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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 Towhees in Marquette County Wisconsin on May 5, 2020

A pair of Eastern Towhees, the male and female where making an appearance in Marquette County. They are probably nesting nearby where I photographed them. On a couple of photos I captured their distinct posture. It was a beautiful day, low winds, mostly sunny with temps around 55 degree. Images were taken on May 5, 2020.

Eastern Towhee, the male…

Eastern Towhee, the female…

The Eastern Towhee looking beautiful…

 

Black-throated Gray Warbler along the Menominee River in Wauwatosa Wisconsin on May 6, 2020

The report of a Black-throated Gray being seen in Wauwatosa Wisconsin sounded spectacular! I made the run in to try for this rare warbler to the state late afternoon on May 5th with no results after a 3 hour wait. It had been seen earlier in the day. It was getting dark and thought I would try first thing in the morning. I arrived the next morning just after sunrise and after 30 minutes, the bird just appeared. I only had looks for about 2 minutes, it was preening, must have just bathed. I grabbed a few shots and then it went out of sight. This western US visitor was stunning, my image does not look like much but it was across the river with low light. A big thank you to all who kept reports coming and the finder of this amazing bird, thank you too! A cool morning starting at 40 degrees, the early sun warmed things up. Bird #350 for the state of Wisconsin. Image was taken on May 6, 2020.

The Black-throated Gray Warbler

Great Horned Owl at a Cemetery in Waukesha County Wisconsin on April 21, 2020

One of the places Great Horned Owls can be found are cemetery’s. I drive though a few year round looking for these birds in slower birding times. This spring I found just that, a cemetery with a pair of Great Horned Owls. What a great place to have a nest and raise a family. Typically quiet, a large area to find prey. Today, one of the two perched in the open, I could see the nest nearby in another tree but so high up, I couldn’t see what is going on. I have seen no owlets but I’m sure they are around by this time of year. I didn’t even have to get out of the car for these shots. A nice sunny day but stiff winds from the NE made for a chilly day. Images were taken on April 21, 2020.

An adult Great Horned Owl just hanging out with the nest close by…

Osprey At Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 20, 2020

One of my birding stops today was Greenfield Park. I did a quick walk around and around comes an Osprey. It flew over the large pond a few times hunting hard for something to eat but appeared it struck out on that idea. A beautiful day, steady winds made it for a cool day. Images were taken on April 20, 2020.

The Osprey hunting…

Osprey looking at me…

Osprey still looking at me…

The Osprey hunting, looking straight down into the pond…

The Osprey cruising the sky…

The Osprey hunting for something to eat…

Osprey hunting…

Osprey hunting, seems to come up empty, leaves the area after awhile…

Great Horned Owl Owlets in Waukesha County April 18, 2020

I have been watching a Great Horned Owl nest for the last couple of months in Waukesha County. I only stop every couple of weeks if that to see what is going on. At today’s visit, two owlets were present. One still on the nest and the other well out on a limb. An adult was close by perched in a tree watching. I only hung around for a minute and left the area. It was a partly cloudy morning with light winds, a pleasant day, temps around 42 degrees. Images were taken on April 18, 2020.

The Great Horned Owl owlet on the nest…

The other Great Horned Owl owlet out on a limb…

Another view…

Doing what they do…

Long-eared Owl in Southeastern Wisconsin on April 2, 2020

While birding a new location, coming out of some bushes, I was stunned to see a single Long-eared Owl starring at me. Just sitting on a branch, I quickly took some shots and walked away. It never flew, seemed content just looking at me. That was one of my biggest birding surprises of all time! Images were taken on April 2, 2020.

The Long-eared Owl

Tufted Duck at Fresh Air Park in Winnebago County Wisconsin on April 16, 2020

Trying for the male Tufted Duck today was worth the almost 2 hour trip. This Eurasian species, very rare for the state, even North America was very exciting to finally see. On arriving at Fresh Air Park, the word was the duck had not been seen for a least an hour. Not what I wanted to hear, but doing some scoping along with other birders, I think his name was Dave from Baraboo spotted the duck! It was down shore a long ways and out from shore too. The duck went out a long ways and returned a few more times to shore but never close. It hung with some scaups a couple of times but for the most part stayed by itself. On one of its return to shore runs I snapped a couple of photos. I felt the photo was good enough for a ID shot and a memory. I tried for a Tufted Duck last year way up north on the Mississippi but missed on it, it was nice to get the bird finally on my list. Life bird for the state of Wisconsin #348. A big thank you to Jim M for finding, ID-ing the bird, getting word out and letting birders onto their property. It was a sunny day, winds not bad and temps around 40 degrees. Image was taken on April 16, 2020.

The Tufted Duck, male

Wood Ducks in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 9, 2020

One of my birding stops today gave nice looks at a pair of Wood Ducks. They were just swimming around doing their thing while I patiently observed their actions. The nice light this morning brought out the very best in Wood Duck breeding colors. It was a cool morning to start with stiff winds, never really got pleasant out. Images were taken on April 9, 2020.

Wood Duck, the male…

Wood Duck, the female…

Back view, beautiful too…

Golden-crowned Sparrow in Calumet County Wisconsin on April 7, 2020

A Golden-crowned Sparrow was reported 4 days ago coming to a feeder in Calumet County. This reported bird far out of its normal range being California did not disappoint. After almost 3 hours the bird gave a brief appearance, enough for an ID but 5 Brown-headed Cowbirds and a chipmunk chased it away. About an hour later the bird reappeared and gave nice views at a distance for about 1 minute plus. It stayed under the feeder, ate some seeds and then disappeared once again. A big thank you goes out to the kind homeowners who have let birders in to try for this cool visitor. Well worth the wait for this exciting bird though as I remember the last time I tried for this species. It was in Winsdor WI, back about 6-7 years ago, waited for a the bird to show on on the back porch of a home from almost sun up to sun down with high temps for the day of only 20 degrees. The bird never showed. I think it was January of the year. Oh how bad I wanted this bird on my life list! Toda was a mild day, temps around 60 degrees, little wind, mostly sunny skies. Image was taken on April 7, 2020.

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Red-headed Woodpeckers in Marquette County Wisconsin on April 5, 2020

Best birds of the day were a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers in Marquette County. Other species to note, a Bald Eagle, Tree Swallows, Sandhill Cranes, Eastern Pheobe, Song Sparrows and other common species we see this time of year. The day started out foggy but gave way to full sun late morning. Images were taken on April 5, 2020.

Red-headed Woodpecker, there were 2…

 

Killdeer Eating and Preening in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on March 27, 2020

One of my birding stops in Milwaukee County gave nice looks at a pair of Killdeer. They preened, rested and found things to eat while I was present watching from a distance. These birds poked along in gravelly areas sometimes with some grass mixed in to picking things up to eat. They eat so fast it is hard to see most of the time of what they are eating. I noticed worms were a favorite and some kind of larva maybe were available today. It was a gloomy day, low winds and temps around 40 degrees. Images were taken on March 27, 2020.

A Killdeer preening…

Preening, straightening out those feathers…

Every last one of them…

Just looking pretty…

More preening…

Shaking off…

Grooming…

Something in the bill…

More in the bill…

A worm for something to eat, yummy!

Something else to eat…

Hooded Merganser at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on March 22, 2020

One of my birding stops today was at the Fox River in downtown Waukesha. As I came around the corner in the car standing in front of me in the middle of the road, a Hooded Merganser, a male with a female Mallard. Is this “Hollyhood”?? Before I got parked both ducks were off into the middle of the river being ducks. The Hooded Merganser seemed to be checking out numerous females Mallards and doing some displaying, trying to show off but none of the females seemed to be impressed or interested. After a few minutes, the Hooded Merganser just took off and flew to the north up the river out of sight. It was a cold breezy morning with temps hanging around 32 degrees, with no sun. Images were taken on March 22, 2020.

Hooded Merganser, male, is this Hollyhood?

On shore for a moment…

The back view…

Displaying…

Sees a female Mallard, in a hurry…

 

Northern Harrier in the South Kettle Moraine in Waukesha County Wisconsin on March 21, 2020

Birding out in the South Kettle Moraine in Waukesha County today I had the pleasure of watching a pair of Northern Harriers. As I watched them at a distance they did some serious hunting and maybe captured something to eat on the ground as they all of the sudden they disappeared. Also called Marsh Hawks, I captured only a fraction of the great show they put on as their hunting activities moved to far away for decent photos. It was a cold morning starting out at 21 degrees, even the full sun did not warm things up because of the stiff wind out of the northwest. Images were taken on March 21, 2020.

Northern Harrier…

Coming down to what be something to eat…

Eyes on something…

Getting closer…

Northern Shrike in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on March 17, 2020

Birding along the Menominee River Parkway in Milwaukee County I came across a Northern Shrike. It was fun to watch this bird as it seemed to have recently seen some prey in an area I was in. It perched on top of numerous deciduous trees and came down a few times too, perching near the ground on a log and then on the ground itself, sometimes even hidden. I never saw it leave with anything in it’s bill. Two times I heard it calling perched in some dense bushes. It was a beautiful day with full sun, temps around 40, but there was a breeze that kept things cold. Some miscellaneous shots of the bird today…Images were taken on March 17, 2020.

Northern Shrike, some blood on the bill too…

The Northern Shrike calling…

 

 

Trumpeter Swans at Frame Park in Waukesha Wisconsin on March 4, 2020

At ​Frame Park today in Waukesha along the Fox River a couple of Trumpeter Swans had come in since my morning visit. ​Sometimes it pays to check places out twice in one day! ​Always nice to see something different as everyone is anxious for the start of spring migration. These 2 – 1st summer birds floated down the middle of the river when I arrived. After some distance they stopped and did some feeding. Canada Geese joined them in the area as food must have been plentiful. They did not do much other than a little preening and the feeding. A bright sunny day finally with not much wind and temps around 40 degrees. Images were taken on March 4, 2020.

Trumpeter Swans the pair…

Just up from something to eat…

Some preening…

Both underwater getting something to eat, aquatic plants…

Looking pretty…

Just a nice look…

The close-up…

More preening…

I would call this a short scoot…

Just up from eating some aquatic plants…

Another view…

Trumpeter Swans the pair…

Sandhill Cranes in Waukesha County Wisconsin on February 27, 2020

While birding out in Waukesha County I came across some Sandhill Cranes on the Bark River. They were just hanging out doing some preening and catching food too. Temperature was 9 degrees so it makes sense this is a place they could spend some time in a flowing river. A couple of the cranes worked a river bank probing in the mud finding things to eat. A couple of times I also watched them probe and grab things to eat right out of the middle of the flowing river. Interesting to see their heads go completely under water just like a heron species. There were 4 cranes present and then a 5th one arrived. Seconds before the 5th one arrived, 2 of the cranes started their bugling call and it was looking like the 5th one was not really welcome with the group. I would guess that it was a territorial thing. The 5th one stayed off doing its own thing. A very cold morning to start at about 8 degrees a good wind, made it feel like the 1st of January. Images were taken on February 27, 2020.

Sandhill Cranes

Shaking off…

Shaking off…

Head under water, getting something to eat…

Comes up with something to eat in the middle of the river…

Sandhill Crane closeup…

Sandhill Cranes giving a loud, rattling bugle call…

Posing…

Sandhill Crane walking along the muddy river bank finding things to eat…

Probing in the mud for things to eat…

Preening…

Just up from being under the water…

A different kind of walk I saw more than once…

Swallowing water from a drink…

Going into the water…

Head under, getting something to eat…

Getting up on the ice…

I seriously think they are looking at the marsh area thinking, to early for building a nest huh??

Eastern Screech-Owl, red morph in the backyard in Waukesha County Wisconsin on February 27, 2020

After birding the morning in Waukesha County, it was a nice surprise to come home to a Eastern Screech-Owl in the backyard. I stayed about 100 feet away and took a couple of photos from the house. I put up 2 houses 3 years ago, finally there is a house guest in one of them. Hope it hangs around. A cold day with highs of only 23 degrees out here in Waukesha County, sun has been out most of the afternoon, with some wind. Images were taken on February 27, 2020.

Eastern Screech-Owl, red morph catching some sunshine…

At a distance, the owl stays perched watching…

Doing a chore in the yard the Eastern Screech Owl watches me, stayed perched here into the dark…

Redhead Duck Survives a Fishing Line Snag at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on February 16, 2020

One of my birding stops this morning was at the Fox River in Waukesha. Some unexpected and unwanted drama occurred. 6 Redheads were present, one female. The ducks starting feeding after a slow start and when one took a dive for some aquatic plants it came fighting some fishing line around its body. It did this action for about 2-3 minutes before taking a break on the ice ledge near the dam, it had to have been exhausted. It went back into the water after a break, I could still see the fishing line and it did some more action in the water to try to get rid of the line. I was instantly trying to think of resources that might be able to help but it was Sunday! The duck in the middle of the river sitting on thin ice with open water inches away in need of help. On the ice, the duck did some biting on the double line, unbelievably the line broke off and fell in the river. What I felt had happened, the duck had grabbed a bill full of aquatic plants and swallowed it along with the line that was free, laying in some of the plants under water. In a couple of minutes the duck seemed fine and it was resting. It seemed like a miracle took place. The 100’s of other ducks and Canada Geese present remained almost motionless during the event, amazing! Images were taken on February 16, 2020.

Redhead, the struggle with the fishing line, I saw the line once in and around the wings…

Most images show the fishing line…

Image shows a double fishing line, the Redhead grabbed some aquatic plant material in the middle of a broken fishing line, ate the plant material, the line stayed in, the exposed fishing line fell into the water, hopefully the line will pass though this duck…

Image of the duck as the fishing line just fell into the water…

After a short rest on the ice and biting the line, the Redhead floats in the river…

Moments later it appears its eyes might be closed…

What was a bustling area, the river full of swimming ducks and geese immediately came to a halt, as they all knew there was trouble…

Redhead Ducks at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on February 10, 2020

I made a stop at the Fox River early morning in Waukesha to see if anything was going on. 9 Redheads, 5 males and 4 females were present, all resting near the dam. That area was the only part of the river that was not froze over with temps starting out at 10 degrees in the morning. A couple of quick dives and one stretch was the only excitement I saw while I was there for a few minutes. With the main river froze over, I’m sure the ducks were conserving energy by not being active. The river was probably open by noon with the warm sun shinning. Stunning ducks in their breeding plumage. The full sun made for a nice morning out! Images were taken on February 10, 2019.

Redhead, male

Both male and female just finishing up a drink…

A resting male…

Redhead, female

A close up…

Stretching…

More stretching…

A pair…

Incoming…

Some of the gang…

White-tailed Deer in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on February 9, 2020

White-tailed Deer, 1 of 7 in this herd...

A late birding run this morning produced very few birds but some nice White-tailed Deer. I enjoyed watching 7 nice buck with the antlers for a couple of minutes before the herd drifted into a thicket. Bird of the day was a nice Red-tailed Hawk stashed away in a wooded area. A snowy and beautiful morning out there with light snow falling on and off with temps around 28 degrees. Images were taken on February 9, 2020.

White-tailed Deer, 1 of 7 in this herd…

Out into the prairie grass and they did a little munching out there…

A look at me…

In some wildflowers here…

Thinking about what is ahead here…