Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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July 30, 2014
Hillside Haven

To the untrained eye the natural landscape encircling Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo may seem unplanned, its profusion of prairie plants randomly dispersed.

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April 6, 2012
Where Are the Bunnies?
Did it seem like there were fewer cottontail rabbits around this winter than there were a few years ago? It certainly seemed that way to me. Rabbits are known to have cyclic populations, reproducing rapidly, increasing to enormous densities and then crashing to a low before rising yet again.
March 28, 2012
The Pond from a Snapping Turtle’s Point of View

A radio transmitter will let scientists track this snapping turtle at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo--just as they've tracked painted turtles at the pond since 2010!

Lincoln Park Zoo biologists have been tracking painted turtles at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo since September 2010.

March 19, 2012
Black-Crowned Night Herons Arrive Early

Black-crowned night herons have returned to Lincoln Park! On Wednesday, March 14, we saw the first three adults resting in some trees on the island in the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

In previous years, adult black-crowned night herons have arrived at Nature Boardwalk around the beginning of April.

February 28, 2012
Bunnies Are Homebodies

Each rabbit is tagged with a unique number. The ear tag on the left is red, indicating the rabbit was seen in 2012. Photo by Marian Vernon.

February 10, 2012
What Do Bees Do in Winter?

A honeybee during warmer weather.

The brown and gray terrain of a winter garden or natural area such as Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo may not appear to be very lively.

February 3, 2012
An Unexpected, but Welcome, Visitor

An unexpected visitor has made its way over to the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. This gorgeous male wood duck was spotted paddling about in the open water just last week. Spotting this bird, with his exuberantly colorful plumage, is sure to brighten even the dreariest winter day. This flashy duck draws your eyes with iridescent greens and purples, a spotted chest and a flamboyant crest that extends out from the back of his head.

January 12, 2012
Black-Crowned Night Herons Stop Over

Black-crowned night herons have been spotted on the island at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo as recently as Tuesday. While a few herons resting in the trees from time to time pales in comparison to the rambunctious colony that made its home at the site last year, these occasional visitors are of interest because they represent a new development.

January 9, 2012
Christmas-Morning Coyotes

Wildlife cameras reveal that a variety of creatures were stirring at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo on the night before Christmas this year, including this pair of coyotes. This photo was taken on 12/25/11 at 3:09 a.m. by a motion-triggered wildlife camera positioned in a grassy area near the pond at Nature Boardwalk.

As this photo highlights, coyotes are active mainly at night in urban areas.

December 20, 2011
What Do Painted Turtles Do in Winter?

Painted turtles in climates like ours hunker down for winter and don’t emerge until the sun is out and plants are sprouting again in the spring. On particularly cold, blustery winter days, I tend to think that isn’t a bad plan!

Painted turtles bask at Nature Boardwalk in this photo from April 2011.

December 9, 2011
What Do Squirrels Do in Winter?

Brrr, it’s getting cold outside! Have you ever wondered how animals like squirrels survive Chicago’s freezing temperatures without so much as a coat? While people typically respond to the cold by staying inside and putting on layers, it turns out squirrels have a similar strategy for dealing with the challenges of winter.

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