Celebrate the Year of the Butterfly!

The Brooks Earth Action Team at Brooks Middle School has declared 2021 as the Year of the Butterfly in Oak Park! To help you celebrate, you can print out a one-page checklist of common butterflies in our area. Click or tap here to download a PDF version of the checklist.

You have our permission to print your own copies of these field guides for educational or personal use.

Go here to find out more about the Year of the Butterfly: https://westcook.wildones.org/2021-year-of-the-butterfly/

Have you seen a butterfly that’s not identified by our one-page guide to common butterflies? The Field Museum publishes more detailed guides to the nature in the Chicago area and beyond. Here’s a link to a seven-page guide to Chicago area butterflies: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/586

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * *

Spring scavenger hunts for south Oak Park

You can pick up paper copies of these scavnger hunts in front of 1003 South Elmwood in Oak Park during daylight hours (as long as it’s not raining). Click on the images below to download PDF versions.

You can find these animals and flowers throughout south Oak Park. However, pigeons are most common along the I-290 expressway:

Animals-Flowers-SOP

The Imprints in the Sidewalk scavenger hunt is keyed to a specific route along sidewalks in south Oak Park, Illlinois. The route starts at 1003 South Elmwood Ave., runs south to Fillmore St., then runs west along the north side of Fillmore to East Ave.

This side of Imprints in the Sidewalk is for children:

Prints-in-Sidewalk

This side of Imprints in the Sidewalk is for parents and other leaders. It tells you where to look especially hard for examples of the imprints. This side also presents a mystery to solve at the end of your walk:

Prints-in-Sidewalk-2

You have our permission to make as many printed copies of these files as you need for personal or education use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Week scavenger hunts for Columbus Park

Paper copies of these scavenger hunts will be available behind the Columbus Park Refectory at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22. After about 1 p.m. on April 22, you will be able to pick up paper copies in front of 1003 South Elmwood in Oak Park during daylight hours (as long as it’s not raining).

Click on the images below to download PDF versions:

EARTH-DAY-Spring-Wildflower

 

April Wildlife Columbus Park

 

Water-Birds-at-Columbus-Par

You have our permission to print and distribute as many copies as you need for personal and/or educational use.

 

 

 

Wonder Works scavenger hunts for April and early May

Click of the image below to link to a PDF version of the Animals and Flowers in Your Neighborhood scavenger hunt sheet:

AnimalsFlowersNeighborhood

Click of the image below to link to a PDF version of the Plants to Look for in Columbus Park during early May scavenger hunt sheet:

EarlyMayFlowersColumbus

Click of the image below to link to a PDF version of the Wildlife to Look for in Columbus Park during May scavenger hunt sheet:

WildlifeColumbusMay

You have our permission to print copies of these scavenger hunts for personal or educational use.

Common Birds poster

This is the 8.5 by 11 inch poster we distributed at the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Symposium on February 29, 2020. It includes photos of four colorful birds that you can see and hear on the west side of Chicago. You can download a PDF file of the Common Birds on Chicago’s West Side here:

CommonBirdsPoster

At Wonder Works, we developed a matching game with this field guide sheet. The “game pieces” were small plush birds that sing when you squeeze them:

SingingBirdsMatchingGame19-03-15_2788

The plush birds are manufactured by Wild Republic for the National Audubon Society. You can purchase them at many museum and zoo gift shops or from online sources. We made the game a bit more challenging by having five plush birds, with only four photos to match. That way children had to look more closely to decide whether the American Robin or House Finch matched the photo on the lower right corner of the field guide.

 

You have our permission to download and print these documents for personal and educational use.

Some Birds and Butterflies to Look for this Summer

We will be using these field guides at a couple of programs for young children this August.

Follow this link to download a PDF version of the Common Birds of Summer field guide:

CommonBirdsSummer

 

Follow this link to download a PDF version of the Common Birds of Summer field guide:

CommonButterfliesSummer

 

As always, you have our permission to display and print copies of these field guides for personal or educational us.

 

 

 

Mid-Summer Wildflowers and Wildlife at Columbus Park

Late July and early August are great times to look for wildflowers, insects, and birds at Columbus Park!

Mid-summer is a peak time for wildflowers that bloom in the wet meadow habitat at the tip on the peninsula (surrounded by the lagoon on three sides). Here’s a link to the PDF version of a one-page field gude to wildflowers that bloom there at this time of year:

WildFlowersMeadowMidSummer

Although the spring woodland wildflowers have long since gone to seed, there are still many wildflowers blooming in Columbus Park’s woodland and on the adjacent lagoon and its edges. Here’s a link to the PDF version of a one-page field guide showing some of those wildflowers:

WildFlowersWoodsMidSummer

All those wildflowers attract many kinds of butterflies, and the lagoon is home to the nymphs of several kinds of dragonflies. Here’s a link to the PDF version of a field guide to some of those insects:

Butterflies-Dragonflies-Columbus

Columbus Park’s lagoon attracts birds almost all year round. (Canada Geese graze in the park even in the dead of winter, except when the snow gets too deep.) Here’s link to the PDF version of a guide to the most common water birds at Columbus Park:

Water-Birds-4.0

Many land birds also spend the summer in the park, singing on territory, builidng nests, and raising their young. Here’s a link to the PDF version of a one-page guide showing some birds that nested in the park this summer:

BirdsThatNest

During July, 2019, we saw two kinds of hawks in Columbus Park: Cooper’s Hawks nested in the woods along Austin Blvd., and an adult Red-shouldered Hawk stopped by for a short visit (last seen being chased across the golf course by an Eastern Kingbird). Here’s a link to the PDF version of a one-page field guide showing the most common kinds of hawks and falcons in Columbus Park:

GolfCourseHawks

You have our permission to print your own copies of these field guides for educational or personal use.

If you want to learn more about the birds we’ve been seeing in Columbus Park, you can check out the park’s eBird Hotspot page: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L108479

The Nature in Columbus Park Facebook group has photos of plants and animals seen recently in the park, plus annoucements about upcoming events in the park: https://www.facebook.com/groups/233989470332311/

—–

The Field Museum publishes more detailed guides to the nature in the Chicago area and beyond. For instance, here’s a link to a five-page guide to prairie plants and animals in Chicago Park District natural areas: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/721

Here’s a link to a seven-page guide to Chicago area butterflies: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/586

Heres a link to a four-page guide to dragonflies and damselflies in northeastern Illinois: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/380

Here’s a link to a three-page guide to common summer birds in Chicago: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/593

This web page lists all the Field Museum guides to nature in the Chicago region: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides?region=1039