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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.

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

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

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

Going for something to eat…

Something to eat in the bill…

A closeup…

Making a quick stop to eat something…

Looking into the water for food…

Always looking for food…

Getting something here…

Along the waters edge in search of food…

Closeup…

Going for something…

Into the gravel for food…

Eating…

Walking to the north along the beach…

Bathing…

Being still…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Start of a stretch…

Stretching…

The stretch!

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

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

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

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

4 Green Darner Dragonflies

On a Yew Shrub…

A pair resting in the warm sun…

ON a Yew…

 

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

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

Chimney Swift

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

 

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

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

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

Pectoral Sandpiper

Feeding….something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

A closeup…

Looking around in the grass for something to eat…

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

Going for something to eat…

Walking through the grass in search of something to eat…

Grabbing something here to eat…

A beautiful bird…

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

Something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

I might think two juvenile birds…

One by itself…

Profile…

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

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

The Sanderling feeding with something in the bill…

Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 Oz.

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

Finding something small to eat…

Something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

Two of the Sanderlings moving along the beach together…

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

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

A pair…

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

The big bite!

Moving along in search of something to eat…

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

Something in the bill…

Probing…

Running along the receding wave…

Looking around after some wave action for things to eat…

Looking…

Getting something small…

Something in the bill…

On the run…

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

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

Perched and fishing, waiting for something to come by…

The catch, a Golden Shiner!

Holding onto the minnow tight…

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

Gets closer to the water…

Going to get a better grip here…

Re-grabs the minnow…

Getting ready to swallow it…

In it goes…

And the gulp!

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

Perched pretty for more fishing…

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

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

Sailing out…

Still on the way out to the breakwall..

Black-bellied Plovers, 2 of them resting…

Sanderling…

Another Sanderling, 4 of them seen here today…

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

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

Spotted Sandpiper

Black-bellied Plover in flight from a distance…

More Double-crested Cormorants…

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

On our way back…

Getting into calmer water on the way back…

The captain…

The sailbirding group…

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

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

Red Knot, a juvenile bird…

Red Knot

Binomial name: Calidris canutus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 10.5” long, 23” wing span

Weight: 4.7 Oz.

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

Picking through the mussels and finding food in them…

Food in the bill…

More food in the bill…

Something in the bill…

Going to eat it…

Gets something out of a mussel…

Sanderling , left – Red Knot, right

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

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

More things to eat…

More…

Hunting for food…

Looking pretty…

Moving up and down the beach…

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

Going inside the mussel for something to eat…

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

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

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

Getting the bill in there…

Lets check out this bloom…

Getting that great nectar!…

Thinking on where to go next…

Getting more nectar…

Finished with this plant… onto the next…

Thinking about what plant is next…

Perched pretty…

Resting for a second….

Still resting on the bloom…

Inside the bloom of the Bottle Gentian getting the nectar…

Switching blooms…

It is all great stuff in there…

At takeoff….

Filling up…

Monarch Butterfly Migration Roosting in Southern Wisconsin on Sept 5, 2018

Monarch Butterflies roost though the state of Wisconsin in the fall of the year during their migration south. I was fortunate enough to get a call from Bruce that he had a tip on a roost location. There were numerous trees loaded up with the Monarch Butterflies at the location. To my knowledge, this morning the Monarch Butterflies had moved on. Maybe they were waiting for the rain to stop late last night and then get in on the more northern air flow to once again continue their journey migrating south. It was amazing to witness these butterflies in this form, a first time ever for me. Images were taken on September 6, 2018.

Monarch Butterfly

Binomial name: Danaus plexippus

Interesting note: Monarch Butterflies can fly up to 3,000 miles in their migration south and can fly 50-100 miles a day.

Pectoral Sandpipers at Veterans Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 4, 2018

A stop this morning at Veterans Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee provided some nice views of 2 Pectoral Sandpipers. These birds were in a wet grassy area in the park. They rested some and fed too. I did not hang around long as probably have come along way so far in their migration south and needed to take a break and do some feeding. I hot humid morning, with full sun, low winds. Thanks to Mike W for the text on these birds when I was on my way into town this morning. Images were taken on September 4, 2018.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris melanotos

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.75” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 2.6 Oz.

Note: Some breed in the boggy tundra of northeast Asia, and some in a range from Alaska to central Canada.

Pectoral Sandpiper, the two…

Walking through the grass, probing into the ground and getting things to eat…

In search of food…

Something here…

Food…

The close up…

Aware…

Moving about the area…

Such a beautiful bird…

Great Blue Heron Scuffle at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 2, 2018

While birding Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County this morning the highlight was a scuffle with two Great Blue Herons. The two Great Blue Herons came around a corner of an island at the pond and after they landed, the scuffle began and they gave great views of the interaction between them. Must be a territorial thing. It was a slightly overcast morning with a nice breeze, temps were perfect! It was a great time with great friends, birders and photographers too. Images were a taken on September 2, 2018.

Around the corner they come…

About to land…

The scuffle…

They go their own ways…

Faces of a Red-tailed Hawk Hunting at Bender Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 31, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Bender Park on the south side of Milwaukee County. The highlight there was nice views of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk sitting a top a small oak tree hunting. The Red-tailed Hawks eyes caught or heard something a short distance off and it took to the air. Unfortunately I was not able to capture what it caught as it flew into some tall grass in a field close by. A beautiful morning out birding with full sun, mild temps early and low winds. Images were taken on August 31, 2018.

The Red-tailed Hawk, perched and hunting for something to eat…

A look back…

It sees or hears something…

Off it goes…going to hopefully capture something…

Piping Plovers at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 29, 2018

With rain falling on my way to the Milwaukee lakefront I was expecting a quiet day birding. Halfway in I received a text from Mike W that a couple of the rare Piping Plovers were present at Bradford Beach. When I arrived at the beach they were still hanging around but for the most part rested while I was present. With lots of heavy equipment moving about the beach area a few feet from the birds with the upcoming fest, not surprising the Piping Plovers did not stay in one place very long. Beautiful birds we only usually see once a year if that, considered rare here, it was nice to see them for once without leg bands. It was a light rainy morning to start, then just clouds, light winds from the north early, temps were a pleasant 66 degrees. Images were taken on August 29th and 30th, 2018.

Piping Plover

Piping Plover

Binomial name: Charadrius melodus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 7.25” long, 19” wing span

Weight: 1.9 oz

Note: Normal breeding range Great Plains from Alberta, Canada south to Oklahoma, winters on Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico gravel and sand beaches. The research I have done states this bird is listed as Endangered in Wisconsin

Piping Plover

For the most part they rested in a small area and did little moving about…

Resting a lot…

Earlier on the beach…

Looking for things to eat early on…

Searching through algae and debris on the beach for things to eat…

Resting area…

Distant in flight…

Preening…

Preening…

Piping Plovers…

Over the water they go, Semipalmated Plover in front, Ruddy Turnstone 2nd, all Sanderlings last..

Coming towards me…

The look back…

The Piping Plover standing pretty…

Looking along the beach for something to eat on 8-30…

Something in the bill…

The portrait…

Catches what looks like a fly?…

On the run…

Black-crowned Night-Heron in Action at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 24, 2018

While birding Lakeshore State Park this morning in Milwaukee in search of shorebirds, I came across a juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron. This heron put on an amazing show while I watch it. Some of the excitement was producing a pellet, eating a vole and some exercises. Herons are known to produce pellets. A beautiful bird and still only a juvenile. It was a cloudy day with a stiff breeze out of the southwest, temperatures pleasant and a few times I felt I should have a light jacket. I couple of shorebirds were present and they were Semipalmated Plovers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Images were taken on August 24, 2018.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile

Sitting and waiting for the next meal…

Always looking the area over for any movement…

Waiting…

Starts to cough up a pellet…

Out drops the pellet…

The heron looks at it…

A quick dip in the water for a drink I would assume…

A small mouth stretch…

Next it catches a vole…trying to get a grip here…

Does not look good for the vole…

Getting it in the right position to swallow it…

In and down it goes…

A quick dip in the water with the bill, typically something they do after eating something…

Looks full…

Looking for the next catch…

Playing with and old Cattail cane, herons play with objects and practice their skills

Playing…

Playing…

It was pulling here on the old cane…

Pulling…exercising…

Looking around and the stiff winds blow the head feathers up…

Climbing around on the rocks…

A close-up…

A wing stretch…

Preening…

Scratching…

The feet…

A good mouth stretch…

Perched pretty…

Shorebirds at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 22, 2018

I have hit the lakefront in Milwaukee a few times in the last week or so with hopes to see some migrating shorebirds. McKinley Beach was the hot spot this morning. Today was the first sighting of them for me for the fall migration here and it was a fun time to see the first of them. Present were, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 7 Sanderlings, 1 Least Sandpiper, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper. It was a full sun morning, with a nice cool breeze off the lake to start the day. Images were taken on August 22, 2018.

Sanderling with something to eat at the end of the bill…

Sanderling with some to eat…

Least Sandpiper moving along the shore…

Lesser Yellowlegs just about to grab something to eat…

Lesser Yellowlegs with something to eat…

Semipalmated Plover posing…

Semipalmated Plover getting something to eat…

Least Sandpiper, sitting low for a couple of moments….I have seen this action when a predator is in the area, I looked up but did not see anything…

Sanderling on the algae…

Lesser Yellowlegs moving about…

Lesser Yellowlegs, wings up here because of a recent wave, in search of food…

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs looking for food…, that is all they do it seems…

Lesser Yellowlegs with a worm…

Sanderling

Lesser Yellowlegs with a little wave action…

Sanderling with something in the bill to eat…

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs walking through the algae, in search of food…

Sanderling, the close up…

Lesser Yellowlegs looking…

Semipalmated Plover lays on the sand trying to be flat and unnoticed as a predator must be around, it does this for about 10 seconds and I see its eyes look up on occasion…

Semipalmated Plover stands with a fly in its bill…

Semipalmated Plover walking and looking on the beach…

Osprey at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 18, 2018

A birding stop at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County this morning provided nice views of an adult Osprey. Ospreys are seldom seen at Greenfield Park so it was a real treat. The bird flew in and tried twice for something to eat. The first attempt for food failed but on the second it grabbed a goldfish and left the park. The bird made some flight circles, perched for a couple of minutes and made the grab for the food, that was the show but an exciting one at that. It was pleasant day with partly cloudy skies, low wind, and temps in the mid 70’s early on. Images were taken on August 18, 2018.

The Osprey circling overhead in search for food…

Osprey

Binomial name: Pandion haliaetus

Category: Ospreys

Size: 23” long, 63” wing span

Weight: 3.5 lb

Circling and looking…

The Osprey coming up from the first failed attempt for food at the pond…

Gaining height…

This powerful bird is also called a sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk with those large talons…

Off to do some more hunting…

All fluffed up and stabilizing itself here…

Looking around…

Just perched…

More circling…

Circling…

A tense look, then more circling…

Looks like a Cooper’s Hawk chasing the Osprey, if I am incorrect on the ID, please let me know. Thank you!

I missed the catch as it was in front of a building at the pond…but here the Osprey is flying off in a distance with its meal…

Great Egret in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 12, 2018

Doing some birding in Milwaukee County along the Menominee River Parkway, I came across a Great Egret in a small pond. The adult Great Egret did some hunting for food, caught some food, ate food and did some preening too. It ate crayfish, minnows and some larger fish. A beautiful bird! It was a warm morning out, little wind and mostly sunny. Images were taken on August 12, 2018.

The Great Egret coming in for a landing…

The slow down…

It is there…

Some of the beauty of the Great Egret…

It catches a minnow size fish…

Preening with a dragonfly on its back…

Sees a new spot to check out for food…

Going for something to eat…

Catches a crayfish and holds it….a dragonfly on its back…

Flips the crayfish…

Trying to get a better grip…

Drops it into the water…

Grabs it out of the water…

Brings it up…

Trys to hold it steady…

gives it a flip and…

In it goes with the dragonfly still on its back…

Looking and listening for the next food…

Another shot of the Great Egrets free rider, the dragonfly…

Another catch of a small fish…

Preening in the tree…straightening all those feathers…

Perched pretty…

A landing…

Concentration….right before the catch…

The reflection in the early morning sun…

The catch!

Yet another little fish to eat…

Then a crayfish…

A juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron lands close by…

The closeup of the Black-crowned Night-Heron…

A Juvenile Green Heron attempts to eat a Bullfrog at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 4, 2018

Doing some birding at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee I came across a juvenile Green Heron attempting to eat a bullfrog. As young as this heron is, being born a few months ago, it just could not get the bullfrog down its throat. In recent days I have watched some of these herons eat small minnows at the most, so this was no surprise. I beautiful morning out with a light breeze, some sun and mild temps early 0f 70 degrees. Images were taken on August 4, 2018.

After the catch, the juvenile Green Heron re-grabs the bull frog…

Picks it up…

Thinking how it is going to get this bullfrog in…

Re-grabbing to start the process of getting it down, head first…

In it goes…but the heron can not get it down so…

The heron wets the bullfrog…it is what they do to make it go down easier…

Another try here…

Another dip in the water…

Lets try this again…

Ok…

Getting in position again…

Spin it…

Working on it…

Still trying…

Almost…

More struggle…

Going in again…

Can’t happen…

The Green Heron never ate the bullfrog…….I missed the last shot of the bull frog falling into the water…not uncommon for a heron species to pick up something bigger than they can eat and try to get it down…

Black-crowned Night-Heron at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on July 30, 2018

A stop at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee this morning provided nice views of an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron. One has been seen on and off for the last couple of weeks, mostly off. This is the first time I have seen it in plan view. I saw it yesterday perched high in a tree pretty much out of sight, but viewable with bins.  It was a nice surprise for a change. There were also plenty of Green and Great Blue Herons also present at the pond. It was a gorgeous morning, very little wind, full sun with a pleasant temperature of 65-70 degrees.

First view of the adult Black-crowned Night-Heron…

The reflection shot…

Looking and waiting for something to eat, showing off its classic plume…

It makes its way towards the island under some cover and snatches something to eat…

The gulp, swallowing whatever it found to eat…

Looks around on where to go next close to the island…

Comes back out in the open…

Perches pretty…

Looks around…

Something catches its attention…

….but then looks around some more and then heads onto the island pretty much out of sight…

Shaken’ off and all fluffed up…