waiting for the next catch!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on the Royal Catchfly in Waukesha County on August 2, 2017

The wildflowers are blooming away these days in the yard and every once in awhile a Ruby-throated Hummingbird puts on a show. They have not been seen often, but I did get a couple of shots yesterday of what I think is a juvenile on the Royal Catchfly. Images were taken on August 2, 2017.

Getting that nectar in the Royal Catchfly

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Wildflower Walk and Photo Shoot at the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha Wisconsin on July 13, 2017

We had a very nice turnout of members show up this morning for the annual wildflower walk and photo shoot at the Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha. This annual event is a field trip for the Retzer Nature Center Camera Club. Lighting was nice early this morning but had some wind for the 2.5 hour event. I think the group walked away with some great shots as it is getting near peak blooming time for many native species at the nature center. It was a fun event for everyone in sharing some of each others photography tips and ideas. Some images to share from the event today on July 13, 2017.

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata

Leadplant, Amorpha canescens

Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis

Solomon’s Seal, Polygonatum biflorum

Early Goldenrod, Solidago juncea

Purple Prairie Clover, Petalostemum purpureum

False, Oxeye or Early Sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Canada Milk Vetch, Astragalus canadensis

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea – not a true native to Wisconsin

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca

Wild Rose with a bee…

Prairie Coreopsis, Coreopsis palmata

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

 

Green Heron catching and eating fish at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on July 11, 2017

During a visit at Greenfield Park this morning I observed a Green Heron fishing, catching fish and eating them. This bird is a 1st summer Green Heron, born last year. A typically event that occurs here daily during the summer months are Green Herons fishing all around the pond, rotating their fishing spots to allow new food to come into those places. Some of the species seen today at the park were 2 Green Herons, 2 Great Blue Herons, 2 Belted Kingfishers and a couple groups of Wood Ducks with the mother and young. The day was just a little slower than normal. A beautiful morning out with mostly sunny skies and warm temps but not as hot as it could be for this time of year. Images were taken on July 11, 2017.

Green Heron, the catch with a fish……and a weed too

Green Heron

Binomial name: Buborides virescens

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 18” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 7 oz

The gulp!

Fishing…

Fishing and then just before the catch…

Got-em!

Getting a good grip!

The catch, a nice fish!

A look around

More fishing…

An incredible stretch for the next catch!

And a nice catch!

Killing and turning the fish around to go down the throat…

The gulp!

Sitting pretty…

Wisconsin Native Wildflowers at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on July 7, 2017

I stopped at Lakeshore State Park this morning in Milwaukee to see what was blooming there. The park has a nice variety of Wisconsin native wildflowers in beds throughout the park.  The park is getting near peak blooms as only a few species are on their way down with most in full bloom with yet more still to come. What a showcase today! It was mostly sunny with a few clouds but there was a steady breeze from the west where at times when the plants would just not sit still. Images were taken on July 7, 2017.

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida

Hoary Vervain, Verbena stricta

Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea – not a true native to Wisconsin

Purple Prairie Clover, Petalostemum purpureum

White Prairie Clover, Petalostemum candidum

Lance-leaved Coreopsis, Coreopsis lanceolata

Wild Quinine, Parthenium intergrifolium

Hoary Vervain, Verbena stricta

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Wild White Indigo, Baptisia leucantha

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

 

Wisconsin Native Wildflowers in Waukesha County Wisconsin on July 6, 2017

I went out for a short time this morning to capture some of Wisconsin stunning native wildflowers in Waukesha Co. Wildflowers have been blooming for months now, but the peak is getting close as I figure with most species blooming at one time. There was a good breeze blowing early morning which made for some challenges in capturing some of the images. The heat was setting in with full sun lots of humidity when I left. Images were taken on July 6, 2017

Smooth Phlox, Glaberrima ssp. interior

Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Rosen Weed, Silphium intergrifolium

Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Prairie Cinquefoil, Potentilla arguta

Smooth Phlox, glaberrima ssp. interior

False, Oxeye or Early Sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides

Wild White Indigo, Baptisia leucantha

Prairie Coreopsis, Coreopsis palmata

Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca with a honey bee…

Pale Purple Coneflower, echinacea pallida

Branched Coneflower or Brown-eyed Susan, Rudbecki triloba

Yellow Coneflower, ratibida pinnata

False, Oxeye or Early Sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides

Smooth Phlox, glaberrima ssp. interior

Prairie Cinquefoil, Potentilla arguta

Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca

Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Dickcissels and Savannah Sparrows at the County Grounds Park in Wauwatosa Wisconsin on June 20, 2017

One place I have never birded was the County Grounds Park in Wauwatosa Wisconsin. This morning I met up with Bruce there as he frequents this place often and we did some birding around the park. Some of the birds we saw were Dickcissels, Eastern Meadowlarks, and very many Savannah Sparrows. On the many acres of gentle hilly terrain, there are some nice foot trails there. Amazingly on some of that property you would think you were out in the middle of nowhere, not in the middle of a city. It appeared the Savannahs were nesting everywhere. Images were taken on June 20, 2017

Dickcissel, male

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow bringing food to the young…

Savannah Sparrow calling

Savannah Sparrow calling

Dickcissel, male calling…

Dickcissel, male

Savannah Sparrow sitting pretty…

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow stretching and calling…

Savannah Sparrow calling…

The setting at County Grounds Park

The setting at County Grounds Park

Dickcissel, male calling

Bobolinks in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 19, 2017

Out birding this morning in Waukesha County I came across some Bobolinks. There were 2 males and 2 females in an area where I assumed they were nesting. I took a few shots to share and left the area. It was a sunny morning with cool temps with some clouds moving in. Images were taken on June 19, 2017.

Bobolink, male calling

Bobolink

Binomial name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 7” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 1.50 oz

Notes: A male Bobolink may have more than one mate. A well known birder in Wisconsin had called this bird a “skunk blackbird” because of the whitish stripe down the back of the head.

Bobolink, male preening

Bobolink, female keeping an eye on the nesting area

Bobolink, female keeping the balance…

Bobolink, male in the grass as we see them…

Bobolink, male just sitting pretty

Female watching the nest from a distance…

Bobolink, the female in flight…

Both sexes here…

Calling….displaying…

Distant shot of caterpillars in the bill…

The balancing act

On the lookout

Over looking the nesting area…

 

Dickcissels Mating at the Rock in Franklin in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on June 15, 2017

I made the trip over to the Rock in Franklin Wisconsin early this morning to see if any of the Dickcissels that have been recently reported were present. Sure enough, there were at least 4 and I observed them in a patch of some non-native aggressive species of plants that were 2-3 feet in height. The highlight of the morning was watching a pair of Dickcissels mating. Always enjoyable  to watch these birds calling from a perch for long periods of time. A few non native Teasels were in the planting that made great perches for these birds to call from. As I said last year, interesting that a 1/2 acre lot full of non native species fighting each other to gain growing space and looking like a rats nest at ground level can be habitat for some native bird species. The Red-winged Blackbirds, also nest in this planting along with Savannah Sparrows. These birds were here at the same location last year. Easy to spot these birds as they were calling on territory. An exciting morning to say the least! Images were taken on June 15, 2017.

Dickcissel, male

Dickcissel

Binomial name: Spiza americana

Category: Cardinals, Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 9.75” wing span

Weight: 0.95 oz

Dickcissels, the mating…

Dickcissels, the mating…

Dickcissels, the mating…his part is done…

Dickcissels, he drops down…

Dickcissel, the female after the act…

Dickcissel, the female, the proud mother to be…

Dickcissel, the male calling from an old clump of Teasel from last year

Dickcissel, the male taking off…

Dickcissel, the male perched…

Dickcissel, the female looking around…

Dickcissel, the male calling…

Dickcissel, male trying to balance with the blowing winds on an old Teasel seed head from last year.

Dickcissel, perched male

Savannah Sparrow

American White Pelicans at North Point Park in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 12, 2017

A place I always check out about the first of June each year is North Point Park in Sheboygan. It usually has some action and today was no different. Guessing there were between 200-300 American White Pelicans on the rocky point. What beautiful birds! Some fished out on the open water, some slept on the rock, some just hung out but these birds are preening machines as that is what they did the most. It was an enjoyable early morning watching these majestic birds in action. It was cool at times today being on the water, wished I had a light coat on occasion, sunny skies to start but then that turned to overcast. I was told by one of the locals that these birds will move up to Green Bay in the next few weeks for the summer. Images were taken on June 12, 2017.

An adult with a fish…the horn on the bill is disappearing as it is the end of the breeding season…the bill first appears at the beginning of the breeding season…

American White Pelican

Binomial name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Category: Pelicans

Size: 62” long, 108” wing span

Weight: 16.4 lbs

Cool fact: One of the largest birds in North America. Their pouch, bottom of their bill can hold up to 3 gallons of water.

The rock point where the pelicans hang out from a distance…

In flight

Adult fishing

2 fishing

Adult coming in for a landing, this is what they do……possible 3 juveniles on the far right side with no black on head…

Some interaction…

Adult circling around to land…

Before landing

Touching down to land…

Wing spread and a look at the foot

Some of the norm today…

A group of adults coming in to land…

Landing

3 coming in, pretty much the norm today with some coming and some going…

Landing

Circling before landing…

Just before landing…

The landing

Some circling above..

A soft landing…

A possible juvenile, some heaving preening here which went on all day with all of them…

Adult, a fish in bill…

Just after takeoff from the point…

Possible juveniles with a couple sleeping…

Just a gulp!

Trumpeter Swans with Cygnets at the Horicon Marsh in Dodge County Wisconsin on June 6, 2017

I thought it was time to head up to the Horicon Marsh to see what was going on and glad I did. One of the highlights of the day was watching one Tumpeter Swan, then two along with the cygnets feed and paddle around. When the second adult joined the group, there appeared to be some great trumpet sounds, really, like welcome back to the family! The two adults stirred the bottom by paddling and brought probably up aquatic insects which is what they eat at this age. It was an exciting time watching these adult swans doing their routine feeding the young with no distractions. It was a beautiful day with mostly full sun and pleasant temps, winds were low in the morning. Images were taken on June 6, 2017.

The family…

Trumpeter Swan

Binomial name: Cygnus buccinator

Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Size: 60” long, 80” wing span

Weight: 23 lb

Their necks are stained from feeding…

2nd adult joins the group, I hear trumpet like calling with each other…they were so glad to be together…:)

1st adult stretching here…

Cygnets feeding here with some fresh churned-up vegetation for aquatic insects…

Cygnets

Cygnets

Waiting for some fresh vegetation to dig through that the adult brought up from the bottom…

Both adults stirring the bottom by neck work under the water…

Cygnets feeding here with some fresh churned-up vegetation for aquatic insects…

Both adults stirring the bottom by neck work under the water…

Here the adult is paddling the bottom stirring up the vegetation…

Cygnets finding things to eat…

The Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 27, 2017

A Black-bill Cuckoo was reported at Wehr Nature Center in Greenfield Wisconsin on and off the last week or so. This morning I gave it a shot to try to see this bird that has avoided me since I have started birding in 2009. After a good walk around the nature center grounds, coming to full circle, I spotted a Black-billed Cuckoo near the nature center entrance, what a beautiful bird, finally! The bird dropped down from a branch perched about 10 feet off the ground and appeared to feed on something, doing this action twice. The bird hung around for a few minutes but then left the viewing area. A while later while, Bruce joined me at that  parking lot and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew into the area and perched in front of us. That bird also perched and feed, but moved out of the area to the prairie area. Then Janet and Jeanine joined me after I texted them as they were looking for these species in a different area at the nature center, they also wanted this species on their life list. Once in the prairie area, both cuckoos showed  and were present at the same time, in fact at one time they both appeared to land in the same square foot in a grassy area. From there they moved down the hill to the south giving great views as they feed and perched, what cuckoos do. We kept a distance to just enjoy the great views and captured a few images to share. All and all, a fun morning for all present! Images were taken on May 27, 2017.

Black-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo

Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Some other nice shorebird species at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee yesterday, the Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings. There were 6 of them present for feeding back and forth along the beach shore from one end to the other putting on a great show. They flew from one side of the beach area to the other, usually what appeared to be for no reason. Cute little birds! Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris pussilla

Category:  Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 14” wing span

Weight:  .88 oz

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Some action on the beach…

Semipalmated Sandpiper center, in search of food, a big part of their life…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper front

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper, when the wave hits a wing, up they go…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Just looking…

and looking…

Piping Plover at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 23, 2017

The Piping Plover was present along with the other shorebirds feeding along the algae mat at McKinley Beach. This bird was reported by others and was still present. I have not hear if anyone did the research yet on bands. Also present, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Semipalmated Sandpipers and a Killdeer. This bird along with the others present made for an exciting day just as rain was moving into the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Piping Plover

Binomial name: Charadrius melodus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 7.25” long, 19” wing span

Weight: 1.9 oz

Note: The research I have done states this bird is listed as Endangered in Wisconsin

The colored leg bands…

Got something here to eat…

 

Dunlin at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Stopping at McKinley Beach today also gave nice views of another species of shorebird, the Dunlin. The Dunlin hung out with the Ruddy Turnstone and the Semipalmated Sandpipers while feeding along the beach on the algae mat. All the birds gave nice views on this cloudy day with mild temps and light winds. Light rain started and I left the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Feeding

Feeding

Eating something…or maybe sifting through the sand in the bill for something to eat…

At takeoff…

Preening

Preening

Fluffed up after preening…

At you…

Feeding

More feeding…

Feeding…

Closeup

Moving along the shore…

More feeding…

Just looking…