Chicago outdoors: Fledgling great horned owl, suburban coyote, Minnesota moose, brook-trout ambiance

A wonderful shot of a fledgling great horned owl, a question on suburban coyotes, the count of Minnesota moose and an apt note on the ambiance of brook-trout streams area among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

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A great horned owl fledgling yawning, apparently, on the North Side. Credit: Paul Vriend

A great horned owl fledgling yawning, apparently, on the North Side.

Paul Vriend

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


Paul Vriend emailed on Tuesday, April 5, “The yawn indicates this great horned owl fledgling might be a little tired. And for good reason. It’s just recently branched and is beginning its journey to flight. It’s been out of the nest for about three days now.” It was at a park on the North Side,

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).



April 23-24: Braidwood,

April 30-May 1: Ingleside,


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


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


Tuesday, April 12: Capt. Dan Keating and pizza-party kickoff, Salmon Unlimited (one-time only different meeting spot) Elk Grove Village VFW, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13: Guide Austin Wiggerman, Fox River Valley chapter of Muskies Inc., Schaumburg Golf Club, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13: Mark O’Neill, “Marine Electronics—Using New Techniques for Geneva Trophies,” Lake Geneva Fishing Club, Poplar Creek Bowl, Hoffman Estates, 6 p.m.


Today-Thursday, April 9-14: Second spring turkey season, south zone

Monday-Friday, April 11-15: First spring turkey season, north zone

Friday, April 15, to April 20: Third spring turkey season, south zone


“I was awakened at 2:30 am [last week] with a coyote howling outside my window. This has never happened before. I’ve lived with them for 20 years with no problems and just wondering if the mating season has something to do with this behavior.” John Green, Woodridge.

A: It’s very late in coyote mating season, but I asked wildlife biologist Nicky Strahl for her take. She emailed:

There are a plethora of reasons that the coyote could have started howling. For example, if an emergency vehicle’s sirens went off within earshot of the coyote (and not loud enough to arouse a human from slumber), that pitch is the same pitch as chorusing coyotes-so it could’ve been responding to that city noise. Similarly, if another coyote started a chorus outside of human slumbering earshot (i.e.-not near the house) but within earshot of the coyote who happened to be traveling past his house in the middle of the night at that moment and responded to the chorus before moving on, that is also completely reasonable and normal behavior. Regardless, the coyote could’ve just simply been responding to something completely different unbeknownst to us and the location was nothing unusual for it (because it travels through the area frequently). Many scenarios are completely normal for urban coyotes! For more information about urban coyotes, I highly recommend checking out If the reader is curious about it, I find it fun to put out trail cameras and see what other critters are coming around the house without us knowing because we are sleeping. Night life outside our homes can be very vibrant without us ever knowing it! Who knew we could be such great wildlife party hosts


4,700: Moose population survey for 2022 in Minnesota, the highest count since 2011.


“Somewhere there must be brook trout who live in an ugly environment, but I have yet to find them.”

Pete Lamar, aptly describing the joy of fishing brookies, after a spring swing through Wisconsin.

A brook-trout stream in Wisconsin, illustrating Pete Lamar’s point. Provided photo

A brook-trout stream in Wisconsin, illustrating Pete Lamar’s point.


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