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March 26, 2016 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: The Emergence of Spring

It has been a while since I’ve gone on a bird walk. While we didn’t have a lot of snow this winter, it had been too cold and too icy for me to want to spend more than an hour outside, so most of my recent birding has been very local.

A couple of weeks ago I went on a long (4-hour) hike with my bird club to look for early spring migrants. It was warm but overcast day, so not good for photography, but we did get to see a lot of birds for this time of year.

Great-horned Owl Nest

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Our first stop was to look at a Great Horned Owl nest. Mom was sitting on the nest when our large group arrived. We stayed far away so we wouldn’t disturb her. This photo is at the limits of my zoom lens. You can barely see her face and ears sticking up.

A Visiting Coopers Hawk

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The Great Horned Owl does not make its own nest and typically takes over nests in trees made by other bird species. This nest belonged to a Coopers Hawk last year. We were treated to a visit from the hawk while we were observing the owl. Mom owl sat perfectly still and the hawk sailed on past.

Hooded Merganser

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A pair of Hooded Mergansers and a group of Mallard Ducks were swimming in one of the ponds.

Great Blue Heron

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A Great Blue Heron was fishing but decided to leave when our group showed up.

Canada Geese

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The ever-present Canada Geese were lounging along the shore.
 


[Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.]

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11 Comments

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  1. Vicki / Mar 26 2016 1:27 pm

    Great photos! What a nice walk that must have been!

    Like

    • Leslie / Mar 26 2016 1:33 pm

      Nice but exhausting! We saw 39 species, which is a lot for early March in Chicago.

      Like

  2. Suko / Mar 26 2016 1:54 pm

    Happy spring, happy Easter, Leslie! I love these photos. I saw a lot of Canadian Geese last month, in Northern CA.

    Like

  3. Carol / Mar 26 2016 7:04 pm

    What a great walk! Wonderful photos.

    Like

  4. BermudaOnion / Mar 26 2016 7:32 pm

    A pair of Canada Geese nest in our neighborhood and they’ve been making a racket 4:30 in the morning and waking me up.

    Like

  5. Mary / Mar 26 2016 8:37 pm

    Great pic of the Heron!

    Like

  6. Ginny / Mar 27 2016 9:57 am

    What great shots. I love the heron in flight.

    Like

  7. Leeswammes / Mar 27 2016 4:39 pm

    Beautiful pictures!

    Like

  8. Melinda Ott / Mar 29 2016 7:47 pm

    Great pictures….I especially like the one of the blue heron.

    Like

  9. Diane / Apr 5 2016 5:55 pm

    These are some amazing shots Leslie.

    Like

  10. Les in NE / Apr 8 2016 8:38 am

    Great photos! I love the ones of the hawk and the heron.

    Like

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