Chicago outdoors: Black fox, William Faulkner & hunting, long-staying white pelican, long-tailed weasel

A question on a suburban black fox, William Faulkner and hunting, long-tailed weasels and a long-staying American white pelican are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Black fox, William Faulkner & hunting, long-staying white pelican, long-tailed weasel
A black fox in the Palos area. Credit: Charles Librizzi

A black fox in the Palos area.

Charles Librizzi

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


“Black fox in Palos Heights?” Charles Librizzi email on Christmas about the photo at the top.

A: When asked if naturalists or staff are seeing a black fox in the Palos area or have heard reports, Carl Vogel, director of communications for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, replied, “Our Resource Management staff has seen several black foxes in Palos Preserves over the last few years, A semimelinistic female living in the area is passing along the trait to her pups. Just to say, genotypically they all would have the trait, but phenotypically they may or may not have it. In other words, they might not express it although they have it genetically.”


Bill Peak stopped by the Roxana Marsh last week in East Chicago and spotted the American white pelican still there. “I never thought that I would see a pelican overwinter in Chicago, I was wrong,” he emailed along with another one of his wonderful photos (below).

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. To make submissions, email or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

American white pelican that has lingered for months in East Chicago. Credit: Bill Peak

American white pelican that has lingered for months in East Chicago.

Bill Peak



Feb. 12-13: Diamond, (815) 907-7345


Click here for the complete list of shows, classes and swap meets for the coming months.

Through today, Jan. 16: Northern Illinois Sports Show, Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center, Grayslake

Friday, Jan. 21, to next Sunday, Jan. 23: Bedford Sales Open House, Morris


Tuesday, Jan. 18: Phil Piscitello, Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 20: Mike McCormick on ice fishing Mississippi River backwaters, Fish Tales Fishing Club, Worth Township offices, Alsip, 7 p.m.


Today, Jan. 16: Second segment, CWD/late-winter antlerless deer seasons, ends. . . . Archery deer and turkey seasons end.

Thursday, Jan. 20: Canada geese, white-fronted geese, and light geese seasons, north zone, end


8-10/3-6: Length of the long-tailed weasel/length of its black-tipped tail. It’s the most common weasel in Illinois, turning white in winter.


“William Faulkner was probably destined to be a hunter and outdoorsman, for patience, self-discipline and an ability to work in solitude—the traits of both a writer and an outdoorsman, marked his character and temperament. These traits were developed amidst a family and society that made his interest in hunting and outdoors almost inevitable.”

“Do you Write, Mr. Faulkner,”, his going deer hunting ahead of receiving the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 (he was awarded for 1949).

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