Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

Latest Story

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

October 14, 2011
Bullfrog Mid-Metamorphosis

Growing up is hard to do…imagine what it must be like for a bullfrog! To become an adult frog, a tadpole must undergo an astounding transformation called metamorphosis.

This bullfrog, spotted at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, is nearing the end of this process and is sporting brand new land-worthy limbs as a result.

October 5, 2011
Time to Get Out the Winter Clothes

In spring, the arrival of brilliant yellow American goldfinches is a welcome sign that warmer temperatures are on their way. In fall, on their return flight, so to speak, their stopovers are bittersweet reminders that winter is now just around the corner.

October 3, 2011
Migratory Bird Profile: Pied-Billed Grebe

Fall migration is in full swing at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Some highlights so far have been frequent sightings of a female belted kingfisher and tons of warblers in mixed-species flocks including orange-crowned, black-and-white, Nashville and Wilson's Warblers.

In coming weeks, I will profile several of the migratory species that are making their way through Nature Boardwalk. The pied-billed grebe seems like a good place to start!

September 28, 2011
Northern Map Turtle

A new turtle species has made its way to the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Back in August, I spotted it for the first time under the Lester E. Fisher Bridge, hanging out in a patch of algae.

September 16, 2011
Pandorus Sphinx Moth

This spectacular, massive insect is a pandorus sphinx moth. If I didn't know better, I'd guess this was a bug found in tropical rainforests or a similar exotic locale, far away from the asphalt and skyscrapers of downtown Chicago. But amazing as it may seem, this insect is found right here in the city.

September 13, 2011
Trio of Cormorants

A trio of double-crested cormorants has graced us with their presence at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Last year we saw one on October 5, so this is the second year in a row we’ve seen these birds come through the ecosystem in the fall.

September 8, 2011
Where Did the Painted Turtles Go this Summer?

We’ve been tracking a subset of the painted turtles at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo all summer. Now that the season is drawing to a close, I’d like to show you two examples of what the data look like from this project. In the process, you’ll get to see what these turtles did at Nature Boardwalk over “summer vacation!” (As you’ll see, they did a bit of traveling.)

First, we’ll start with Turtle P.

August 31, 2011
A Killdeer’s Bag of Tricks

This little shorebird was spotted recently at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Actually, I heard it before I saw it, as this little guy was making quite the racket!

The killdeer gets its peculiar name from the sound of its loud, high-pitched call, which supposedly sounds like the bird is yelling “kill-deer.” Killdeers are a type of shorebird called a plover. Plovers mostly eat invertebrates, such as insects.

August 18, 2011
Hatchling Snapping Turtle

At this time of year, snapping turtle hatchlings begin to emerge from their nests on land and make their way to water. We recently found this little one making its way to the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Our pond offers good snapping turtle habitat because it has a muddy bottom and lots of emergent and aquatic vegetation around the edges, which the species likes.

August 10, 2011
Elusive Ladies

A female blue dasher dragonfly at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

The first time I saw this dragonfly above, I was convinced I must be looking at a new species, one I’d never seen before at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. It turns out this is actually a blue dasher, one of the most common species at the pond. Although I’d counted dozens of blue dashers at Nature Boardwalk, I’d never seen a female!

Syndicate content