Edging into Autumn at SJF

by Carl Strang

October is the main transitional month from summer to winter, and this has been evident at St. James Farm Forest Preserve. Insects continue to be active, holdouts of the warm months.

Autumn meadowhawks have been one example.

Autumn meadowhawks have been one example.

Plants shift their resources into their roots, shutting down their leaves for the coming winter drought. The process produces the color that characterizes the fall.

The beautiful subtle browns of the prairie grasses are upstaged by the brilliant maples and other trees.

The beautiful subtle browns of the prairie grasses are upstaged by the brilliant maples and other trees.

Though September is the peak migration month for birds that will winter in the tropics, those wintering in the southern U.S. pass through in October.

Sandhill cranes have begun to cross DuPage County on their way to Florida. They will continue for a couple more months.

Sandhill cranes have begun to cross DuPage County on their way to Florida. They will continue for a couple more months.

Fox sparrow, a species that nests well to the north of Illinois

Fox sparrow, a species that nests well to the north of Illinois

Diverse sparrows have been stuffing themselves with seeds in the prairies and meadows of St. James Farm and other preserves, fueling for their continued journey south. Others, such as kinglets, hermit thrushes and the fox sparrow shown above, feed in the forest. If the winter is mild, a few of these may hang around.

 

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1 Comment

  1. November 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Lovely to see your part of the world through your photos and comments. The cranes look amazing.


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