7/11/2009

The purple people eater survey


Remember to vote on my blog on what appears to be the imminent (dang another 10 point word in back to back posts...) return of Brett Favre in playing in purple for the Minnesota Vikings. Let me know whether you would be happy, sad or indifferent if Brett returns as a Viking.

7/10/2009

Indigo bunting oasis!

If you were an Indigo Bunting where we you go in Summer? Unless your first answer was Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Chicago then you clearly don’t know the minds of Indigo Buntings. This diverse and sometimes rugged landscape includes dense woods of oak and pine, a generous number of ponds and cattail marshes, a prairie, a small waterfall, and an overlook of the Des Plaines River.
Honestly, prior to my arrival at Waterfall Glen I had no idea that my quick hike would result in my seeing somewhere in the 40-50 (at least) range of Indigo Buntings – most of them bright blue males. Don’t get me wrong I’m NOT complaining, it actually knocked my socks off. The whole park literally reverberated (10 point word?) with Indigo Buntings ALL over the place. At one point I could see 5 males singing from the tree tops at the same time – crazy. I also saw females and males building nests. It struck me as a little late, but the Chicago area may be a little later than NJ. I also saw other regulars of the forest and grasslands such as Flicker, Black bird, Gnatcatchers, Waxwings, Robins, Towhee etc.

The strangest part of the hike was seeing a Chickadee grab a MASSIVE caterpillar and munch it! This was the first time that I have seen a chickadee hunting and eating caterpillars and at first I was too stunned to take a picture. After a few seconds of watching with my mouth wide open I snapped a few pics but unfortunately the Chickadee had finished its meal – DAMN!

I would highly recommend checking out Water Glenn but do yourself a favor make SURE that you spray LOTS of bug spray. I was literally eaten alive by mosquitoes!


American Robin - Yummy!

Male Indigo Bunting - Posing

Male Indigo Bunting - Posing

Female Indigo Bunting building a nest. The nest was located in a tiny little bush at the edge of foot path - only about 2 feet off the ground.

Immature male Indigo bunting building a nest. When do these males get their full coloring? Is this a fledged male helping with a second brood - Any ideas?

Incredible photos shared by the Flickr community group - Owls of North America. Click on the play button to begin the slideshow - ENJOY!