Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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June 10, 2014
We’re in the Mood for Indigo

Tracking native plants as they bloom at different times from spring to fall is one of the best ways to enjoy Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. The blue false indigo now flowering makes this week an ideal time to start, but hurry—the blooms will only hold their color for another week or so.

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November 5, 2010
Whose Footprints Are These?

Today I found these footprints at Nature Boardwalk under the Lester E. Fisher Bridge. Can you guess what animal left these tracks?

November 3, 2010
Soaring Sunflowers

Sawtooth sunflowers at Nature Boardwalk have grown over 5 feet tall in as many months! These plants started out as tiny plugs back in the spring, and now I’ve seen sawtooth sunflowers around the pond that are taller than me (5’4”)!

Some of the tallest of these plants were knocked over due to the high winds we’ve been having in these last few weeks. However, this sort of thing is natural.

October 28, 2010
What’s That?

Can you tell what this picture is of? And no, it isn’t robot armor or a Martian’s appendage, which is what it reminds me of… This is a photo of an ordinary sight that can be found on any given day at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. The photo has just been zoomed in and cropped. Have a guess? Scroll down to see if you’re right.

That is the leg of a grasshopper.

October 25, 2010
Basking at the Boardwalk

Humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the warm, sunny fall weather we’ve been having at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Today there were three painted turtles basking on the partially submerged branches around the pond’s island. If you look closely, you can see that the one turtle photographed is taking in the sun and stretching out his back legs.

October 21, 2010
It’s Fall: Time for More Fish!

There are two seasons for fish stocking: spring and fall. Back in the spring we introduced the first batch of fish into the pond at Nature Boardwalk, consisting of bluegill, pumpkinseed and fathead minnows. Now it’s time to introduce the second batch, which includes largemouth bass, the pond’s top predator.

October 19, 2010
What’s Swimming Through the Shallows?

We stocked the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo with fish in July, and we’re already seeing successful reproduction! Bluegill, pumpkinseed and fathead minnows have all produced fry (baby fish).


Fish fry in the waters of Nature Boardwalk.

To see these fish—the first generation since the pond’s transformation—look in shallow areas with some shade.

October 15, 2010
Bird Watching At the Pond

The migratory bird season is upon us, and we’ve been seeing all kinds of exciting new birds visiting Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Here are some of the species we observed just last week.

American Coot
The pond at Nature Boardwalk is the perfect place for this bird to rest and refuel, as its preferred habitat is wetlands with emergent vegetation around the edges.

September 29, 2010
Know the Butterflies of Nature Boardwalk

A while back I wrote a couple blog entries about monarchs and eastern tiger swallowtails—two of the most colorful, largest, and flashiest species of butterflies I’ve encountered at Nature Boardwalk. However, I don’t want to overlook all the smaller butterflies sporting relatively subdued color schemes. These little guys are just as lovely, and they’re a lot easier to come across at the pond. Here’s an introduction to some of the most common species I encounter at Nature Boardwalk.

September 22, 2010
The Painted Turtles Are Here!

Yesterday was an exciting day at Nature Boardwalk! The pond now has 10 new reptile residents.

Kids from Beidler School helped with the painted turtle introduction. I walked to the edge of the water with groups of two or three children, and together we tilted over the individual containers the turtles were housed in. This allowed the turtles to make their way out of the container and then decide where to swim next.

September 14, 2010
What’s Making that Sound?

This male black-legged meadow katydid wasn’t hard to find. All I had to do was follow the relentless chirping! These katydids are loud, chirping and buzzing away throughout the day from a perch on a blade of grass.

So, what’s the purpose of all that racket? This is the serenade the male sings to attract females to his territory to mate.

The singing sound of the males is made by them rubbing their forewings together.

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