Chicago outdoors: Frog sounds question, inquisitive mink, early hummingbird, big Shabbona walleye

A question on frog sounds and sightings, an inquisitive mink, an early sighting of a ruby-throated hummingbird and some big walleye surveyed at Shabbona Lake are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

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Illinois Department of Natural Resource’s Rick O’Neil and Brennan Caputo hold the biggest walleye found Tuesday during the muskie survey at Shabbona Lake. Provided by Rich McElligott

Illinois Department of Natural Resource’s Rick O’Neil and Brennan Caputo hold the biggest walleye found Tuesday during the muskie survey at Shabbona Lake.

Provided by Rich McElligott

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

BIG NUMBER

25: Inches of the biggest walleye (photo at the top) found by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Tuesday during a muskie survey at Shabbona Lake.

WILD OF THE WEEK

John Heneghan photographed an inquisitive mink by a storm grate (below) on April 8. I’ve seen mink in some odd places, but that is a first for me.

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).

An inquisitive mink by a grate. Credit: John Heneghan

An inquisitive mink by a grate.

John Heneghan

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

April 23-24: Braidwood, smitty@teachoutdoors.org

April 30-May 1: Ingleside, shawnfrey33@gmail.com

SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL

Next Saturday, April 23: Illinois & Chicago chapter’s 50th annual fundraiser and banquet, Medinah Banquets, Addison, Contact Marla Rimkus mkr1999@hotmail.com or 224-636-3750.

WINGSHOOTING CLINICS

May 14 or 15: Introductory wingshooting clinic, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area, (815)423-5326. Click here for registration.

U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY

Next Saturday, April 23: Boat America: Hammond, Ind., Bob Hennessy, bobhennessy@gmail.com . . . Highland Park, Bob Bruitvan, bbrutvan@meridianmapping.com . . . Waukegan, Curt Schumacher, curts402@aol.com

FISH GATHERINGS

Tuesday, April 19: Andrew Ragas, “Smallmouth Bass in Spring,” Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m., arlingtonanglers.com

Thursday, April 21: Phil Piscitello Fish Tales Fishing Club, Worth Township offices, Alsip, 7 p.m., fishtalesfishingclub.com

ILLINOIS PERMITS/SEASONS

Through Wednesday, April 20: Third spring turkey season, south zone

Through Thursday, April 21: Second spring turkey season, north zone

Thursday, April 21, to April 27: Fourth spring turkey season, south zone

Friday, April 22, to April 27: Third spring turkey season, north zone

DALE’S MAILBAG

“I’m walking in a wetland with lots of frog noise, I’m assuming, but I can never see any frogs. Where are they?” Mitch Brown

A: On Tuesday, Allison Sacerdote-Velat, curator of herpetology at Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature, emailed, “Yes, it is likely chorus frogs during daytime hours, although a few of my sites had large spring peepers choruses this morning. You can share with the pastor that the species calling during the day are going to some effort to stay concealed in sedges and reeds since they have a lot of wading bird predators that are active during they day. Since they can lose moisture through their skin, they also tend to hunker down a bit more in the water while calling to reduce the desiccation risk.

LAST WORD

“First hummingbird (ruby-throated) of the year on our feeder and rhododendrons that bloomed yesterday.”

Christian Howe on Tuesday

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