SPRING IN CHICAGO
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Whew! That was a long breather from this blog. Here is the latest spring roundup (not many migrants in the bunch, but I'm enjoying the raptors):
1 COOPER'S HAWK
1 RED-TAILED HAWK
2 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES
1 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE
A strange urban wildlife phenomenon: I've seen this red-tailed hawk twice in close proximity to our house in the past week and a half: once it dove in to the alley as i pulled out of the garage on my way to drop baby at the sitter's, and once it alighted on the tree just in front. I pondered it sitting on a branch: what is so attractive about our house?
That afternoon, Stella the cat killed her first mouse.
This was actually the third mouse we've seen in our apartment. The cat left it charmingly on the baby's toy mat, where the baby's dad found it while holding baby, upon which the cat threw herself into a tumbling, roly poly fit of joyful purring. So much for the toy mat.
Horrified, I put mousie in the dumpster out back.
And returned to find the cats chasing another mouse.
This time, the BF managed to get the cat to hold the mouse in her jaws, open the door, hold cat aloft outside over the back deck, and release the mouse to the ground below and to relative safety. Phew.
But, wait--WAS it relatively safe out there? Or did we abandon poor mouselet to an even gruesomer fate: being torn apart and eaten by a raptor? Perhaps the spate of mouse sightings in our apartment has more to do with the raptor migration arriving in town and that big guy haunting our little abode.
Don't quite know what to do about this one. Baby will be crawling soon, so spring-loaded mousetraps and poison are both out of the question. Any thoughts out there as to a humane way to solve our rodent conundrum?
Sasha Sylvia age 1 1/2 weeks
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
September 28, 2006 1:51pm CST
8lbs, 3 oz
20.5 inches long
Saturday, September 23, 2006
This morning, our first together without workplaces to attend to, we went to IHOP for breakfast, after which it seemed like a good idea to take a walk along the lake. Rainclouds threatened, but weren't quite ready to give up the goods, in that Midwestern way they sometimes have. First day of fall, seventy degrees, not a spot of sunshine anywhere.
We got to the beach and the light was tricky. It was one of those mornings where the lake horizon blends mistily into the grey of sky, and only the textures of water and cloud set them apart visually. Few people were out, despite the late-season warmth, and as we walked we spotted some gulls frolicking at the end of a corrugated steel-plate jetty, along with two more sedentary, S-necked darker birds which I couldn't name right away. Here, let me get the Peterson guide:they were DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS. My first migrating shorebirds of the season, yay!
I watched the cormorants preen and dry their wings for a bit and then slowly sauntered my baby-carrying bulk down the beach to the pier. At the entrance to the pier is a fenced-in dune vegetation area, where we spotted two AMERICAN KESTRELS hunting for their lunch. They danced midair among the butterflies for awhile, and one made a laughable semi-dive for a squirrel which was probably twice its size. They eventually flew back into a willow, tired of the chase.
Fall Warbler, not much else
Friday, September 22, 2006
Since I'm enormously preggers, not exercising much beyond climbing three flights of stairs to the apartment, and therefore not getting out to bird, I was nervous that I'd get through my last day of work without seeing any good fall birds. But! The BF came to pick me up and as we moseyed back to the car, I spotted my first fall guy--a PALM WARBLER just loving the ground as those ground-lovin warblers do in migration. It being my nature to worry needlessly, I worried that he'd crashed into the glass-paneled front of the Medill School of Journalism, but in fact he was just fine.
Earlier in the day I'd also seen a pair of NORTHERN CARDINALS cavorting in a yew bush, and then later that afternoon I saw what I thought might be a shrike but was probably just a large sparrow on a light fixture on a building exterior.