The Grasshopper Sparrow was photographed at Lake Park north of Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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A little sparrow of open fields with a short sharp tail, flat head, yellow shoulder, and with a crown that is median striped with chestnut and black. It differs from other sparrows of the prairie in having a relatively unstriped buffy breast. The bird’s song is similar to the sound of a grasshopper. It can be found from Southern Canada to the Southern United States in prairie type habitats. Its habitat is grasslands, hayfields, and prairies. Its diet is mostly insects and seeds. It almost always forages for food alone.

 

Two Piping Plovers were photographed at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The Piping Plover is a small pale bird, the color of dry sand, with an incomplete dark ring around the neck, and throat, belly and undersides white, with yellow legs, yellow beak with a black tip. In winter the legs and bill are dark. It has a range of south Canada to northeast and central United States. It has a habitat of sand beaches and tidal flats. It has a diet of insects, marine worms, and crustaceans. It moves about in quick fashion and abrupt stops, and is hard to see when on the sand when foraging by pecking.

 

The breeding male Wood Duck was photographed in September at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The female Wood Duck was photographed at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The non-breeding male Wood Duck was photographed in September at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The juvenile Wood Ducks were photographed at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The fussy chick Wood Ducks were photographed with the female wood duck at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The male breeding Wood Duck has a highly colored face pattern with sweptback chest, white belly, dark back with dark squared of tail, and all with unique rainbow iridescence. The female Wood Duck is dull colored with a gray crested head with a white-eye patch. The non-breeding male Wood Duck is a brown color with dark head that has a white bridle on the throat. They have a range of south Canada to northeast, and central United States eastward and northwest. They have a habitat of wooded swamps, rivers, and ponds, mainly those surrounded by shading woodlands overhanging the water. They have a diet of mostly seeds of aquatic plants. It has no close relative except for the Mandarin Duck of eastern Asia.

 

The Clay-Colored Sparrow was photographed at Bender Park in Oak Creek, Wisconsin

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The Clay-Colored Sparrow is a small pale brown sparrow with a plain breast, a light crown stripe, an outlined ear patch, brownish rump, and a clean gray nape. It has a range from west and central Canada to north central United States. It has a habitat of scrub, brushy prairies, and Jack Pines. It is found perched in thickets. It has a diet of mostly seeds and insects. It is very close in looks to a Chipping Sparrow and is hard to distinguish.

 

The Bank Swallow is elusive and fluttery as it stops for moments to gather food

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The Bank Swallow is a brown backed swallow with white below and a shaded brown waistband. The Bank Swallow is the smallest of the swallows. It has a widespread range of the Northern Hemisphere. Its habitat is near water, over fields, marshes, streams, and lakes. It nests in colonies in sand banks. The nest is one of the few places that the Bank Sparrow rests for a short time, and it is usually difficult to photograph them. They were photographed at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee, and Bender Park in Oak Creek  Wisconsin.

 

The Slaty-Backed Gull was photographed on Northridge Lakes in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

The Slaty-Backed Gull was photographed on Northridge Lakes in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.

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The Slaty-Backed Gull is a large white headed (often with streaks) Gull, with a white belly and tail, dark pink legs, yellow bill with orange-red sub-terminal spot, dark steak through eye, and a dark slaty-gray back. The wings have a broad white trailing edge. It has a range of Far East Asia and the western coast of Alaska, but travels widely during non-breeding seasons. It has a habitat that is mainly coastal and northeastern Asia. Its diet consists mainly of fish and invertebrates, such as crabs and sea urchins.

 

The Ross's Goose was photographed at the South Shore Yacht Club in Bayview, Wisconsin.

The Ross’s Goose was photographed at the South Shore Yacht Club in Bayview, Wisconsin.

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The Ross’s Goose is small in size, primarily white with black wing tips, red-orange feet, and stubby red-orange beak. There is a dark morph, but it is rare. It has a range of Artic Canada and winters in western United States. It is found in the tundra (summer), salt and freshwater marshes, ponds, and grain fields in their winter. It eats mostly grasses and grains. This was a loner goose that stayed for some time with several Canadian Geese, and seemed to travel with them. I never saw it fly, but saw it at several times at different locations.