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Hummingbird, blue bullfrog, Peabody Coal Company, renesting piping plover: Notes, Chicago outdoors

A “symphony of color” in the hummingbird, a blue bullfrog, the Peabody Coal Company and renesting piping plover are among the notes around the Chicago outdoors.

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A male ruby-throated hummingbird at Morton Arboretum.
Provided by Emil Baumbach

Here are the Field Notes around the Chicago outdoors.

WILD OF THE WEEK

“When the gorget (throat feathers) on the male ruby-throated hummingbird catches the light just right a symphony of color pops out that is simply stunning,’’ emailed Emil Baumbach, who photographed this one June 11 at Morton Arboretum.

WOTW, the celebration of wild stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs most weeks in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. Send nominations to @BowmanOutside on Twitter or Instagram, to Dale Bowman on Facebook or email BowmanOutside@gmail.com.

WILD TIMES

FISHING DERBY

Friday, June 28-July 7: Kankakee River Fishing Derby, kankakeefishingderby.com

FISH GATHERING

Wednesday, June 26: Andy Bushman, ``Drop-Shotting Smallies in Door County,’’ Walleyes Unlimited, Gurnee American Legion, 7 p.m., walleyesunlimitedusa.org

ILLINOIS PERMITS

Through Sunday, June 30: Online applications, residents, first lottery, free dove hunting permits, select state sites. Go to https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/dove/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx. . . . Deadline, second lottery, firearm deer permits. Go to https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DeerHunting.aspx.

HUNTER SAFETY

July 9, 11, 16, 18: Downers Grove, (630) 963-1300 Class 371006-01

SHOWTIME

July 13-14: Outside Experience, presented by Go RVing, McCormick Place Lakeside, OutsideExperienceShow.com

DALE’S MAILBAG

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A blue variant bullfrog.
Provided by Bruce Vang

“Just wondering if you have ever come across a bullfrog of this color? Spotted him fishing this morning and I think I have never seen a blue morph bullfrog.’’ – Bruce Vang

A: I had never seen this one. Chris Phillips, curator of amphibians and reptiles for the Illinois Natural History Survey, emailed, “This is a rare color variant of the bullfrog. I’ve only seen a few pictures of these, but usually the entire body is blue-green.’’

BIG NUMBER

1951-1970: Years when what is now Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area was surface mined by the Peabody Coal Company.

LAST WORD

“We are over the moon and there is a good chance this nest will have full success (be able to progress naturally on the beach with the chicks hatching out and being reared by the parents). HAPPY DAY!’’

Leslie Borns, volunteer site steward, cheering Wednesday on the news that the endangered piping plover renested in a more natural area at Montrose Beach.