What the heck is this! For the most part our garden, here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, is overrun by common sparrows and purple finches and we get excited if anything other than a robin or grackle puts in an appearance so you can image how amazed I was when, looking through the window yesterday morning, I spotted this specimen creeping about under the cranberry viburnum, near where the sump pump empties out into the garden.
It seemed to be attracted to the water and mud that accumulates there, which is probably not surprising as, judging by the size of its feet, I’m guessing that it’s some kind of marsh bird. It looks like a youngster and is very cautious but it had obviously gone considerably off course.
I wonder, can it fly? I’m extremely concerned for its safety since there is a local cat that is always prowling around. I’m not sure what else would pose a threat to it. The other birds don’t seem too bothered by it.
I’m hoping that someone with a knowledge of birds can identify it for me. I took a look in my bird book and the nearest thing I can come up with is a Sora but I wouldn’t want to put money on it. I was loath to leave it but I had to go down to the grocery store and by the time I got back I could no longer spot it. If it appears again I’ll try to get some sharper pictures. Unfortunately, taking shots through the window and my shaky camera control don’t make for the clearest images.