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

June 17, 2011
Time to Fledge!

Lincoln Park Zoo biologists, including myself, have been monitoring the local colony of endangered black-crowned night herons since the first birds arrived at the area around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo at the end of March.

The population seems to have stabilized at around 300 adult birds. On May 31 we heard nestling sounds from some of the nests for the first time in the season.

June 10, 2011
How Many Spots?

This large dragonfly with striking coloration is one of the most common species we observe at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo in the summer. The species is named after the number of spots on its wings, so one might assume its name would be fairly easy to remember. It turns out it’s a bit trickier than you might think.

June 1, 2011
Dancing Dragonflies

The warm weather finally arrived, and with it came multitudes of dragonflies. Biologists at Lincoln Park Zoo do regular surveys of dragonflies and damselflies at the pond at Nature Boardwalk. Last year we saw a dozen species of dragonflies at the site, and this year we’re always looking to add newcomers to the list.

May 27, 2011
Songbirds to Brighten a Sunny Day

There’s nothing like a songbird to brighten your mood, especially when the weather’s as gloomy as it has been lately.

May 17, 2011
It’s Baby Season: Enjoy from a Distance!

Spring is baby season, and with babies come protective parents. At Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, we’ve seen some Canada goose goslings and mallard ducklings scooting around the pond of late, typically under the watchful eye of a parent.

With mallards, the mother looks after the ducklings while they grow and learn how to make it on their own.

May 13, 2011
Black-Crowned Night Herons: 400 and Counting

Photo by Joel Pond

It’s been about six weeks since the first black-crowned night herons arrived at Lincoln Park. At first, the herons seemed to hang out primarily on the island in the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

May 6, 2011
Painted Turtles Are Out and About

The sun is finally out! The painted turtles at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo have certainly noticed; many turtles have been basking around the island on rocks or logs this week.

Some of the pond’s turtles are equipped with radio transmitters that allow biologists at the zoo to track their movement throughout the pond. This lets us better understand how the turtles use the site.

May 5, 2011
Warblers Galore

In the last few weeks, we’ve observed an influx of all types of warblers at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Warblers are small insect-eating birds that, as the name implies, are also acclaimed vocalists. They have narrow, very pointy beaks, like tiny tweezers.

The warblers are passing through the site on their migratory route, which helps explain the sudden increase in abundance and diversity.

April 28, 2011
Brand New Butterfly

This little, rather nondescript insect was seen laboriously making its way along the path at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed to be a cabbage white butterfly, newly emerged from its chrysalis.

April 22, 2011
Swallows Swooping at Nature Boardwalk

As temperatures rise and flying insects become more abundant, insect-eating birds become more common as well. One such group of birds is swallows, and lately we’ve been seeing lots of them at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

A group of swallows is called a flight. This name is appropriate, as these birds are constantly in flight, never seeming to rest even for an instant.

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