A rookery is a colony of breeding birds. Often these are man-made, and these can look like the exposed superstructure of a huge sunken pirate ship, teeming with herons, cormorants and egrets. Others are natural collections of large nests at the top of tall trees, attracting the same types of birds. I like the natural rookeries much more, and on March 20, 2016, I took some photos of Great Blue Herons at a natural “heronry” in the Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton, Illinois. There were about 12-15 nests at the time, every one in use.
I came across a family of two Sandhill Crane parents and two colts enjoying a beautiful day in June, 2015, at the Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine, Illinois, oblivious to picnickers and photographers alike.
On August 11, 2015, I stopped by the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, after work. I heard what I found later to be a Virginia Rail calling very loudly in the reeds of the marsh, and with a lot of patience managed to photograph a female Virginia Rail and one of her four chicks.