Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

If you saw my "Our World Tuesday" post you will already know that my friend and I went to the Fox River Dam in Elgin looking for open water ... a place where eagles congregate in the winter.  

We found more ducks than eagles ... some migrating ducks which surprised us.  It seems early for the migrations to start.

It also surprised us that the ducks were swimming and diving in the frigid waters of the river ...

This duck has to be a hybrid of some sort ... looks like Mallard, maybe Gadwall with the brown body of the male Gadwall and the green head of the Mallard male and then a white chest.  I would have loved to have seen his siblings :)

Speaking of Gadwall, here is a female :)

And then a female Mallard with the field mark wing band ...

On the shore a single Canadian goose huddled up to stay warm ... 

Then there it was ... the first sign that the eagles were in fact here ...

We headed up the river walk (which was covered with deep snow and untraveled) toward where we thought the Eagle landed ... On our way we passed this large migratory group of Golden Eyes ...

And then, there he/she was ... sitting proudly, as Eagles do, high up in the tree ...

What a beauty ...

As soon as he saw us plodding toward him, he took flight ...
I love the Eagles, so beautiful and strong ... who would ever guess that they are scavengers and they cackle like a chicken :)

On our way back, we spotted a male Common Merganser ... another migratory bird ... 

And another male Goldeneye ...

Finally Mr. Mallard waved goodbye as we crossed the bridge to go back to our car ...
After being housebound, so to speak, all through this long cold winter, this was a real treat.  I loved seeing the eagle even though there was only one.  Interestingly,  An adult eagle showed up in the tree in my front yard the next day, as if to say, "You really didn't have to go that far just to see an Eagle" ... sadly my flock of ornery crows drove him off before I could get to my camera.  I am hoping it is my juvenile who I have been watching for the past four years as he slowly acquired his full adult coloring.  I watched in awe as that wonderful wing span flew off across the lake.  Now that I know they are back, I will be looking for them with camera in hand.


  1. Fantastic captures and all the birds are so beautiful, but the eagle is awesome!! What an incredible bird!! Thanks for sharing the beauty, Andrea!! Such a wonderful way to start my day!!

  2. Lindas aves.
    Y tanta nieve, y aqui tanto calor.
    Un beso desde Chile

  3. HI Andrea What a wonderful place to birdwatch and you got lovely shots of the duck, not to mention the glorious Eagle

  4. awesome sightings, all the way through! eagles are awesome but i love the ducks as well. :)

  5. The ducks are always pretty when on water...and so graceful. But your eagle images [the one flying especially] just blew me away!!!

  6. Really nice water birds. The Goldeneyes are mixed in with the Female Common Mergansers. They are such interesting birds in that they look so different in their breeding plumage. Male vs female is like looking at two different birds.

  7. Oh my. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking me (us) on this expedition. LOVED it.

  8. A beautiful series of photos and an interesting place. Thank you for the comment.

  9. beautiful shots of the eagle.

    About the mallard with the white chest. I have seen a similar one where I live.

  10. Hello, Andrea! I really enjoyed your post. I could almost hear a big sigh of satisfaction at being able to get out and go birding!

    Your Eagle photographs are wonderful! You found quite a collection of ducks amongst all that ice! The Mallard hybrids are enough to make a lot of us throw away our field guides!

    Hope your "yard" Eagle shows up again soon for you.

    Have a great week and we'll send some warm winds your way.

  11. Oh Andrea, your eagle shots are awesome!!! I would love to spot one in one of my trees. Actually, in any tree. I just love your duck pix too. We have quite a varied collection of ducks at our local park, and they are all so beautiful. With the warmer temps, maybe Pogo and I can take a ride to the park before the week is out. Goodness, that would be nice!

    We are starting a mini warm-wave here too. I'm just going to try to enjoy it while I can. I wouldn't mind seeing the snow on the roofs of the house melt. One more day to finish off all my tax figures, and tomorrow I'll take it all to the accountant. Phew!! Glad to seeing the end of them. Now it's time to rustle up a bit of breakfast for my little guy. He's been waiting so patiently. You have a fabulous day my friend, hugs, Edna B.

  12. Gosh, it's been such a while since I took the time to go birding! I better hurry or the winter flocks will be gone from the ocean. Lovely photos Andrea. :)

  13. Those are amazing captures of the Eagle! Ah I see you traveled the icy shores lined with ducks and geese too this winter. Hoping to see grass soon on those shores.

  14. Wonderful birds shots. So totally awesome that you got an Eagle shot.

  15. I fine display of ducks! Those with mixed parenthoods after do end up looking a bit strange!

    Now a shot of an owl swooping down on a tern chick would be pretty remarkable - if a little sad!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. So happy to see that you got to get out and about a bit. What a great treat to see all of these waterfowl and Bald Eagles too. It must have brought many a smile and a warmth to your heart. I am really happy you got this wonderful day out and thank you for sharing.. Hugs, Mary

  17. Hello Andrea! We envy you eagle observation :-) It is a wonderful bird. We love birds of prey. Photographs of birds on your blog are very nice. Best regards/ Michał and Peter - ornithologists from Poland