Five 2021 posts you may have missed
A look back at some personal favorites
Get Ploverized with this roundup of Piping Plover news (April 30)
Migration journeys of 1,000-plus miles are never to be taken for granted. So the news that Piping Plover duo “Monty” and “Rose” were back brought delight across the city. This post included a roundup of social media items and news coverage, with a few of my comments, and a reminder to be cautious around the birds if you do visit the beach. It was surprising this didn’t get more views! Perhaps it got lost in all the excitement.
These ducks have decided to spend winter on the Chicago River (Feb. 8)
This one takes us to a bend in the North Branch of the Chicago River, where a diversity of ducks tends to hang out by Diversey River Bowl. The buffleheads, goldeneyes and mergansers are content to feast on the many fish and invertebrates the river offers. “The Chicago River system is really largely misunderstood at this point as far as how healthy it is,” Margaret Frisbie of Friends of the Chicago River said. “It is dramatically better than what it used to be.” Bonus: Video of the ducks by Mitchell Wenkus.
Thirty-six warbler species are passing through Chicago right now (May 10)
Most warblers travel from tropical climes, from as far as South America. They’re with us so briefly and yet the stars of the show at so many locales. One of the things that’s fascinating is just where are all these birds going? Jeff Wells, Vice President of Boreal Conservation for the National Audubon Society, helps us answer this question. Bonus: Video of the warblers by Mitchell Wenkus.
Prothonotary Warblers, the swamp candles of our flooded forests (May 24)
Jarod Hitchings’ devotion to Prothonotary Warblers has been extraordinary. On April 15, 2020, he installed his first juice carton nest box at Riverside with the permission of the park district. That first one was a successful nest. Ultimately, Hitchings, his family and a few co-workers installed nearly 60 carton nest boxes, resulting in three successful nests. Putting in the boxes and monitoring them requires donning hip waders and sweltering through dense vegetation on hot, humid days. Bonus: A video short of Jarod talking about prothonotaries.
The case for grackles (June 14)
Grackles are handsome birds and a species that people of all ages can see easily in city parks and suburban backyards. And they’re resourceful, both as an opportunistic predator and in how they’ve adapted to our highly altered urban landscape. What’s more, Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes them as a common bird in steep decline.
The Magic Stump deadline tonight!
There’s a MAGIC STUMP sponsorship deadline coming tonight at midnight! It won’t be our last deadline, but it’s an important one so that we can work on production while the falcon is at the stump this winter.
Any gift of $10 or more by Dec. 31 will place your name in the credits of the film and earn you a free sticker in the mail. I'll even include a handwritten note as a thank you! Click here to sponsor.