During our brief stay with our daughter's family in northeastern Illinois, I enjoyed watching the birds from the deck in their back yard. We had visits from local breeding birds and even one species which had not departed for its nesting grounds to the north.
Several White-crowned Sparrows brightened up the surroundings by perching on the fence:
The presence of black in front of their eyes (lores) and pinkish bills indicate that these belong to the East Tiaga population which breeds in the eastern Canadian tundra. They will soon be departing. One took a perch in a blooming cherry tree:
Song Sparrows breed locally and were singing from the fence and nearby spruce trees:
Other visitors included Eastern Goldfinches. A female was eating the catkins of a birch tree (I learned that people can eat them too):
Male House Finches were in full song...
...and visited the freshly stocked feeder...
...as did House Sparrows...
...and Brown-headed Cowbirds:
The fence also hosted a cooing Mourning Dove...
...and a male Northern Cardinal:
American Robins were starting to nest:
A surprise visitor was a Blue-headed Vireo which posed for a few photos as it foraged among the buds and flowers:
I glanced out the kitchen window and saw that I was not the only one attracted to the yard birds. An immature Cooper's Hawk perched for a moment before plunging into a small bush after an unidentified bird. It was not successful and flew away empty-taloned. My photo is soft because I shot through the window:
My first venture outside was a single-minded search for a Sora in nearby Jones Meadow Park, which I hoped had already returned for the summer. They winter in Florida, but I rarely see them near our home. I succeeded, though my glimpse of one was momentary:
On a subsequent visit the Sora appeared at closer range but was very shy and elusive:
The cool outside air made me feel better. Seeing the Sandhill Cranes (described in my prior post) also lifted my spirits!
Back home in Florida, a rare Seasonal Blue Moon made its appearance on May 19. The more common "Blue Moon" occurs as the second full Moon in a month with two full Moons. This happens about once every two or three years. The Seasonal Blue Moon is the second of three full Moons which appear during one of the four seasons, in this case between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.
The Seasonal Blue Moon descends in the southeastern sky just before sunrise over our local wetlands:
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display