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Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Wild Monday: Birds at year's end

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Des Plaines birder Alan Anderson sends along tidbits from time to time.


The ovenbird photo was taken from late December.

Alan said:

I won't send you any of the deer photos from Chevalier Woods since you are getting so many sent for your 'DOTW unplugged' anyhow, but thought I'd send you the photo of the Ovenbird in the 'winter scene' in case you are interested in seeing it up close (or for any other purpose ;-) ).

I found another purpose for it here. And enjoyed the oddity of it.

Chevalier Woods is by the Kennedy and the Des Plaines River.

But Alan wasn't done. He sent this note a couple days later:

didn't think I'd see the day ... Whooping Cranes in Indiana on a Christmas Bird Count ...

of course I didn't expect to see an Ovenbird in the dead of winter either!

Happy New Year, Dale!

The whooping cranes, four adults and seven juveniles, were reported on the Indiana bird list from a Christmas bird count at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in south central Indiana.

Whoopers are a nice addition to our world. Reports of them mixed in with sandhill cranes are becoming less of a rarity.

Alan also knows that ``Happy New Year'' means something special in my world. My one real claim to fame in birding came on New Year's Eve of 2005.

Taking our youngest on a nap run at dusk that year (he was 2 then, now 5) I saw a snowy owl just into Iroquois County. I was able to grab a photo of it in dying light, a good enough photo to send along to Alan to make sure it was indeed a snowy.


I was kind of impressed that from this photo he was able to confirm it was a snowy.

As it was, it turned out to be the first confirmed and documented snowy in Iroquois County, though later some oldtimers told me tales of what sound legit from about years earlier of another one.

When other birders followed up on my report, they actually found two snowy owls around the Kankakee'Iroquois County line.

It kind of made my year, well actually two years, because two days later, my oldest boy and I relocated it after a very hard search.

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What exactly does a whooping crane taste like anyways? One cajun fella told me it tasted like a cross between a pin duck and a bald eagle. Bet they make some great buffalo wings. Ok more later

I put up this post, but it goes against everything I hope Stray Casts is. That's an unsigned ignorant opinion. Anybody is entitled to an ignorant opinion, but it doesn't mean that I have to give them air, especially if they are too gutless to put their name to it.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 4, 2010 9:48 PM.

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