It's been gray skies, snow and cold for several days in a row here, so how about we travel back in time a few months and appreciate our little feathered friends that are now vacationing down south.
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 . . .
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 . . .
. . . As I was leaving the nesting area late in July, one of the juvies flew back to the nest and perched above the nest. So I turned around and went back and was able to capture its silhouette against the soft evening sky, a wonderful sight indeed.
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 . . .