Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo

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September 12, 2014
Black-Crowned Night Herons Thriving

Last winter the Chicago Park District, after consulting with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Urban Wildlife Institute, made the very difficult decision to remove a number of trees south of Nature Boardwalk in Lincoln Park. Many of these trees were ash that suffered terrible damage at the hands (well, actually mouths) of the emerald ash borer beetle, and became safety concerns.

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July 13, 2011
Not All Frogs Go “Ribbit”

Walking around Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, you might hear a loud bellowing sound, like a cow. If the sound doesn’t seem to originate in the nearby Farm-in-the-Zoo Presented by John Deere, you may just be listening to the call of a bullfrog.

After all, bullfrogs got their names for sounding like cattle.

July 11, 2011
Black-Eyed Susans in Bloom

Today’s burst of rain and wind did nothing to dampen the spirits of the black-eyed susans at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. These cheery, above-the-knee perennials have been quite successful in the establishment phase of the new ecosystem. Full sun, two years of a nice, long, wet spring and some well-drained soil makes a good recipe for to grow these in any garden.

July 6, 2011
Father Fish at Work

Male pumpkinseed, bluegill and largemouth bass at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo are busy these days. At many locations around the pond, you can look down from the boardwalk and see these fish hard at work making, maintaining and defending their nests.

The nests look like round craters in the pond’s sandy substrate.

June 29, 2011
New Painted Turtles at Nature Boardwalk

Yesterday morning, eight new painted turtles were introduced to the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo with the help of kids from zoo Conservation Camp as well as generous Nature Boardwalk supporters, including representatives from ArcelorMittal.

The kids tipped plastic containers holding the turtles into the water so the reptiles could swim off and find their perfect place in the pond.

June 28, 2011
Least Bittern at Nature Boardwalk

Birders are enjoying a rare sighting at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. As these photos by local birdwatcher and photographer Clara Coen show, the least bittern, a secretive heron species, has been seen among the pond’s bulrushes.

June 23, 2011
Butterfly Season Begins

Flowers are blooming everywhere you go at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Right now, yellow flowers are particularly conspicuous and abundant at the pond. The flowers in the photograph are called tickseed or Coreopsis palmata. All these blossoms make the boardwalk a prime habitat for butterflies looking to drink nectar from flowers.

The butterfly in the photo is an eastern tiger swallowtail.

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.

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