John Janunas on 12/27 reported via e-mail: Came across this Great Horned Owl on Christmas eve at Nelson Lake. If you look closely you can see the pellet just before leaving the owl.

Great Horned Owl photo courtesy John Janunas

Bob Andrini  on 12/26 reported via e-mail: While walking on the Quarry Park bike trail, Kath and I saw the usual birds and then was surprised by a lone  Common Grackle - unusual for December.

Kurt Frieders on 12/23 reported via e-mail: Lately our yard (in Aurora township) has had some good winter birds. We have been seeing this Kestrel on almost a daily basis. In this photo, you can see that it just finished a meal. We also have been having almost daily visits by a Sharp-Shinned Hawk and a pair of Red-Tail Hawks. We spotted a Great-Horned Owl twice last week in our trees. Our Red-Bellied Woodpecker has been visiting the feeders each day. We also have had many Cardinals, Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers, Goldfinches, and Pine Siskins at our feeders daily.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel photo courtesy Kurt Frieders

James Giannini on 12/23 reported via email: I saw a bald eagle from Rt 38 east of Anderson Rd near Elburn yesterday around 3pm.

Sid Padgaonkar on 12/21 reported via IBET: Harlequin Duck continues to be present at the Fox River Kimball Street Dam in Elgin, IL.

Also saw a Female Bufflehead at the Fox River Carpentersville Dam.

Pete Moxon on 12/17 reported via text: Went looking for Tom Brooks' Snowy Owl. Didn't locate it but did see Merlin, a Rough-legged Hawk, 350+ Lapland Longspurs, 50+ Snow Buntings, 6-7,000 Canada Geese, and 60+ Cackling Geese on the back roads of the southwest corner of the county.

Tom Brooks on 12/16 reported via e-mail: I spotted a Snowy Owl on a fence post off Harter Road just East of Watson Rd. It was about 3pm and overcast. Magnificent looking bird. Last time I saw one I was living in Canada.

Walter Lutz on 12/8 reported via e-mail: Thought this might be of interest to a few:

While birding, I talked to his young guy pulling his kayak out of the Fox River by the Gail Borden library in Elgin Sunday morning and asked him if he had seen anything interesting. He said a couple Eagles but that a couple weeks ago while kayaking he saw river otter upstream near Judson University.

Rich Miller on 12/7 reported via IBET: One Ross's Goose at Hupp Park in aurora. Orchard Rd & Illinois Ave. 11:40am

Anita Johnson on 12/7 reported via e-mail: My daughter and I saw a bald eagle at Gunnar Anderson forest preserve on Sunday, December 7th around 10:15am. It was perched in a tree on the west side do the Fox River.

Craig Taylor on 12/6 reported via eBird: The Harlequin Duck continues at Walton Island below the Kimball Street bridge in Elgin.

Rich Miller on 12/6 reported via e-mail: There were seven of us who ventured out around Nelson lake today. A few highlights... Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, & Great Horned Owl.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl photo courtesy Rich Miller

Christopher Cudworth on 12/6 reported via IBET: Like clockwork the goldeneyes show up around December 5 every year on the stretch of water south of the Prairie Street Bridge [in St. Charles]. Always good to see them. Now we'll see who joins them! Last year it was scoters and long-tailed ducks.

Lucy DeLap on 12/6 reported via IBET: I spotted a Belted Kingfisher at 9:35 am this morning in East Dundee on a branch overhanging the river. He was on the east bank about a block or so north of Route 72, Main St.

Chris Mussachio on 12/5 reported via e-mail: First Mute Swans of the season in Carpentersville.

Mute Swans

Mute Swans photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Mussachio on 12/4 reported via e-mail: Very lucky to have this Northern Harrier come my way before I could even get set up in the Kane County part of Algonquin.  What a beauty.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Mussachio on 12/3 reported via e-mail: This Cooper's Hawk surprised me in Carpentersville. Took a few shots and let it continue soaking up some sunshine.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Mussachio on 12/2 reported via e-mail: Thought it was summer when I spotted 4 great blue herons in the Buffalo Park area. They not only missed the time change, they missed the season change too I think.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Darrell Shambaugh on 12/1 reported via IBET: Seen on the way home from work today:

RED-TAILED HAWK: one in St. Charles at 410 Kirk Road...

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK: Dark morph northwest of Big Rock. This was about two miles from Main Street and the DeKalb County line, where I saw a dark Rough-legged last week.

COOPER’S HAWK: Perched on a pole at a farm east of the smelly hog farm pond on Main Street.

BALD EAGLE: First year bird flying above the sod farm in Kaneville. I saw it from the cemetery while looking for winter finches. (none seen)

Don Lowe and Wes Sadler on 12/1 reported via eBird: A late Gray Catbird at Nelson Lake on Monday morning.

This page last updated Wednesday May 06, 2015.

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