Chicago outdoors: Avian predators on the move

Murderous crows in the north suburbs, a smelt parade and party in Duluth, Minnesota, Illlinois’ spring turkey harvest and a Cooper’s hawk feeding are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

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A Cooper’s hawk feeding in a driveway.

A Cooper’s hawk feeding in a driveway.

James “Gomie” Gomez

Notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.

WILD OF THE WEEK

James “Gomie” Gomez photographed the Cooper’s hawk above and prey last weekend in his driveway. Not sure what it means, but I am drawn to the vicious of predators.

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

“Neighbor Bob first noticed a pair of crows eating freshly-killed small birds. I’ve named the pair “Harry and Butch,” after the notorious Chicago mob assassination duo of Harry Aleman and Butch Petrocelli. In each of the five incidents within the last week Harry and Butch eat their prey in water. Neighbor Bob has retrieved four (juvenile?) bird carcasses from his bird bath. And today I was able to snap a photo of Harry/Butch devouring what was left of a bird in a puddle of rainwater in our alley. Neither of us have witnessed a kill. But Harry and Butch have been terrorizing the birds at my five feeders. Even the starlings, which I used to refer to as the “Spilotros” for the way they muscled other birds off the feeders, flee in noisy panic when Harry and Butch silently glide by. I’ve never seen crows behave this way. Would love an explanation.” Edward Marshall

Crow eatng a bird in a puddle. Provided by Edward Marshall

Crow eating a bird in a puddle.

Provided by Edward Marshall

A: Crows will kill birds, including their own. Truly enjoyed the Chicago historical context for naming the crows and starlings.

BIG NUMBER

16,121: Turkeys harvested during Illinois’ spring turkey season, up from 13,701 in 2022.

A turkey decoy, as seen through the blind window while turkey hunting during the spring season. Credit: Dale Bowman

A turkey decoy, as seen through the blind window while turkey hunting during the spring season.

Dale Bowman

LAST WORD

“Duluth needs a smelt celebration, Somebody told me they felt the Smelt Parade was a proletariat friendly event. I like to think that we attract folks right across the spectrum.”

Jim Ouray, founder of Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe’s annual Run, Smelt, Run! Parade and Party, to the Duluth News Tribune in 2022. The annual party is Sunday, May 28, in Duluth, Minn.

WILD TIMES

WINGSHOOTING CLINICS

Next weekend, June 3-4: Des Plaines SFWA, Wilmington, (815) 423-5326, click here for details

U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY

Next Saturday, June 3: Boat America, Dan O’Connell, cgaux.doc@gmail.com

KIDS FISHING

Next Saturday, June 3: Lake Geneva Fishing Club’s 32nd annual Kids Day, Big Foot Beach State Park, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., lakegenevafishingclub.com/kids-day/

CHARITY FISHING

Next Saturday, June 3: Fishing for a Cure, click here for details.

LADY OF THE LAKE

Thursday, June 1: Early registration to be in draw for free entry, to the annual Lady of the Lake Muskie Tournament, which is Oct. 21, all proceeds go to fund muskie stocking in Geneva Lake, chicagolandmuskiehunters.org/tournament.asp

ILLINOIS PERMITS

Through June 30: Second lottery, firearm or muzzleloader deer permits

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