Saturday, December 31, 2011

Birds ... Bean ... Best Wishes for 2012

The bean is fun in rain or shine ... a camera is a must.

Birdwatching also fun rain or shine.
Above a Sapsucker hangs out in what looks like a favorite tree.

A beautiful Black-throated Blue Warbler migrating through the area.

Delicious sap satisfies a hungry woodpecker, while the warbler
enjoys a few tasty tidbits left on the tree by a kind Samaritan.

More fun at the bean.

Happy .... cheesy smiles shine in the rain.

Best Wishes to you and yours ...
May 2012 bring you all things good,
from beans to birds and beyond.
Have a Nature-ally Beautiful 2012

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mooseheart Eagles ... First Flight Toward Their New Home

 Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation President and Founder Dawn Keller 
prepares a Mooseheart Eagle for it's new journey back into the world
on Saturday November 12, 2011 at Starved Rock State Park, Utica IL.

Two young eagles became temporary residents at Flint Creek Rehabilitation Center
after their nest was destroyed in a storm several months ago. They were ready
to be set free. The chosen destination was Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois.
Eagles winter here every year along the Illinois River. A good time to view them again
may be this winter when the river freezes and eagles fish close to the dam. A long
 viewing deck is available at the The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center which is located
 on Dee Bennett Road, across the Illinois River from Starved Rock State Park.

 Dawn showed loving care and tenderness as she
prepared the eagle for it's first flight.

At this point the crowd was silent, it seemed as if everyone was holding their breathe.
As our anticipation grew so did our smiles followed by our whispers and awes.

One last look before departure.

And .... Free!!!!

The crowd roared!
The sound of camera shutters clicked by the thousands! 

All of us wishing we were these lucky photographers.

The first eagle flew straight for the photographers on the beach then straight
toward the crowd before flying down the river as if it was choreographed.

He was beautiful!

A memorable sight that sent sighs of delight through the crowd.

The first eagle landed on a few branches and then went toward the ground
before the crowd turned to pay attention to the second eagle about to fly.

The second eagle did not practice the toward the crowd choreography as well 
as his brother did. He started out toward the photographers on the beach for 
just a moment before making a u-turn  away from the river, away from the crowd, 
toward the tree line and quickly out of sight. This time the sighs from the crowd 
changed to a gasp and just a moment of silence before the roar of applause.

After the crowds faded this eagle was barely seen camouflaged
above the rooted area of this small tree. The small crowd that 
viewed it all felt it was the first eagle. It was right about where
the first eagle landed after taking it's first flight along the Illinois River.
We will all have these brave young eagles in our thoughts and prayers
as they begin to discover, learn about and live in this big beautiful world.

For more information about Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation visit : 

To vote for them for Chase Community Giving please visit:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Prothonotary Preening Is ...

 ... Sunshine on a cloudy day

Wishing you many sunshiny moments and beautiful birds.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Illinois Spring Bird Count

Spring Migration Scavenger Hunt
  ... A little piece of DeKalb

P.A. Nehring Forest Preserve

Seeing six Scarlet Tanager fly in and hunt bugs 
around us was just one highlight of our day. 
They really do take your breath away!

Northern Illinois University Lagoon

N.I.U. Lagoon near the Kishwaukee River. 
They were also in the wooded area by the Technology building. 

P.A. Nehring Forest Preserve

I always hope to see this little beauty during migration. 
I am amazed how very quickly they move through the trees
while searching for and collecting insects.  
I continue to try and capture it's essence in the brief seconds available to me.
Until we meet again sweet American Redstart.

Bathing in the Kishwaukee River! How sweet is that!
I love birdwatching!

Taking a little drink.

N.I.U. Lagoon

I posted this one just so I could say "ROCK N' ROBIN"
I counted 51 Robin in DeKalb, Illinois today.

Just a splishing and a splashing.  
Tweet, tweet, tweedle deet.

 The Northern Flicker is a striking bird up close.
Texture rich, beautiful!

A Pheobe melody "feee beee" ... music to my ears.

Home sweet home. DeKalb, Illinois.

This guy was working the same area as the Tanager's.
He hopped up on this branch for a moment to survey the area below.
They like to forage through the leaves for goodness.

This is the last bird I counted today. He even posed for me.
I whispered 'thank you' after taking this shot. 
He turned his head and looked me right in the eye 
with a 'happy bird count day' gaze just before flying off.

This is the first time I participated in a bird count. 
This is what I saw while out and about in DeKalb, Illinois today.  
I started birding at 5:45 a.m. with another birder from our group, 
then continued searching the rest of the day with my husband. 
I stopped counting at 4:30 p.m. 
It felt like we were on a scavenger hunt. 
We enjoyed every moment!

Birds seen today                                                Count                                                         
  1. American Goldfinch                                                6             
  2. Baltimore Oriole                                                      2
  3. Blue-headed Vireo                                                   1
  4. Blue Heron                                                               1
  5. Black and White Warbler                                         1
  6. Black-capped Chickadee                                          9
  7. Black-throated Green Warbler                                 1
  8. Blue-gray Gnatchatcher                                           3
  9. Canadian Geese                                                      41    
    Canadian Geese Chicks                                          21
  10. Cat Bird                                                                    6
  11. Chimney Swift                                                        18
  12. Chipping Sparrow                                                     3
  13. Common Yellow-throat                                             3
  14. Crow                                                                          4
  15. Downy Woodpecker                                                  1
  16. Eurasian Tree Sparrow                                              4
  17. Great Horned Owl                                                     1
  18. Grackle                                                                    12
  19. House Sparrow                                                          5
  20. House Wren                                                               2
  21. Magnolia Warbler                                                      2
  22. Mallard                                                                     17
  23. Mourning Dove                                                          4
  24. Northern Rough-winged Swallow                              7
  25. Northern Flicker                                                          3
  26. Northern Cardinal                                                       6
  27. Palm Warbler                                                              4
  28. Phoebe                                                                        4
  29. Red-winged Blackbird                                              14
  30. Red-bellied Woodpecker                                            4
  31. Robin                                                                        51
  32. Redstart, American                                                     1
  33. Rose-breasted Grosbeak                                             4
  34. Rock pigeon                                                                3
  35. Ruby Crowned Kinglet                                               3
  36. Scarlet Tanager                                                           4
  37. Swamp Sparrow                                                          1
  38. Swainson's Thrush                                                      1
  39. Starling                                                                      34
  40. White-crowned Sparrow                                             4
  41. White-breasted Nuthatch                                            3
  42. Vulture                                                                        3
  43. Yellow Warbler                                                           8
  44. Yellow-rumped Warbler                                              2
Days Count   TOTAL                                                        332
Days Species TOTAL                                                         44

Area Covered: DeKalb, Illinois
                        Elwood House Woodland & Cemetary behind it      5:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.
                        My Backyard                                                             8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
                        Around NIU Lagoon & Technology Bldg woods     9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
                        Fairview Cemetery                                                   2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
                        P.A. Nehring Forest Preserve                                    3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011