On a soft, snow February afternoon while giving the fresh snow a quick glance out the window, a red blur and a brown blur caught my eye as they sped across the yard, from the back of our property to the side of our house. By the time I was able to get in position to another window to see what had happened, the red fox had bagged its prey. But not before the hare had put up a fight . . .
There is something mesmerizing about watching the controlled prairie burns in the Spring here in Illinois. As the March sun gets higher in the sky, and the grasses start to dry, the local folks of the Campton Township Open Space team starts scheduling the burns around the local area . . .
Looking forward to the return of the American White Pelicans to Illinois in a couple of months. Locally, the Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia is a great place to see them before they head north, usually in the month of March. But there are many places within Illinois you can enjoy them . . .
Taken the 2nd week of August, this image of one of the juvies coming in for a landing at the nesting tree really shows off the beautiful feathering of this majestic bird. Having fledged around a month and a half ago, they have had plenty of time to practice their landings, and it is quite the joy to watch them as they gracefully navigate the wind and gently land on a branch.
By early August the juvenile eagles are spending more and more time away from the nesting area, but for now they still come back to the nest in the evening and like to perch on the branches around the nest. One evening while watching them perch around the nest, it became obvious that they can also get bored and restless (like young kids) as they started picking at the bark on the branch, moving up and down the branch for no reason, and then started bickering with each other with one of the juvies jumping up and pushing his sibling away with its feet. Pretty funny to observe . . .
This has been quite a year for Mama Eagle, and she deserves to take a long rest in the cottonwood tree in the evening sun. She lost her mate at the end of May and was left to raise and feed a couple of hungry eaglets on her own. What a wonderful job she has done! All of us who follow her and the eagle's nest are very proud of her.
But then on August 13th late in the afternoon, I thought I'd drop by the nest to see if by chance there would be any of the eagles around. It was nice and sunny, so if they were around the lighting would cooperate. Sure enough, one of the juveniles was sitting up in the tree, and as I was taking a few portraits, these showers quickly moved in and then out . . .