Kestrel keeps eye on crickets

A kestrel chasing a cricket, the best hook for perch on the Chicago lakefront, the annual stocking of walleye into the Indiana side of Wolf Lake and a recommendation on Wisconsin bear dens are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

An American kestrel chasing a cricket at a Chicago park.

An American kestrel chasing a cricket at a Chicago park.

Reilly Manz/Provided

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Paul Vriend watched a pair of American kestrels, North America’s smallest falcon, feeding on crickets and grasshoppers at his local park, then captured one of his best photographs. “The female kestrel launched from a short tree and landed relatively near me to harvest a cricket from the grass,” he emailed. “The kestrel missed and chased the cricket long enough for me to get this photo. (Very tricky to get a cricket to sit still for a photo.)” I can only imagine.

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 BowmanOutside@gmail.com or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

DALE’S MAILBAG

“What is the best hook to use for perch at the 87th Street slip? Nate

A: I use ice jigs or Mini-Mites, so I asked perch guru Chuck Weis. He texted back, “No. 4 Aberdeen hook is what I always use.” A No. 6 Aberdeen also works, but No 4s are easier to extract,

BIG NUMBER

24th: Annual stocking of walleye into Wolf lake, spearheaded by Perch America, last Saturday. It brought the total stocking to an estimated 124,000 advanced-growth fingerlings.

LAST WORD

“Public reporting is essential to this project. You don’t find bear dens every day, so it is important that people report them to us when they find them, Reporting dens helps us meet the sample size requirements for our study and increases the accuracy of the black bear population model.”

Dr. Jennifer Price Tack, Wisconsin DNR’s large carnivore and elk research scientist

WILD TIMES

ILLINOIS SEASONS

Through today, Nov. 20: First firearm deer season

Nov. 26-27: Youth waterfowl season, south zone

SHOW

Dec. 3: Antique Lure Show Swap Meet, free to attendees, who are encouraged to bring old tackle to swap or sell, Niles VFW Post 3579, 8 a.m.-noon

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