On May 18, one of the two eaglets was in the nest. It may have already fledged, but it is common for them return to the nest to be fed:
The Bald Eagles that nested near our Florida home did not breed successfully this year. If they had, their young would just now be polishing their hunting skills in preparation for a migration in the opposite direction. As temperatures increase in the waters of Florida lakes, fish seek the cooler depths. Young eagles find it easier to see and catch fish in the cooler lakes and rivers to the north. Many move up the east coast to the Carolinas and the Chesapeake Bay area, and some have been tracked into the extreme northeastern US.
You may recall that the original male of the the pair lost his mate in late October, 2014, and found a new companion in early December. Although they mated, their union did not produce any young. They seem to have bonded very well. Curiously, they both continue to work on the nest, adding and rearranging sticks. See the latest reports and photos of this behavior by Luis, a faithful eagle watcher, at THIS LINK
(Photo ©2015 LuisEagles)
We also are now heading the wrong way, flying back from Illinois to Florida, at least for a while, leaving what is left of the spring songbird migration behind us. Bad weather and lots of local travel and family events curtailed our time afield. Here are some photographic highlights of our stay in NE Illinois.
At Nelson Lake/Dick Young Marsh Forest Preserve in nearby Batavia, the grass had turned green and the trees were leafing out by the middle of May:
A notable sighting at Nelson Lake on May 9 was a single Bobolink, the first reported in the county this season:
Bobolinks seem to have their plumage arranged the wrong way, as the undersides of most birds are lighter than their uppers. Posing on a fence post, the Bobolink demonstrates this feature very nicely:
Yellow-rumped Warblers, early arrivals, were still moving through the treetops:
Common Yellowthroats are already staking out nesting territories on the prairie:
American Goldfinches, befitting their name, have molted into their brilliant breeding (alternate) plumage:
Yellow Warblers offer a more subtle but no less beautiful shade:
I find it easy to overdose on Yellow Warbler photos:
This first year male Orchard Oriole will take on a brick-red coat by next season:
An Eastern Meadowlark sings enthusiastically:
A tad of yellow highlights the brow of a Savannah Sparrow:
While not sporting feathers, this early Eastern Tiger Swallowtail fits the theme as it probes the dandelions for nectar:
Indigo Buntings represent another primary color:
The clouds part momentarily, to allow a "blue-on-blue" portrait:
A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher incubates eggs in its expansible globular nest, fastened securely with spider webs and decorated with lichens:
One of my most sought-after spring arrivals, a Scarlet Tanager some distance away, completes the color wheel:
A Northern Cardinal also represents the red faction...
...as does a "fractionally" red Red-winged Blackbird...
...and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak:
The older of our two Illinois granddaughters helps me spot orioles in the trees along the path at Hawk's Bluff Park in Batavia:
She points out a moth she found on the car window, unwittingly giving me my only image of a reflection:
The moth is a Hydriomena species, thanks to ID by Facebook friends:
To her delight, we get good looks at several Baltimore Orioles:
It is a bit surprising that I have not yet run out of my favorites for our Illinois stay, such as this Great Blue Heron on the shoals of the Fox River...
...a Swainson's Thrush...
...a Six-spotted Tiger Beetle...
...lots of flowers, such as this Wake Robin in full bloom...
...a Dandelion seed head...
I must stop somewhere, but I want to show Tex some favorite fences, the "good," which surrounds Hickory Knolls Discovery Center and borders the road to the correctional institution...
...and the "bad," for those inside:
We must end on an exuberant and happy note, to celebrate the birds...
...and the brooks...
...and the fields:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to I Heart Macro by Laura
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display