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Chicago outdoors: City bittern, nesting hummingbird, historical bison numbers, Clunn’s ageless secret

The surprise of a bittern in a Chicago neighborhood, historical bison numbers, a photo of a nesting hummingbird and Rick Clunn’s ageless secret are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

A nesting hummingbird late in the summer. Provided by Alan Anderson
A nesting hummingbird late in the summer.
Provided by Alan Anderson

Notes come from all around Chicago outdoors.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Alan Anderson photographed this hummingbird nesting earlier this month in an alder. “A very nice surprise, late in the nesting season,” he emailed.

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. Submit nominations by message on Facebook (Dale Bowman), on Twitter (@BowmanOutside) and Instagram (@BowmanOutside) or email (BowmanOutside@gmail.com).

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

Sept. 19-20: Kankakee, (815) 935-2700

Oct. 24-25: Joliet, (815) 935-2700

ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS

Through Monday, Aug. 31: Application period online for first lottery for public duck/goose permits,

https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx

Through Monday, Aug. 31: Free upland game permits, application period, go to https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/uplandgame/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Dove hunting and early Canada goose season opens

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Second lottery applications begin for duck and goose blinds, https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/OnlinePermitApplication.aspx

DUCKS UNLIMITED

Wednesday, Sept. 2: Illinois DU Virtual 50 Gun Frenzy, http://www.ilduvirtualevent.org/

DALE’S MAILBAG

A least bittern in the Dunning neighborhood of Chicago. Provided photo
A least bittern in the Dunning neighborhood of Chicago.
Provided

“We walked outside this morning..and there he was! He watched us the whole time. Such a strange bird. It was lovely to see right here in the Dunning neighborhood of Chicago. I think he was feasting on cicadas.” Mike Salbego

A: Doug Stotz, senior conservation ecologist at the Field Museum, messaged, “This is too bizarre. This looks like a juvenile least bittern.” In my 20-plus years of doing the outdoors for the Sun-Times, this is a first for a photo of a bittern in a Chicago neighborhood.

BIG NUMBER

30-60 million: Estimated number of bison living in North America in the 1500s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

LAST WORD

“Never accept that all of your best moments are in your past. Most of us go through a peak period. But when you start to lose that, you start to wonder.”

Rick Clunn, then 69, in 2016; three years later, at 72, he won the Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River in Florida.