North suburbs of Chicago. Over the last few years I've taken to scanning the tree-tops when in the car - both as passenger and driver. This week I saw a MASSIVE bird sitting alone at the top of a pine tree in a normal suburban neighborhood next to the road. Copper/Brown in color. It took my breath away. I turned around at the next opportunity to drive by for a second look. By then it was in flight. Pretty confident it's a red-tailed hawk. Just downloaded the Merlin app, will be enjoying that too. Thanks!
I'm in the Chicago suburbs. I've been experimenting with different suet bricks for my feeder. I mostly get chickadees, sparrows, cardinals. One more rare bird I spotted enjoying it was a small sandy/greyish bird with a flash of yellow under its wings. About the size of a chickadee. I wonder what it is.
I also have downy woodpeckers that go up and down a river birch tree. When in the car, I enjoy spotting hawks perched high up in trees looking for food.