Photos: Hawk checks in at Hyatt Place

On Earth Day this year, The B Square spotted a red-tailed hawk perched on top of the Monroe County courthouse.

In the last three months, several more  downtown hawk sightings have been made.

These shots are from the Monday morning (Aug. 8, 2022). It was perched on the courthouse weathervane, but flew off to the east, then looped back around to the southwest side of the square and landed on top of the Hyatt Place hotel building. It sat there for a couple minutes, surveying downtown Bloomington, before heading off north towards the Johnson’s Creamery smokestack. It did not land on top of the smokestack. Continue reading “Photos: Hawk checks in at Hyatt Place”

Advice for students: Bloomington is for the birds

As a local government reporter, it is not hard to justify writing about the fancy birds that hang out in Bloomington’s public parks.

The birds at public parks are a part of my regular beat, because public parks are run by local government.

Local government officials can look to the redhead ducks at Miller-Showers or great blue herons at Griffy Lake  as an example to follow: As long as I have been watching, Bloomington’s pretty birds have never violated Indiana’s Open Door Law.

But the public parks are not the only outdoor places in Bloomington. There’s plenty of remarkable birds in other parts of town. Continue reading “Advice for students: Bloomington is for the birds”

Photos: Red-tailed hawk moves for change of venue, swaps courthouse weathervane for tree branch

The Monroe County courthouse red-tailed hawk beat, which The B Square has been covering since Earth Day this year, has been quiet for a few weeks.

Before Saturday (May 28) the last sighting of the hawk had been on May 9. On that day the bird  took up is customary post on top of the courthouse weathervane, then flew off in its nonchalant spectacular way.

But on Saturday morning, The B Square was able to document what appears to be nest-build activity by the hawk, in a tree on the courthouse grounds.

Below are separate sets of photos, from Saturday and three weeks ago. Continue reading “Photos: Red-tailed hawk moves for change of venue, swaps courthouse weathervane for tree branch”

Traffic notebook: 14 years of deer crashes

On Thursday evening, The B Square chanced upon two deer grazing in the side yard of the Reformed Presbyterian Church at 1st and Lincoln Streets in Bloomington.

A passerby who was walking her dog was not surprised by the deer—they’re frequent visitors around those parts. Two joggers seemed unimpressed—they ran past without breaking stride.

One of the deer crossed over to nibble some of the presumably greener grass on the other side of the street, but quickly rejoined its companion.

Lincoln Street is one-way north, but the deer did not check for traffic in either direction before crossing mid-block.

Is that an area where drivers often crash into deer? To get a quick answer to that question, The B Square checked into the state of Indiana’s crash datasets, which go back to 2007. Continue reading “Traffic notebook: 14 years of deer crashes”

Photos: Redhead ducks return to Bloomington’s Miller-Showers Park

Around the end of February last year, I was alerted to the presence of redhead ducks at Miller-Showers Park in Bloomington.

Redhead ducks not permanent residents of the park. They were just passing part of the winter there. I had never seen redhead ducks in real life, so I wrote a column about them.

Since then, I have made regular visits to Miller-Showers Park looking for wildlife. And over the last year, I have been rewarded with sightings of a Great Blue Heron  and a Mediocre Muskrat.  I count this as remarkable for a park that is nestled between two of Bloomington’s heaviest traveled streets: College Avenue and Walnut Street.

I was hoping that the redheads would return this year.

I was prepared for disappointment, but on Sunday afternoon I was delighted to see they had returned. Here’s some additional photos. Continue reading “Photos: Redhead ducks return to Bloomington’s Miller-Showers Park”