Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Migration on the Fox River in Cary, IL

Spring Migration on the Fox River in Cary, IL

I am fortunate enough to live on the Fox River in Cary, IL. Besides being able to go boating in the summer, all the way up to the Chain of Lakes, there are beautiful views and nature to enjoy year round.

I have lived on the Fox River for over 16 years, and over the past couple of weeks I have been getting glimpses of a duck I have never seen before. We do get the biggest variety of birds and waterfowl in spring and summer, when they are migrating through. Well, I have been trying to get a good enough look at this duck for a couple of weeks and usually by the time I get down to my pier with my binoculars, they move up the river just enough that I can't get a good enough look to identify them. They are small, black and white and definitely diving ducks, so several times when I had them in view, they would just disappear under the water and re-appear later in a different spot. I have been seeing a group of 6-8 near my home over the past couple of weeks. Last Saturday, as I drove over the Rawson Bridge in Cary for an appointment in McHenry, I saw about 20 of them swimming around by the Broken Oar. I could not stop then but on the way back to Cary, I saw them again and stopped for a minute .....trying to zoom in on them with my digital camera. Still not close enough!!

On St. Patrick's Day, we went to the Broken Oar on the Fox River in Cary for the traditional corned beef and cabbage....which was delicious by the way! It was amongst the BEST cabbage we have ever had, in fact, I would love to know their secret! But the Broken Oar, although it is very casual, does have good and very reasonable food, so check it out if you have never been there. Great views of the Fox River, too!

Anyhow....as we left to go back to the office, I saw 20-30 of them and had my binoculars with so was able to get a good enough look to identify them, and I am pretty sure they are Buffleheads, which I have never seen here before. If you live on or near the Fox River, try to get a glimpse of them, they really are beautiful! They are mates for life and nest in tree cavities made by Northern Flickers, one of the most colorful local woodpeckers we see here. They dive for food and eat while underwater. They are actually the smallest diving duck in North America! If you live on or near the Fox River, try to get a glimpse of them before they continue their journey north. They really are beautiful!

Here is a link to some detailed information: Bufflehead Duck

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