Mushrooms, snatching eagles, little perch: Chicago outdoors notes

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Notes from around Chicago outdoors.




Ken Ferencz and sons Brandon and Cody not only caught some quality muskies on Eagle Lake in Ontario but also photographed this sequence of a bald eagle snatching a fish, beginning with the photo to the right.

I like it.

Wild of the Week, the celebration of wild scenes around Chicago outdoors, runs Sundays on the outdoors page as warranted.

Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (



Sept. 10-11: Hoffman Estates, registration begins Monday,

Aug. 11 and 13: Richmond,

Aug. 13-14: Essex, (815) 458-3568

Aug. 19-20: Morris,

Aug. 20-21: Kankakee, (815) 935-8438


Monday: Thom Matejewski, Oswegoland Fishin’ Fools, Allied First Bank, Oswego, 7 p.m.,


Monday: Squirrel hunting opens


Aug 13-14: Saturday, boys and girls; Sunday, girls and women; Shabbona Lake State Park, (815) 758-2773



E: “Just because spring is over does not mean mushroom hunting is. These two large (over 2 ounces ) choice eating mushrooms were found in Orland Park by Chatelle and King Bolette.’’ John Kudia

A: Being leery, I queried the co-authors of Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States, Greg Mueller, of the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Joe McFarland.

Mueller sent this:

Happy to help. There are two different species here. The white one is probably a Russula species — I can’t ID it further from the photo. No Russula are deadly poisonous, but some are inedible. In any case, this specimen is too old. Just as one shouldn’t eat old moldy veggies, even edible mushrooms turn bad with age. The other specimen is a bolete. Again, I can’t ID from the photo. It is not deadly, but without a better ID I am not comfortable commenting on its possible edibility.

McFarland sent this:

Thanks for sending along the fungi pic. The snapshot I received was pretty small and makes accurate ID a challenge. But what I see in the photo doesn’t match any of the well-known edibles, assuming the question is that the mushrooms were thought to be edible. I actually see two different species in the photo (again, I’m basing this on a very small snapshot). The mushroom on the left looks to be a Lactarius species or its closely related cousin, a Russula species. Nothing within those two genera is something to put in a skillet…at least, nothing that generally resembles what’s seen in the photo is a well-known edible. On the right, although I can’t see the diagnostic underside of the cap, that mushroom looks to be a bolete. And boletes are a frustrating bunch to identify, even when inspected closely. The short, quick answer is that the mushrooms in the photo are not among the 40 good edibles we listed in the Illinois mushroom book. On the bright side, in case the person who snapped the photo has already gobbled them up, the mushrooms do not match the features of any of the truly deadly poisonous fungi found in Illinois. But thanks for sharing the question. Joe

I think the last couple paragraphs are McFarland fun-guying.


10: Bison calves born at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, with the birth of one last week, months later than usual.


“Millions of these 1-year-old perch today, great sign for the future! Screen was black with them for half a mile.’’

Ben Dickinson, Indiana’s assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist, on Facebook Wednesday

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