Chicago outdoors: Hawks & little dogs, cool tight-photo hawk, Urban Rivers dollars, advantage at ice’s edge

A question on a small dog and neighborhood hawks, a tight hawk shot with new technology, a love of living at ice’s edge, and money for Urban Rivers are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors, and beyond.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Hawks & little dogs, cool tight-photo hawk, Urban Rivers dollars, advantage at ice’s edge
A tight head shot of an adult red-tailed hawk, with help of modern technology. Credit: Mark Kasick

A tight head shot of an adult red-tailed hawk, with help of modern technology.

Mark Kasick

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Mark Kasick photographed the adult red-tailed hawk (at the top) at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center. “The cropped head shot came out particularly cool,” he emailed. “The detail is insane. There is new software that uses AI to double the resolution so I was able to get away with the huge crop.”

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).

The full-size red-tailed hawk. Credit: Mark Kasick

The full-size red-tailed hawk.

Mark Kasick



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


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

Through Sunday, Jan. 23: Bedford Sales Open House, Morris

Next Saturday, Jan. 29-Jan. 30: Capt. Dan Keating Schools, Lake Michigan Angler, Winthrop Harbor, Foundations: Salmon 101, Jan. 29, Advanced Tactics & Seasonal Strategies, Jan. 30


Friday, Jan. 28,-next Saturday, Jan. 29: LVVA Ice Fishing Derby, Bangs Lake


Today, Jan. 22: Applications for third lottery, spring turkey hunting, begin

Tuesday, Jan. 25: Duck and second scaup seasons, south zone, ends


“I happen to have two very large hawks that perch above a tree right in my back yard. My concern is that we have a small Yorkie Poo, a senior dog whom we worry when we let him out to do his business. . . . Is there any recommendations you could give to keep our 4 legged family member safe?” D. Polk

A: I asked Mike Ward, senior ornithologist for the Illinois Natural History Survey, who emailed, “It is very rare to hear of a small dog being taken by a red-tailed hawk (the only viable predator in the area). I have heard of great-horned owls taking small dogs but again it is very rare. If the birds are eagles or vultures, there is no risk, If the hawks are red-tailed hawks, I would guess they would fly away if you can approach them. Again my opinion is that there is little threat from hawks.”


$5,000: Funding earned by Urban Rivers, which focuses on the Chicago River, from the MTN DEW Outdoor Grant


“Watching the Bears’ last game a couple weeks ago, and playoff games [last weekend] from inside the house while watching the tip-ups for flag was quite nice.”

Rob Abouchar, on the joy of living and fishing by the water’s/ice’s edge on Island Lake.

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