About admin

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.

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane with colts, South Kettle Moraine Waukesha County WI. Photographs taken on May 19, 2011

Sandhill Cranes with Colts, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane

Binomial name: Grus canadensis

Category: Cranes

Size: 46” long, 77” wing span

Weight: 10.6 lb.

Habitat: Sandhill Cranes typically breed, forage and nest in wetlands, grasslands, marshes, bogs and sometimes dry lands. Out of the breeding season they spend more time in deeper water of lakes and ponds where they are more safe from the many predators they have being a ground species.

Diet: Seeds, grains, snails, insects, worms, amphibians, reptiles, nestling birds, small mammals, and sometimes berries. With their long bills the dig for tubers.

Nesting: The nest is constructed of dead plant material such as cattails, burr reeds, sedges and grasses. Later on green plant material is added to the nest. The nest is cup shaped 30”-40” across and 4”-6” high lined with small sticks and twigs. Both adults gather the material, but the female arranges the materials in the construction of the nest to her liking. The male defends the nest during incubation. 1-3 eggs are laid in the nest, both parents incubate the eggs for 30 days, they hatch covered in down. The young leave the nest usually in less than a day. The adults feed the young for the first few weeks and then less and less as they become more independent taking 9 to 10 months.

Cool facts: The Sandhill Cranes is the most common crane in the world. Sandhill Cranes are known by their graceful dancing skills. Within 8 hours of hatching the young are capable of swimming. If a mate dies, a new mate is found and a nest is reused by the new pair.

Sandhill Cranes Colts, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane feeding colt, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane Colt, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane Colt, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane Colt, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane feeding colt, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane Colt stretching, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane Colt, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Sandhill Crane, Waukesha County WI. May 19, 2011

Lesser Black-backed Gull at Johnson Creek in Jefferson County Wisconsin on December 18, 2012

A hot spot for gulling in the cold winter months of the year is the dump and Kohl’s parking lot in Johnson Creek Wisconsin. It can provide nice views of some winter wandering gulls. Today one of the gulls present was a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Images were taken on December 18, 2012.

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Lesser Black-backed Gull

Binomial name: Laris fuscus

Category: Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers

Size: 21” long, 54” wing span

Weight: 1.8 lb

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Sanderling

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Description: Whitish-gray feathers with a thick, black bill and feet.

Size: 7.1″ – 7.9″ long, 13.8″ wingspan

Weight: 1.4 oz. – 3.5 oz.

Habitat: Rocky shorelines in coastal and island regions or inland marshes and wetlands.

Diet: Insects, crustaceans, invertebrates, and plants or grasses.

Nesting: The female gathers materials and builds the nest, usually a scrape on a shallow rocky area or a preexisting depression in sand.  She may line it sparsely with grasses, leaves, lichens, moss. The typical clutch size is 3 to 4 eggs and both parents incubate.  The male is highly territorial and will defend the nesting site.

Notes: Sanderlings are a populous and widespread shorebird with a global distribution.  They show up on nearly every temperate and tropical shoreline in the world.  However, they only breed in the high Arctic.

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling North Point Sheboygan 5-30-2012

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling  North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Sanderling North Point Milwaukee 9-4-2011

Albino Squirrel in Waukesha Wisconsin

I found a Albino Squirrel in Waukesha Wisconsin running around a city river park. I stopped for a few photographs to share. After talking to a bystander at the park they said the squirrel was a local resident, one of two at the park. This squirrel is considered a Eastern Gray Squirrel, but an albino type.

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Albino Eastern Gray Squirrel

Scientific name: Sciurus carolinensis

Type: Mammal

Albino: Albinism, is a mutation on a gene that codes for pigmentation. Eyes are red in color on albino mammals.

Habitat: They prefer large areas of mature and dense woodlands.

Average life span in the wild: Adults can live to 6 years. Records that have been keep they may survive much longer.

Size: Bodies run 9.1″ to 11.8″ long plus the tail, tails averaging about 8″-10″ long.

Weight: 14-21 oz

Diet: Tree berries, buds, bark, nuts, acorns and seeds. They are also known to eat seeds at bird feeders and vegetables from gardens.

Range: Midwest to the eastern US and southeastern Canada.

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Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles on the Mississippi River in Le Claire IA in February 2012.

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Bald Eagle

Binomial name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Category: Hawks, Kites, Eagles, and Allies

Description: Brown with a white head and white tail feathers.  Yellow eyes, beak, and feet.

Size: 28″ – 40″ long, 5.9′ – 7.5′ wingspan

Weight: 6.6 lbs. – 14 lbs.

Habitat: Forested areas near open bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, wetlands, and coastal shorelines.

Diet: Mostly fish but occasionally small mammals, ducks, and gulls.

Nesting: Both parents gather materials although the female does most of the building.  The nests are made out of branches and sticks and then lined with grass, moss, and feathers.  They may be rebuilt and reused repeatedly over many years. The typical clutch size is 1 to 3 eggs.  Both parents will incubate the eggs with the female incubating more often while the male hunts for food.  The young will fledge as early as 8 weeks after hatching, or up to 14 weeks.

Notes: Bald eagles mate for life (if one partner dies, the remaining will choose a new mate).  They engage in elaborate courtship rituals which involves a locking of talons followed by a free fall; they separate just before hitting the ground.  The Bald Eagle is the national bird and national animal of the United States of America, appearing on many official seals of the government.

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Harlequin Duck

Harlequin Duck, nonbreeding male photographed at North Point in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 5, 2012.

Harlequin Duck

Binomial name: Histrionicus histrionicus

Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Description: Slate blue (male) or grayish brown (female) body with white spots or streaks on head, back, and wings.  Male also has rust-colored patches on sides.

Size: 13″ – 21.3″ long, 22″ – 26″wingspan

Weight: 17.6 oz. – 25.6 oz.

Habitat: Rocky shores and coastlines in mountains or forests.

Diet: Small insects, spiders, fish, and crustaceans.

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected space on the ground, often near water.  The female will lay 3 – 9 eggs at a time, laying eggs once per summer.   Although the male does not help rear the young, the pair will likely mate for life.

Notes: Harlequin ducks are extremely buoyant due to their tightly packed feathers.  These feathers also insulate them from chilly water while they swim and dive.

Short-eared Owls in the South Kettle Moraine at the Scuppernong River Habitat Area in Waukesha County Wisconsin on March 8, 2013

The Short-eared Owl has been one species on my list to see and photograph. The Scuppernong River Habitat Area in Waukesha County has some and I went out, spent the afternoon till dark to try to capture these cool birds. Late in the day as the sun is just starting to go down 4 birds appeared from out of no where it seemed. They hovered over the prairie areas and on occasion perched for a couple of minutes. These images are a little rough because of the little light that is left in the day when they come out and start their hunting, but show some of the action that took place. Images where taken on March 8, 2013.

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Short-eared Owl

Binomial name: Asio flammeus

Category: Typical Owls

Size: 15” long, 38” wing span

Weight: 12 oz

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With vole

Inca Dove

An Inca Dove was found at Concordia University in Mequon Wisconsin. This bird was actually found by a instructor of ornithology at the campus taking one of his classes out for a morning bird walk. This bird hung around for awhile and was viewed by many birders state wide as being so rare for the state. The normal range for this bird is Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona and Mexico. Images were taken on November 1, 2011.

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Inca Dove

Binomial name: Columbina inca

Category: Pigeons and Doves

Size: 8.25” long, 11” wing span

Weight: 1.6 oz

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Dickcissel

At least a couple of nesting pairs of Dickcissels were present in the Scuppernong Prairie area in Waukesha County Wisconsin. When I was there I watched adults bringing food to the young in the nests. The nests were in short  growing brush vegetation in the open prairies. Images were taken on August 6, 2011.

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Dickcissel

Binomial name: Spiza americana

Category: Cardinals, Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 9.75” wing span

Weight: 0.95 oz

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Dickcissel, male left – Dickcissel, female right

 

Dickcissel flying into the nest with food

Dickcissel flying into the nest with food (in middle of image)

Lark Sparrow

A Lark Sparrow was found by a local birder on the oval running track at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It is a place I check often now as birds obviously stop at this location. The Lark Sparrow not common at all here is found on rare occasions during spring migration. This bird appeared to be feeding on weed seed on the track. This was a life bird for many birders that day that were present. If my memory is correct, Paul Sparks found this bird. Images were taken on April 27, 2013.

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Lark Sparrow

Binomial name: Chondestes grammacus

Category: Emberizids

Size: 6.5″ long, 11” wingspan

Weight: 1 oz

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