the Rookie Birder

I have watched birds all my life, but after reading "The Big Year," "Grail Bird" and especially Kenn Kaufman's "Kingbird Highway," plus Santa's timely stocking stuffer of "Sibley's 2003 Eastern & Western Field Guides," I made the decision to become a rookie birder beginning January 1st, 2006.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Mourning Dove at Edgebrook Golf Course

Edgebrook Golf Course, Chicago, Illinois
East of Central, south of Devon, entrance just north of Chicago River

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006, 430pm

Tonight I was doing an errand that took me near the Edgebrook Golf Course parking lot on Chicago's northwest side, and I always go in if I have time when I am driving past to see if I can spot the large 14 point white-tailed deer buck and his group of does that I regularly see there.

There were no deer tonight. Everytime I seem them it amazes me that a group of more than 10 white-tailed deer can be right here in the city, so close to all that is so urban, including a buck that is so impressive. In Wisconsin, where I grew up, a buck that impressive would be a much sought after prize for the hunters I grew up with.

Tonight, all I would see was my first MOURNING DOVE (photo Matt Fletcher), bird #16 of the year, and bird #6 for Illinois. It is easy to spot Mourning Doves here, as there is nothing else quite like them. Not so in the south, but here, even seeing one in a tree top, and then watching it fly to the ground at a distance without field glasses is an easy ID. Besides, I know I will see them again in my yard on the ground below my feeders. Beside my European House Sparrows, they are my most regular visitors. Hey, at least I don't have least not yet. My latest bird:



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