Chicago outdoors: Little blue heron, Illinois swamp rabbits, St. Louis canyon, Wisconsin fall color

A lifer sighting of a little blue heron, a quote on Illinois swamp rabbits, an observation of St. Louis Canyon and the start of Wisconsin fall color are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: Little blue heron, Illinois swamp rabbits, St. Louis canyon, Wisconsin fall color
A little blue heron at the Highland Rookery in Indiana. Credit: Bill Pea

A little blue heron at the Highland Rookery in Indiana.

Bill Peak

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

Bill Peak emailed, “Tuesday, I went to the Highland Rookery [in Indiana] to search for a little blue heron that had been seen there recently. I got lucky and here are several shots of the bird. It was a nice catch as it’s a lifer for me.”

For non-birders, a lifer is a first sighting.

I think the bird is worth another look.

A little blue heron and its reflection at the Highland Rookery in Indiana. Credit: Bill Peak

A little blue heron and its reflection at the Highland Rookery in Indiana.

Bill Peak

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

“There’s been lots more traffic to St. Louis Canyon [at Starved Rock State Park] in the last year because of the documentary about the 1960 murders.” Rod Thorson Twitter message

A: Thorson,, WLPO talk show host, plays himself in “The Murders at Starved Rock,” the HBO documentary about murders.

BIG NUMBER

25: Percent of color change in Barron County, tops in the Fall Color Report in Wisconsin

LAST WORD

“The swamp rabbit is a coprophage (eats some of its own waste). It has two forms of droppings: brown ones that have no nutrients; and green ones that are composed of partially digested food and remain full of nutrients.”

Illinois DNR page on swamp rabbits

WILD TIMES

HUNTER SAFETY

Oct. 1-2: Mokena, huntersafety@frankfortsportsmanclub.com

Oct. 1-2: Elburn, phil-joanne@juno.com

Oct. 6 and 8: Bonfield, (815) 635-3198 or, laura@isra.org

Oct. 15 and 22: Tinley Park, (708) 342-4200

Oct. 22-23: Palos Hills, (708) 601-4712

FISH GATHERINGS

Tuesday, Sept. 20: Keith Zurawski, on taxidermy and Alaskan fishing, Arlington Anglers, Poplar Creek Banquets, Hoffman Estates, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 21: Jim “The Crappie Professor” Kopjo and Angelo Garcia, “Fall and Winter Panfish Tactics,” South Side Muskie Hawks, 7 p.m., Vince’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Chicago

CWD Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 21: Public informational meeting on chronic wasting disease, 7 p.m., Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington

HUNTING GATHERING

Oct. 1: Hunt Camp 2022. multiple hunting organizations, networking with Illinois outdoors community, The Quarry at Crystal Lake, $15 or $20 for a pair, pfqf.myeventscenter.com/event/Hunt-Camp-2022-67987

BANQUET

Oct. 1: Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance banquet, Sullivan VFW, doors open 4 p.m., LSFHABanquet.eventbrite.com

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