Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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February 24, 2014
Sharing Notes on Urban Wildlife

For the past few years the Urban Wildlife Institute has been chronicling the diversity of wildlife at Nature Boardwalk and Lincoln Park Zoo. We use motion-triggered camera traps to collect photographs of mammals (coyotes, raccoons, etc.), conduct visual observations of birds and butterflies, and even deploy hoop-net traps to monitor the turtle populations in our ponds.

Older Stories

December 20, 2013
What Do Rabbits Do in Winter?

Lincoln Park Zoo is home to a wide array of species spanning several taxa, from armies of Madagascar hissing cockroaches to our baby eastern black rhinoceros, King. However, species diversity at zoos goes beyond the wildlife on exhibit; many native and non-native species live within the landscaped vegetation or water features around a zoo, in animal exhibits or in the buildings on grounds.

December 13, 2013
Owl Be Seeing You in All the Unfamiliar Places

While not quite at Nature Boardwalk, there have been reports of snowy owls at Montrose Harbor, just a few miles north of Lincoln Park Zoo.

November 1, 2013
Fall Bird Sightings at Nature Boardwalk

Birding during fall migration is hard. Not only have males of a species exchanged their vibrant breeding colors for a more casual (i.e. drab) look for winter, the often melodious and easily identifiable bird songs I use to help identify a species are now faint and indistinguishable “chip” noises.

September 9, 2013
Royal Family

A monarchy is ruling at the zoo for the moment, but its reign will be brief.

Monarch caterpillars and butterflies are thriving at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. This is an ideal time to see them in their Chicago home, but don’t wait too long. The monarchs depart for their southern realm in late October.

August 19, 2013
100 Years of Birds Update

Three months have passed since we finished the 2013 Lincoln Park migratory bird survey.  From March to May, Research Intern Kelvin Limbrick and I slowly walked three separate 1.5-mile-long transects spanning the length of Lincoln Park, from Diversey Parkway all the way down to North Avenue.

August 14, 2013
What’s Up? Dock!

This is the first year since its planting that prairie dock has bloomed so successfully across Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. What is this native plant exactly?

August 5, 2013
Cliff Swallows Close to Fledging

A little over a month ago cliff swallows began building nests at Nature Boardwalk. These avian architects slowly constructed a small ledge under the Lester E. Fisher Bridge by using their beaks to bring back small amounts of mud from the edge of the pond.

June 26, 2013
Cliff Swallows Building Nests at Nature Boardwalk

A cliff swallow begins building a nest beneath the bridge at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.


June 18, 2013
What's Blooming at the Zoo?

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis, is flowering now at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Each blue flower lasts one day and has three distinct petals. The plant species is larger than normal this year thanks to consistently moist soil. The yellow blooms in the background of this photo belong to coreopsis, a.k.a.

May 6, 2013
Let’s Get “Emberizeddy” to Rumble

A mixed-sparrow group in Lincoln Park
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