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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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