Chicago outdoors: Illinois bobcats, crying for the planet, red-tailed hawks & interstates, Iceland gull

The season wrap-up for Illinois bobcats, a question on red-tailed hawks along interstates, crying for the planet, and an Iceland gull photograph are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

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An Iceland gull. Credit: Dr. Elizabeth Pector

An Iceland gull.

Dr. Elizabeth Pector

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Dr. Elizabeth Pector photographed this Iceland Gull, “much lighter in color than our numerous herring gulls along Lake Michigan. Nearly pure white sometimes. Any black marks on wing tips are less intense.” Photo was taken Feb. 19 during the Illinois Ornithological Society gull frolic.

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).



March 25: Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, South Suburban chapter fundraiser, Tuscan Gardens Pub & Banquet, Glenwood; contact Cindy Gustafson (708) 768-4315


Next Saturday, March 19: Boat America, Chicago, Don Leonard, . . . Boat America, Fox Lake, Richard Stadelmann,


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

Today, March 12: Fish & Hook Sports Show, VFW Post 5788, Lockport

Sunday, March 13: Quad County Hawg Hunters’ Fishing Flea Market, Plano American Legion, or (815) 286-7170

Through Sunday, March 13: Journal Sentinel Sports Show, Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center, West Allis, Wis.

Through Sunday, March 13: Canoecopia, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.

Next Saturday, March 19: Walleyes Unlimited swap meet, Fox Lake Legion Hall


Tuesday, March 15: Johnny Wilkins, “Keeping it simple—How to catch more fish,” Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.,

Thursday, March 17: Capt. Robert Schell, Fishing Lake Erie, Fish Tales Fishing Club, Worth Township offices, Alsip, 7 p.m.


Next Saturday, March 19: Early catch-and-release trout season opens at nine sites statewide, the nearby ones are Rock Creek at Kankakee River State Park; Pine Creek, White Pines Forest SP; and Apple River, Apple River Canyon SP. The regular season opens April 2. Click here to read statewide information.


“While driving to Michigan City on I-94, I saw an unusual high incidence of red-tailed hawk activity, any explanations? Ken Vaclavik

A: The BirdNote broadcast, “Highways as Habitat for Hawks,” put it well on Feb. 18, 2016: “The grassy areas created ribbons of wildlife habitat occupied by small mammals such as voles — favorite prey of the Red-tailed Hawk . . . and other raptors, which are now common along many stretches of interstate. And there are now hundreds of thousands of other highway miles that offer equally prosperous hunting grounds for birds. “


290: Bobcats harvested in Illinois’2021-22 season: 174 (hunting), 116 (trapping), 23 (salvaged) by 1,000 permit holders. Modern bobcat seasons in Illinois began in 2016. Click here for more from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


“If you don’t cry deep hard tears for the state of this planet and all of the people on it, you don’t yet understand the problem.”

Colette Pichon Battle, generational Gulf Coast native and climate activist, in “On Being” on Sunday on WBEZ-FM

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