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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.

White-eyed Vireo at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 9, 2019

I started out the day at Lake Park with a impromptu bird walk with some friends. The fog was so think you could cut it with a knife. A lot of nice birds were seen but the highlight of the day was the White-eyed Vireo. Jim Frank was the finder of the bird and he hunted us down at the park to let us know about it, thank you! It gave brief views at the rusty bridge and then moved on south. It was birdie on and off. Other nice birds seen were a Scarlet Tanager and Yellow-throated Vireo along with other birds expected to be seen this time of year. Numerous warblers were seen including Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Palms, Yellow-rumps, Orange-crowned, Black-and-white, Nashville, Northern Parula, Cape May, Prothonotary, Pine and American Redstart. All and all a fun time birding with friends even with the gloomy weather for a good part of the morning. Images were taken on May 9, 2019.

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

 

Cape May, Chestnut-sided, Yellow and Common Yellowthroat Warblers at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 6, 2019

One of my birding stops today was for warblers at Whitnall Park. Earlier birding in the rain along the lakefront produced very little to brag about. Lake Park had nice views of White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows everywhere, along with a split-second glimpse of a beautiful Ovenbird. The rain was just letting up as I headed west and the stop at Whitnall Park produced views of a stunning Cape May Warbler. Other warblers present, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Yellow-rumps, Common Yellowthroat, Palm. Other warblers that made very brief appearances were the American Redstart, Black-throated Blue, Black-and-white, not even long enough to get the camera on them. Very many Ruby-crowned Kinglets were also present. Always exciting to see new warblers as they start coming though the area. A rainy morning to start but then cloudy skies which was great. Temps chilly to start but warmed up nicely. Images were taken on May 6, 2019.

Cape May Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Yellow Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Cape May Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Black-throated Blue Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Yellow Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, male

American Avocets, Willets and a Marbled Godwit at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2019

My first birding stop this morning was Lakeshore State Park. I having been hitting it regularly the last few weeks waiting for the American Avocets. This morning was the day as 14 were present when I arrived, btw, my favorite bird! A few minutes later 24 Willets showed up and a while later another ~35 showed up. It was exciting to see this species again. Last year May 5, was the day they showed up at this park. Very skittish they were as when a person walking by the beach area at the park, the American Avocets flushed and landed in the lagoon in a very tight group. It seemed that after about 15-20 minutes they worked their way back to the beach area and hung out with the Willets, sometimes by themselves too. A Marbled Godwit was found in the group of Willets on the beach by Jennifer A later on. The bird may have just joined the group on one of the flushes.  All the birds were flushed many times while I was there but by pedestrians not knowing what was going on, it was all innocent.  Weather was not great as there was a mist coming down for at least the first hour I was there. On and off it was very cold out there on the island park. Stunning birds regardless! It was a fun time with friend birders and photographers that showed while I was there. Images were taken on May 1, 2019.

The American Avocet, male

Flying free…

A group of them…they hung tight all day…

The American Avocets returning to the beach area…

Marbled Godwit left, Willet right

Willets coming to the beach with the Marbled Godwit standing out…

Willets coming in…

Willet

Willets with the Marbled Godwit in the middle…

Willets coming in…

Marbled Godwit preening

American Avocets in flight coming in…

Willets coming in…

American Avocets, a pair, could be a female left, male right…

Willets landing at the beach…

American Avocets landing at the beach…

Willet and Marbled Godwit left to right…

Marbled Godwit in front with the Willets

The Marbled Godwit

Huddled out in the lagoon…all 14 of them…

Willet playing with a crayfish claw that a gull left after eating the crayfish…

Marbled Godwit with something in the bill to eat…

Willet with something in the bill to eat too…

Willets in coming…

Marbled Godwith surrounded by Willets but feeling at home…

Black-capped Chickadees Excavating a Nest Hole at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 26, 2019

While birding at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center I came a across a couple of hard working Black-capped Chickadees. They were taking turns excavating a nest hole in a dead tree along a path. They would chip away in the nest hole and then take a bill full of wood pieces from inside the hole carry them to a nearby branch and let them fall. I watched them from a distance for about 3-4 minutes. It was a beautiful morning out birding but bird action and species was slow in the location I hit. Images were taken on April 26, 2019.

The Black-capped Chickadee with a bill full of wood pieces…

The Black-capped Chickadee excavates in the bottom of the nest hole…

The Black-capped Chickadee excavates on the side of the nest hole…

One of the Black-capped Chickadees sits in a small tree a short distance away waiting for its turn to do some work in the nest hole…they just kept taking turns working in the nest hole…

Hanging on the nest hole opening looking and taking a break…

Checking out the progress…

Just after landing at the nest hole the Black-capped Chickadee takes a look around before working…

The Black-capped Chickadee excavates in the upper part of the nest hole…

The nest hole in the tree…

The Black-capped Chickadee on the side of the tree at the nest hole opening…

Northern Shoveler at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on April 25, 2019

One of my last birding stops today was the Fox River in Waukesha. I check it almost daily in case something new has showed up. Today a Northern Shoveler was the treat giving nice views. It hung around with a couple of Mallards and fed once in awhile along the shoreline of the river. What a beautiful duck! It was a gorgeous day with mostly sunny skies, little wind and a pleasant temperature. Images were taken on April 25, 2019.

Northern Shoveler, male

Northern Shoveler, the reflection…

Close-up, those colors…

Feeding…

Giving great looks!

Say….Ahh….

Feeding along the shoreline…

Some action…

So pretty!

Yellow-rumped, Palm and Yellow Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on April 23, 2019

One of my birding stops today was Wehr Nature Center in Franklin for warblers. I have not been to the nature center since April 9 of this year. Yellow-rumped Warblers were the only warbler species present on that day and today was almost the same. Today it was mainly Yellow-rumped Warblers again with 2 Palm and 1 Yellow warbler. A few Ruby-crowned Kinglets were also seen. It was exciting to get my first Palm and Yellow warblers of the year! Some Swamp Sparrows were also present. I birded some of the Milwaukee lakefront before Wehr this morning and birds to note, 2 groups of Ruddy Ducks, one of 25 or more ducks and another smaller one. Also a group of 12 Northern Shovelers all near the Art Museum. A flyover Common Loon. It was a beautiful morning, but chilly near the lake early winds off the lake, I still needed a scarf! Once the sun came out around 11 AM things started to warm up. Images were taken on April 23, 2019.

Yellow Warbler, male

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Palm Warbler, male

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male

 

 

 

Wisconsin Bird Quiz #1 ~ On Bird Habitat, Food, Description, misc on April 18, 2019

Give this Wisconsin bird quiz at try! It may be easy or it may be difficult. I have gotten requests for more quizzes and quizzes of this type. There are 50 images making that 25 matches. To try this quiz, I suggest a paper and pencil. Write down e.g. images #1 and #14 seem to be a match or have something in common, etc. When you are finished check with the answers below. If you come across something that appears to be incorrect, please let me know. This quiz is the first of it’s kind so feed back is appreciated if possible.  Thank you

Answers are below the images, have fun!

 

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ANSWERS

 

 1  –  49

2  –  38

3  –  20

4  –  50

5  –  18

6  –  42

7  – 14

8  –  21

9  –  41

10  –  45

11  –  36

12  –  48

13  –  23

15  –  30

16  –  27

17  –  24

19  –  32

22  –  33

25  –  35

26  –  39

28  –  40

29  –  43

31  –  44

34  –  46

37  –  47

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Image Description

1 – Canada Goose eggs in nest

2 – Bobolink

3 – Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

4 – Building roof top where gulls nest, breeding habitat

5 – American Avocet

6 – Great Horned Owl

7 – Cedar berries – Townsend’s Solitaire food

8 – Cooper’s Hawk nest

9 – Cattle Egret – cows in a field, sometimes Cattle Egrets are seen with cows in a field, habitat

10 – Bald Eagle

11 – Common Redpoll

12 – Yellow-rumped Warbler

13 – Greater Scaup – bill, wide black mark on bill tip

14 – Townsend’s Solitaire

15 – House Wren

16 – Killdeer habitat, gravel area nesting

17 – Red-winged Blackbird

18 – American Avocet

19 – Lesser Scaup

20 – Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – access holes for sap allowing the bird to get sap

21 – Cooper’s Hawk

22 – Green Heron chick

23 – Greater Scaup

24 – Red-winged Blackbird – habitat

25 – Wild Turkey head

26 – Chimney Swift

27 – Killdeer in snow

28 – Northern Saw whet Owl habitat – one actually found here in this tree by a little girl at the arboretum in Madison

29 – Open cage – Was told bird species escaped from a bird store in Chicago

30 – House Wren – brush pile habitat

31 – Snowy Owl

32 – Lesser Scaup – bill, narrow black nail on end of bill

33 – Green Heron

34 – Barred Owl

35 – Wild Turkey nest with eggs

36 – Common Redpoll – alder cones seeds what they eat

37 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird

38 – Bobolink – field habitat where they might be found

39 – Chimney – Chimney Swift habitat

40 – Northern Saw whet Owl

41 – Cattle Egret

42 – Great Horned Owl – owlets

43 – European Goldfinch

44 – Snowy Owl – Snow plies where they might be found in winter

45 – Bald Eagle nest

46 – Barred Owl tail

47 – Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest

48 – Yellow-rumped Warbler – yellow patch on back, sometimes this bird is called butter butt

49 – Canada Geese flying by

50 – Ring-billed Gull with grass for nesting material

Bonaparte’s Gulls at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 15, 2019

I birded some of the lakefront this morning in Milwaukee and it was pretty slow. The only place I could find a little action was north of McKinley Beach at the gravel beach. There were Bonaparte’s Gulls  feeding heavy there, about 20 of them, thinking these are all adults.  Some Ring-billed Gulls were also present standing on the shore by the Bonaparte’s and appeared they weren’t happy that someone was in their fishing spot! After some shots, more Ring-billed Gulls came in and I left. I photographed the Bonaparte’s Gulls last year a few feet away at McKinley Beach on April 16, one day off! It was a beautiful morning even though there was 3″ of snow on the ground with 29 degrees when I walked along the shore. Images were taken on April 15, 2019.

Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

Something in the bill to eat…

Something in the bill, feeding on crustaceans or marine worms…

Something in the bill, probably feeding on crustaceans or marine worms…

Looking for something to eat, then the heads goes down and they get it…

Something in the bill…

Flying by…

Flying by….

Just before landing…

How they are grouped up sometimes when they feed along the shore, they sit in the waves at the shore…this is typical…

A close up…

Turning the head to grab something here…

Just looking for something to eat…

One of the Ring-billed Gulls watches from the shore, they are in my fishing spot!

Woodchuck at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 12, 2019

While birding Lakeshore State Park I came across one of the residents there, a Woodchuck. I saw this woodchuck minding his own business eating grass along the rocks. When he spotted me he hid in the rocks. I though I would hide on him next to rocks as he would be out for more grass. Minutes later, sure enough, out he came thinking about eating more grass. I think he knew I was in the area though. It was a nice morning with a little wind. Images were taken on April 12, 2019.

The Woodchuck eating grass, then spots me…he backs up and hides…

The Woodchuck comes up, looks around and thinks the coast is clear…

Looks around, taking his time, he has all day…

Looking around waits to make his next move…

Goes back out to eat more grass…

The Woodchuck looks at me, but goes back to eating grass…

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 12, 2019

I have hit Lake Park in Milwaukee almost daily this week in hopes to see the large numbers of the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers that come through. This year like last, I may have missed the big event. Stops have had numbers of just 3-5 birds and some times not even photograph-able as they were high up in the trees. Maybe they are still coming but I think it is just one of those things that I won’t see that event. The few I have seen have been stunning as always, actively feeding on sap, making new holes in trees for more sap, they seem to know where to go. Most of the birds I have seen were higher in trees, not low near the truck. I would think that has to do with the sap situation in the tree. Still exciting to see these birds come through even if it was only one. Images were taken on the 8th and 12th of April 2019.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male, working on a hole getting sap too…

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male working on a hole…

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female-left, male-right

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male, they like to hide when someone is around and come around corners slow…

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male

Getting sap

Working the hole and then getting more sap…

Female getting sap…

Getting sap…

Eastern Towhee at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 12, 2019

One of my birding stops today was the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. The highlight was a FOY Eastern  Towhee. Update: The female Eastern Towhee was photographed at the same location on April 15, 2109. This male put on a nice show eating seeds as I watched from a distance. Another highlight was at least 25 Northern Flickers that were feeding in a field. As I walked a path on the property they flushed from distance in a field. They flushed twice as I did not know they were there till they started taking off. They appeared to just fly to another area there. A Great Horned Owl made an appearance along with a Belted Kingfisher, Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, a flock of 12 Wild Turkeys, with males displaying and Yellow-rumped Warblers to name a few. Stops along the lakefront earlier were very quiet bird-wise with nothing special to report other than a couple of Horned Grebes. I made my first stop of the spring at the Magic Hedge, it was bird-less. Weather was nice early in the morning but then before noon, it got overcast, windy and a north wind made it chilly. Still a nice day to be out birding. Images were taken on April 12, 2019.

Eastern Towhee, female

Eastern Towhee, female

Eastern Towhee, female

The Eastern Towhee near a feeder looking for seeds…

Getting a seed probably…

Looking for seeds…

Near a puddle the Eastern Towhee looks for seeds…

Tail up…

Pretty bird!

Getting a seed in the water maybe…

Winter Wren at Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 9, 2019

While birding Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, Golden-crowned Kinglets were plentiful along with a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, a bird that hides and feeds along the banks of creeks the Winter Wren was also present. These birds are very shy to say the least. While warblers and kinglets don’t even seem to acknowledge your presence, this bird sees you, and it is out of sight. It could be to that their food, gnats and bugs are in in vegetation, logs, around them, under them and along shore banks of creeks where we don’t hang out much to see them. These birds move fast and don’t typically sit still. This bird gave nice views from across the creek for a few moments and I tried to capture some of the action I saw. Clouds rolled in some during the day and temps were mild. Images were taken on April 9, 2019.

The Winter Wren, just how they stand…

Some of the habitat they hang out in and feed…

Moving along getting things to eat…

Moving along looking up, getting things to eat, sometimes they jump up for their food in the air, short flights…

Just looking around for something to eat…

Where you may see them..

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 9, 2019

One of my birding stops today was Wehr Nature Center. I was hoping to see the start of the Yellow-rumped Warbers migrating through the area, also known as “Butter butts”. My timing was right, it was the start, only a couple of birds of that species were present, but it was very exciting! It was nice to see them as bigger things to come was on the horizon with warbler species. There were the most ever seen by me at one location, Golden-crowned Kinglets. The trees were loaded with them feeding heavily, they never stop! The Yellow-rumped warblers, only a couple present, were also busy eating gnats non-stop. My other stops along the lakefront in Milwaukee were very quiet for birds. It was a beautiful morning out with temps around 60, a little wind, but mostly sunny skies. Images were taken on April 9, 2019.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

A short flight to a gnat…

Around the tree looks a Yellow-rumped Warbler…

Looking for a gnat…

Another short flight to a gnat…

Looking …

Looking for the next gnat…and giving nice looks…

Going for a gnat…

Looking at me…

Golden-crowned Kinglet…

Sparrow ID Quiz ~ test your yourself on these beautiful birds here in Wisconsin!

Sparrow ID Quiz ~ test your yourself on these beautiful birds that can be found sometime during the year here in Wisconsin! With the other bird ID Quizzes going over well, and many requests for a Sparrow ID quiz, I have put one together. All images were taken by me and photographed here in Wisconsin. Answers are below last photo at the bottom of the page. There is a chance you may see some color variation in sparrows considering sex, age or time of year. There are books, FB groups, phone apps, classes to lean more. There are also presentations to help in learning bird ID, look for details at your local nature center. Special Note: I have complied a list of 18 species, there are 20 images, as I have an image of both the male and female House Sparrow. This quiz may not be as easy as the other quizzes! See how well you do, have fun too!

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19

#20

 

ANSWERS BELOW

#1 – White-crowned Sparrow

#2 – Fox Sparrow

#3 – Savannah Sparrow

#4 – Field Sparrow

#5 – American Tree Sparrow

#6 – House Sparrow – Male

#7 – Song Sparrow

#8 – Henslow’s Sparrow      – Retzer Nature Center

#9 – Lincoln’s Sparrow

#10 – Chipping Sparrow

#11 – Le Conte’s Sparrow     – Magic Hedge

#12 – Lark Sparrow     – Lake Park

#13 – Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow     – Magic Hedge

#14 – White-throated Sparrow

#15 – Harris’s Sparrow     – Retzer Nature Center

#16 – Vesper Sparrow     – Marquette County

#17 – Clay-colored Sparrow

#18 – House Sparrow – Female

#19 – Grasshopper Sparrow     – Magic Hedge

#20 – Swamp Sparrow

Golden-crowned Kinglets along the lakefront in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 5, 2019

I found Golden-crowned Kinglets at two locations along the lakefront in Milwaukee. Those locations were Veterans Park and Lake Park. Flocks of about a dozen at each spot. They focused on feeding in the lawn areas and where water was. I assume they were eating gnats or whatever they could find, it was nonstop action with this species like usual. That was the highlight of the day. Other species seen to note, Field Sparrows, Song Sparrows and Common Grackles. I heard my 1st Gray Catbird of the year but did not see it. It was a very pleasant morning to be out birding with highs in the 50’s, some sun, no wind. Images were taken on April 5, 2019.

Looking for the next insect to eat…

Looking…

All they do it seems is go from one insect to another…they will fly 15 or 20 feet for an insect, their vision or hearing must be that good…

Beautiful!

Flying to the next insect…

Looking…

Getting something here…

A quick turn looking for the next bite…

Driving by, a birder can’t miss a dozen of these bird fluttering on the ground eating insects in a small area on the lawn…

Getting something here…

Ducks, Grebes, and Geese ID Quiz ~ test your yourself on these beautiful birds here in Wisconsin!

Ducks, Grebes, and Geese ID Quiz ~ test your yourself on these beautiful birds that can be found sometime during the year here in Wisconsin! There are 50 images, see how well you do. Answers are below last photo at the bottom of the page. There is a chance you may see some color variation in ducks, grebes, or geese considering sex, age or time of year. There are books, FB groups, phone apps, classes to lean more. There are also presentations to help in learning bird ID, look for details at your local nature center. All photos were taken in Wisconsin except the Wood Ducks and the female Green-winged Teal images. Please let me know if you see an error, thank you. Special Note: I have complied a list of 50 images of ducks, grebes, and geese. I am missing a few of the images for various reasons, sorry. This quiz may not be as easy as the warbler or shorebird quiz! So don’t look for these in the quiz as they are missing: American Black Duck fm, Northern Pintail fm, Barrow’s Goldeneye fm, Common Mergansers.

Ducks

# 1

# 2

# 3   Narrow black nail, and not the wide black on the tip of the bill tells you it is a?

# 4

# 5

# 6  Narrow black nail, and not the wide black on the tip of the bill tells you it is a?

# 7

# 8

# 9

# 10

# 11

# 12

# 13

# 14

# 15

# 16 left —— # 17 right

# 18

# 19 female —– # 20 male

# 21

# 22

# 23

# 24

# 25

# 26 – assuming this is a female, what species?

# 27

# 28

# 29

# 30

# 31   A rare vistor

# 32

# 33

# 34

# 35

# 36

# 37

# 38

#39

#40

 Grebes

# 41

# 42

# 43

# 44    White tip on the bill means it is a…

# 45

Geese

# 46

# 47

# 48

# 49

# 50

ANSWERS BELOW

Ducks

#1 – Mallard – male

#2 – Northern Shoveler – male

#3 –Lesser Scaup – male

#4 – Canvasback – female

#5 – Redhead – male

#6 – Lesser Scaup – female

# 7 – Bufflehead – male

#8 – Wood Duck – female

#9 – Long-tailed Duck – male

#10 – Canvasback – male

#11 – Redhead – female

#12 – Northern Shoveler – female

#13 – Ring-necked Duck – female

#14 – Bufflehead – female

#15 – Ring-necked Duck – male

#16 – Eurasian Wigeon – male

#17 – American Wigeon – male

#18 – Harlequin Duck – male

#19 – Gadwall – female

#20 – Gadwall – male

#21 – Blue-winged Teal – female

#22 – Blue-winged Teal – male

#23 – Greater Scaup – male

#24 – Red-breasted Merganser – female

#25 – Common Goldeneye – female

#26 – Hooded Merganser – female

#27 –Ruddy Duck – female

#28 – Red-breasted Merganser – male

#29 – Greater Scaup – female

#30 – Wood Duck – male

#31 – Cinnamon Teal – male

#32 – Green-winged Teal – female

#33 – Hooded Merganser – male

#34 – Green-winged Teal – male

#35 – Common Goldeneye – male

#36 – Barrow’s Goldeneye – male

#37 – Ruddy Duck – male

#38 – Long-tailed Duck – female

#39 – Mallard – female

#40 – American Black Duck, male

Grebes

#41 – Pied-billed Grebe

#42 – Western Grebe

#43 – Eared Grebe

#44 – Horned Grebe

#45 – Red-necked Grebe

Geese

#46 – Snow Goose

#47 – Canada Goose

#48 – Greater White-fronted Goose

#49 – Ross’s Goose

#50 – Cackling Goose

Leucistic American Robin at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 1, 2019

One of my birding stops today was the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee County. The bird of the day was a leucistic American Robin. The typical view of this bird was in the bush. It perched a few times but another common American Robin did not seem to care for its presence and kept it on the move. It was said it has been seen on and off recently there. Another nice bird there was a Oregon Dark-eyed Junco. That gave nice views at the feeder, but a little Pine Squirrel did not want to share the bird seed and flushed it out a few times while I was there. Nice to come across a couple of surprises today while I was out birding. Other birding stops I made this morning had nothing special to report. It was a cloudy overcast morning, chilly with the winds. Images were taken on April 1, 2019

Leucistic American Robin perched on a log…

Perched in the tree…

Going to drop down..

Back view…

Oregon, Dark-eyed Junco

What is Leucism?  Leucism is an uncommon condition in birds.  This condition is caused by a genetic mutation which prevents pigments, particularly melanin, from being deposited evenly in the bird’s feathers.  Leucistic birds have melanin elsewhere in their bodies which is why they may have dark eyes, legs, and bills.  However, their true color will be missing or greatly reduced due to the lack of proper pigmentation.

What is Albinism? Leucism is similar to albinism as in both cases the birds may be completely white.  However, albinism is defined as a complete absence of melanin in an animal.  Truly albino species will have pink eyes as the only color seen will be caused by blood vessels behind their eyes.  They will also have pink bills, legs, and feet.  Albinism is extremely rare in birds.

Notes: Leucistic birds are extremely uncommon for a number of reasons.  They are not thought to live very long because their white feathers make it difficult for them to hide from predators.  If they do stay alive, it is difficult for them to find a mate and successfully pass on their genetic mutation.  Additionally, the melanin found in regular birds adds strength to the feathers.  Leucistic birds lacking melanin have weaker feathers and thus have a more difficult time flying in severe weather.  Last, the reflective properties of white feathers may be problematic for birds who rely on solar energy for heat.

Shorebird ID Quiz ~ test your yourself before these beautiful birds arrive here in Wisconsin this spring!

Shorebird ID Quiz ~ test your yourself before these beautiful birds arrive here in Wisconsin this spring! 32 species, see how well you do. All shorebirds below were photographed in Wisconsin. Answers are below last photo at the bottom of the page. There is a chance you may see some color variation in shorebirds considering sex, age or time of year. There are books, FB groups, phone apps, classes to lean more. There are also presentations to help in learning bird ID, look for details at your local nature center. Special Note: I have complied a list of 35 shorebirds you might see in Wisconsin. I am missing 3 of those images for various reasons, sorry. This quiz may not be as easy as the warbler quiz! So don’t look for these in the quiz as they are missing: Solitary Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, and Long-billed Dowitcher.

# 1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19

#20

#21

#22

#23

#24

#25

#26

#27

#28

#29

#30

#31

#32

ANSWERS BELOW

 

#1 – Buff-breasted Sandpiper

#2 – American Woodcock

#3 – American Avocet

#4 – Black-belled Plover

#5 – Short-billed Dowitcher

#6 – Purple Sandpiper

# 7 – Marbled Godwit

#8 – Whimbrel

#9 – Killdeer

#10 – Semipalmated Plover

#11 – Dunlin

#12 – Sanderling

#13 – Upland Sandpiper

#14 – Ruddy Turnstone

#15 – Western Sandpiper

#16 – Red Phalarope

#17 – Lesser Yellowlegs

#18 – Greater Yellowlegs

#19 – Black-necked Stilts

#20 – Willets

#21 – Red Knot

#22 – Wilson’s Phalarope

#23 – Pectoral Sandpiper

#24 – Semipalmated Sandpiper

#25 – Baird’s Sandpiper

#26 – Wilson’s Snipe

#27 – Spotted Sandpiper

#28 – Stilt Sandpiper

#29 – Least Sandpiper

#30 – Piping Plove

#31 – American Golden-Plover

#32 – White-rumped Sandpiper

Wood Ducks and Green-winged Teal in Cook County Illinois March 26, 2019

Wood Ducks and Green-winged Teal were the highlights on a trip down to Cook County Illinois. I was invited to go with Caron G and Sylvia P and with a great subject as the Wood Duck, I did not turn it down. It turned out it was a nice opportunity for photos of these beautiful ducks. The ducks were calm at this location for the most part, swimming around, hanging out and just being ducks. It was a gorgeous spring day, still winter coat weather, but the full sun eventuality warmed things up. Winds were calm with temps around 40 degrees. Images were taken on March 26, 2019

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, male coming in…

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, male on the log looking proud…

Green-winged Teal, male

Wood Duck, male, head up…

Green-winged Teal, male

Wood Ducks, the couple…

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, female coming in…

Green-winged Teal, male

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, male, just hanging out…

Beautiful!

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, male

Mourning Dove Gathering, Carrying Nest Material and Building the Nest in Waukesha County Wisconsin on March 25, 2019

While out birding this afternoon I walked upon a Mourning Dove coming out of a tree. I stepped back and watched. The dove gathered nesting material off the ground and flew into a pine tree. It would drop into a nest under construction. Sometimes the dove would stay in the nest for a short time after bringing something in and do a little construction work, and moving around to round the nest out. It was only one bird doing all the work. After about 15 minutes the bird stopped, perched near the nest and took a break. It was exciting to watch! It was a cold morning with temps around 30 to start. Full sun but the winds were strong making it feel like winter was still here.  Images were taken on March 25, 2019.

Mourning Dove carrying nesting material, a twig to the nest location…

Mourning Dove carrying more nesting material, a twig to the nest location…

Mourning Dove carrying nesting material, a leaf to the nest location…

Dropping down into the nest location…

Dropping down more…

Near the nest under construction…

Mourning Dove in the nest under construction, doing some work…

Mourning Dove carrying in a leaf to the nest…

Into the nest, but the dove seems to look at me but then continues it’s work…

The dove turned around and drops down into the nest…

Mourning Dove gathers nesting material off the ground before flying to the nest…

More carrying of nest material…

Mourning Dove holding a leaf above the nest…

Drops into the nest…

Mourning Dove in the nest working on things…

More gathering of nesting material on the ground near the nest…

To the nest…

To the nest…

Into the nest…

Above the nest with nesting material…

In the nest working…

Another leaf for the nest…

Mourning Dove takes a break near the nest on a limb…