Articles filed under Reiter, Jeff

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  • Though common, showy goldfinch sightings still thrill Jun 3, 2013 12:00 PM
    Our Jeff Reiter recently met a visitor from another country who was dazzled by the common American goldfinch. With their showy gold and black plumage, goldfinches can be found all over the country even by the most novice birders.

  • Sweet surprises keep birding fun and interesting May 28, 2013 12:00 PM
    In his first column, back in 2004, Jeff Reiter had the "Gumption" to say that birding is like a box of chocolates. It wasn't the most original thing to say, perhaps, but it still applies. April proved it, for Reiter and for lots of other eager watchers who worked around the rain and flooding. Nothing keeps birders inside during spring migration.

  • Cantigny hopes to attract chimney swifts this spring with new tower Apr 17, 2013 10:40 AM
    April is a time of rising anticipation for local birders, who know the best of spring migration is just ahead. Our Jeff Reiter enjoys the colorful pageant as much as anybody, but this year he's looking forward to seeing one particular species. Not a flashy one either, just a little sooty gray bird that most people never notice.

  • Quest for 500th “life bird” ends in Evanston Mar 10, 2013 5:00 AM
    Our Jeff Reiter's chase to add his 500th bird to his "life list" took him to Miami neighborhoods and led him to scour the Morton Arboretum before he spotted a visitor from the West in the yard of an accommodating Evanston couple.

  • Quest for 500th “life bird” ends in Evanston Mar 8, 2013 11:53 AM
    Our Jeff Reiter's chase to add his 500th bird to his "life list" took him to Miami neighborhoods and led him to scour the Morton Arboretum before he spotted a visitor from the West in the yard of an accommodating Evanston couple.

  • One bird in a flock may not be like the others Feb 6, 2013 12:33 PM
    When our Jeff Reiter started counting a flock of mallards, he discovered an impostor - a black duck - among the fowl. Experienced birders know to expect the unexpected, and Reiter says that's a smart approach if you want to see new birds. "There might be an uncommon species, or even a mega-rarity in our midst, but it takes a careful and patient observer to detect it."

  • Marsh regular exposes wonders of 'patch birding' Jan 7, 2013 11:14 AM
    Our Jeff Reiter explores the wonders of "patch birding" through the eyes of Fillmore Dryden, who makes McKee Marsh in Warrenville his home away from home. The practice of bird-watching in the same location on a regular basis is a great way to learn the local birds.

  • Rare sightings made 2012 a wild and wonderful year for birders Dec 17, 2012 10:12 AM
    Our Jeff Reiter says local birding stories have been piling up like twigs inside a wren house. November is always prime time for spotting rarities, but this year was ridiculous. Birds that seldom visit the Chicago area were popping up all over. Some are likely still in the area, offering potential for more thrills this winter.

  • Birders know much of their hobby involves watching, waiting Nov 8, 2012 8:24 AM
    Patience is a virtue in many aspects of life, but especially for birders. Our Jeff Reiter says his patience paid off big time in October when he spotted a rare-for-this-area tufted titmouse in his backyard.

  • October is a good time to maximize your birding Oct 15, 2012 12:03 PM
    Too busy for birding? Lately it has felt that way for our Jeff Reiter. In September he attended only two organized bird walk but plans to make amends in October. There is so much to see this month, including brown creepers, fox sparrows and, yes, even yellow-bellied sapsuckers. He says he'll feel like a sapsucker if he misses any more of the autumn spectacle now upon us.

  • Vacation, birding go hand in hand Aug 13, 2012 11:34 AM
    Roll your eyes and turn the page if you must, it's time for the annual "what I did on my summer vacation" column by our Jeff Reiter. It's in his DNA: he travels, he watches birds, he takes notes. This time, the Pacific Northwest, in late June and early July. Some pre-trip research suggested it was not the "birdiest" time of the year to visit the region, but visiting some new avian scenery is always fun.

  • For birders, the beauty’s in the find not the flash Jul 14, 2012 10:16 AM
    True birders know it's not all about color and flash. Some of our favorite birds may appear rather plain, but they possess other qualities that make them appealing. Our Jeff Reiter has always liked the catbird. It's gray. And with a little jelly in his backyard bird feeder, he has had the chance to see this beauty up close.

  • Bloomingdale brothers part of youth birding movement Jun 7, 2012 6:00 AM
    Our Jeff Reiter says it is rare indeed to find two teenagers who are nuts about birds and birding. The Deese brothers - Graham, 17, and Henrey, 14 - fit that description. Given the choice of watching warblers or TV, these kids will take the birds every time.

  • Greater prairie chickens still pecking in Southern Illinois Apr 27, 2012 12:33 PM
    Jeff Reiter says he's always wanted to visit downstate Newton to see the mating dance of the prairie chicken. When he finally got his chance, he wasn't disapppointed. Sitting in a blind for three hours, he witnessed the males strutting their stuff to impress the females. Unfortunately, the greater prairie chickens numbers are dwindling.

  • April is the new May for birders Apr 2, 2012 11:28 AM
    Area birders are used to turning their attention to the sky in May to catch the annual spring migrations. But if you wait that long this year, our Jeff Reiter says you might miss the whole show.

  • It takes a patient birder to identify gulls Mar 20, 2012 8:28 AM
    Enjoying gulls is either an acquired taste or acquired illness, depending upon whom you ask, our Jeff Reiter says. Dedicated gull watchers occupy an extreme niche inside the birding world that few dare to enter. Those who do are fearless, patient and usually highly intelligent. They seem to thrive on problem solving. Then theres the rest of us.

  • Common redpoll is anything but the norm in Northern Illinois Feb 4, 2012 12:01 PM
    Bird names can be misleading, our Jeff Reiter says. Take the red-bellied woodpecker, whose pinkish underparts are one of its least conspicuous field marks. The common redpoll, because of its name, is a species that might be dismissed by new birders. “Common” birds just aren’t very exciting, right? Well, what’s common and what isn’t depends on where you live. Around here, redpolls are a rare winter visitor.

  • Online community an invaluable aid to Illinois birders Jan 5, 2012 11:25 AM
    Most of us jump at the opportunity to see a species for the first time, especially if it’s a bird uncommon to our region. The key is knowing the what, when and where. Our Jeff Reiter says an online community known as IBET alerts birders to notable sightings and other useful information.

  • A birder’s news, notes and observations from a very 'big year' Dec 11, 2011 9:07 AM
    Jeff Reiter's shares his notes and observations on the year in birding. From a major motion picture about the avian hobby to exciting sightings, he shares the ups and downs of birdwatching.

  • October journal reveals the daily joys of birding Nov 14, 2011 11:59 AM
    “The Big Year,” a feature film about birding, wasn’t the only thing birdy about October. For chirping out loud, the Cardinals even won the World Series. For our Jeff Reiter, the month was defined by a string of short but satisfying bird encounters that reminded me it’s the seasonality — and the little surprises — that make birding so rewarding.

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