Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Delights

Here in Chicago, sunshine and spring warmth have been especially elusive. My fingers are crossed that more spring-like weather will arrive soon along with a great variety of colorful bird migrants. This post features several birds seen during the months of March and April.

A striking Horned Grebe in full breeding plumage finery

This pretty Horned Grebe still sports its winter plumage

Wading in chilly pond waters ~ Red-breasted Mergansers

Always a magnificent sight ~ Wood Duck

A beautiful Male Eastern Bluebird perches on a budding branch 

Over the last two years we have had an Eastern Bluebird couple occupy one of the nest boxes on our country property. They have raised six broods. In February, we were delighted to see that the pair had returned and claimed the bluebird house once again. We have high hopes that the two bluebirds will be as successful as they have been in the past.

A pretty Hermit Thrush forages for food in the sprouting grass

The interesting feather patterns and colors of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

A busy Brown Creeper makes its way up a tree

The attractive russet feathers of a Fox Sparrow

A handsome Eastern Phoebe perches on a scaffold

Last year, a rather tame Eastern Phoebe pair built a nest inside the garage of our home which was (and still is) under construction. We are thrilled that they have returned and woven a new nest about a foot away from last years location.

A good stretch! ~ Barnacle Goose

This goose was seen at New Buffalo Beach in New Buffalo, Michigan and is not commonly seen in this area. Barnacle Geese breed in Europe and Northern Eurasia. They spend their winters in Europe and the British Isles. Some believe this is an escaped captive bird. No matter, it is most beautiful!

One of many Gray Squirrels seen scampering about this chilly spring