Gretchen Steele

Just call me a bird nerd

The indigo bunting is one of Illinois’ most colorful and common summer songbirds. (Gretchen Steele)Just call me a bird nerd, I suppose. I don’t think I fall into the hard-core birder category by any means; at best, I am a casual bird watcher. But, I love photographing birds, and my all-time love of waterfowl has led me to be fascinated…

Important work: Natural resources careers abound

Essentially two different natural resources careers in action – a site super and fisheries biologist. (Gretchen Steele)For the f irst time in what seems like years, we are finally starting to see job openings in a multitude of natural resources-related careers. My social media feeds and email inbox has been filled with job opening announcements from state and federal agencies,…

Bully blackbirds and backyard feeders

It’s February and almost time for the Great Backyard Bird Count, so my bird feeders are full. I can easily waste most of a cold winter day watching the colorful songbird activity around the various feeding stations that I have scattered around the backyard. Heck, I even have feeders right outside my office window to distract me from the tasks at…

‘Roundup’ thins out invasive carp

By Gretchen Steele Contributing Writer Baldwin, Ill. — Bowfishers from five states braved tough bowfishing conditions during the second annual Kaskaskia River Rough Fish Round Up held at the Kaskaskia State Fish and Wildlife Area. The tournament was hosted by DNR and was a sanctioned Bowfishing Association of America points tournament. The $1,800 first-place prize money drew both experienced tournament…