Some Mysteries Solved!

It was a little grey this morning, but the clouds were not leaking, so I headed out to see what I could see. I had hardly gotten a couple of blocks from my apartment when I heard a familiar call, but I figured it was a gull. When I heard it again, I couldn’t be sure it was a gull, so I stopped to look around. I didn’t see anyone in the air, but a quick glance at the nearest high-point revealed a pair of peregrine falcons, just like the ones we have on the south face of the Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (EMS) building on the UWM campus. Here’s the one that wasn’t shy.


Once I got out into the countryside, I spotted our buzzard again, in its usual spot.


Just beyond the buzzard there were several small birds foraging along the edge of the bike path, and one was kind enough to let me have this close up. Based on its color and its behavior, I thought maybe it might be a grey wagtail, but they are surprisingly yellow. Instead, this little one turns out to be a juvenile white wagtail. The adult white wagtails I’ve seen also like to forage on pavement.


I reached the stork nest at last and found the two youngster starting to show a little orange in their beaks.


And one adult keeping an eye on things from the comfort of a nearby chimney.


Finally, my old buddy Brian wrote in to suggest that mystery bird number 1 is a reed bunting, and at first I thought “no way!” I’ve already posted pictures of a reed bunting, and I checked the immature/female pictures online, and they were far too drab for our mystery bird. But then I scrolled a bit further, and sure enough, there’s our cutie. The first few pictures were just taken with a drab camera, I guess. Here’s one image again, to refresh your memory.


Brian continued and suggested that the second mystery bird is a European greenfinch, and sure enough, the female does indeed have the green over her eye and a bit of yellow on her wing and tail. Same as above.


Ta da! I have the best readers! Thanks, Brian.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

2 thoughts on “Some Mysteries Solved!

  1. That Peregrine Falcon, the fastest animal on earth! The speed given on the internet was 240 mph, Now that must be in a dive, how fast does it fly on the level? Dad

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