Late June Wildflowers and Wildlife in Columbus Park

Here are a couple of checklists to wildflowers and wildlife we will be looking for during upcoming field trips to Columbus Park. We updated them on June 24th, because some of the wildflowers on last week’s checklist have already gone to seed:

Here’s the link to the PDF version of a checklist of wildflowers that are blooming in the park during late June:

LateJuneWildflowers

And here’s a link to a PDF checklist of some wildlife we expect to see in the park during June:

LateJuneWildlife

Feel free to print your own copies of these checklists for educational or personal use.

 

 

 

June Wildflowers and Wildlife in Columbus Park

Here are a couple of checklists to wildflowers and wildlife we will be looking for during upcoming field trips to Columbus Park:

Here’s the link to the PDF version of a checklist of wildflowers that are blooming in the park during mid-June:

JuneWildflowers

And here’s a link to a PDF checklist of some wildlife we expect to see in the park during June:

JuneWildlife

Feel free to print your own copies of these checklists for educational or personal use.

 

 

 

A one-page checklist for Columbus Park wildflowers in mid May

The spring wildflower show in the woodland by Columbus Park’s lagoon keeps changing! As of May 9th, I could no longer find flowers of Bloodroot, Sharp-lobed Hepatica, or Dutchman’s Breeches, but May Apple and a Shooting Star were blooming, and Golden Alexanders were getting close.

If Wild Columbine makes it into flower soon, this one-page checklist for Columbus Park Wildflowers  should be good for the weekend of May 11-12, 2019:

MidMayWildflowers

I’m sorry if your favorite spring wildflower did not make it onto this one-page sheet. The Field Museum publishes a much more complete guide to Chicagoland spring wildflowers: https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/513

Three new field guides to spring birds

We developed three new field guides to birds we’ll be seeing this spring in and around Columbus Park. Two of those guides were used as matching games at Wonder Works, a Children’s Museum in Oak Park.

First, you can follow this link to download a PDF of the one-page field guide to Birds that arrive during early spring at Columbus Park:

EarlySpringBirds

 

Now that most of the ice has melted on Columbus Park lagoon, you can also download our one-page guide to Water Birds at Columbus Park

WaterBirdsPoster

We developed the water birds guide into a matching game that we played at Wonder Works:

WaterBirdsMatchingGame19-03-15_2792

For the simplest version of the game, we laminated two copies of the field guide, and then cut out the nine pictures from one of the sheets to use as game pieces. Then our young visitors were able to match exact copies of the photos on the guide sheet.

To make the matching game more challenging for older children, we also developed sheets with different photos of the same nine species of water birds found on the field guide, with three different photos of each kind of bird. To find the matches, children had to pay much more attention to the unique features that helped identify each bird. Here are links to PDF files with those more challenging game pieces:

Game pieces sheet one: Mallard, Wood Duck, and Canada Goose

Game pieces sheet two: Greart Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, and Green Heron

Game pieces sheet three:  Gulls, Cormorant, and Pied-billed Grebe

 

Our third new one-page field guide was developed for younger children. It includes larger photos of four colorful birds that sing here on the west side of Chicago. You can download a PDF file Common Birds on Chicago’s West Side here:

CommonBirdsPoster

We also developed a matching game with this field guide sheet, only this time 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.

Two new guides to Columbus Park wildlife: Winter birds and winter mammals

We put together two new field guides and premiered them at Wonder Works last week.

You can click here to download a PDF version of the Birds to Look for this Winter at Columbus Park field guide, or click on this photo:

WinterBirdsColumbus

Our new guide to winter mammals in Columbus Park has three parts:

  1. MammalsFIELDGUIDE  There is a one-page field guide to common mammals and their tracks. You can download a PDF of the field guide here.
  2. MammalsCHECKLIST  There is also a checklist version of the field guide, with boxes to check when you find a mammal or its track. You can downlaod a PDF of the checklist here.
  3. MammalsPOSTERS  We also developed a series of footprint posters that you can use, with the checklist, for an indoor mammal scavenger hunt. You can download a PDF with all five posters here.

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

Symposium specials: Simplified guides to local wildlife

Wonder Works presented a lunchtime play station at the Collaboration for Early Childhood‘s 2019 Symposium on February 23rd. The play station included an exhibit of field guides developed by the Nature in Columbus Park project. We developed three simplified guides to local wildlife especially for the play station, and you can downlaod PDF versions of these field guides here.

Follow this link for a PDF of the Winter Birds in Oak Park simplified field guide. You can see these birds in Oak Park right now:

SimplifiedWinterBirds

Follow this link for a PDF of the Water Birds in Columbus Park simplified field guide. These birds will be returning to Columbus Park’s lagoon this spring, once the ice melts:

SimplifiedWaterBirds

Follow this link for a PDF of the Animals in Columbus Park simplified field guide. Squirrels and rabbits can be seen in the park year-round. Turtles and frogs will emerge from the depths of the lagoon once the ice melts and the water warms:

SimplifiedAnimals

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

New field guide and checklist: Woodpeckers seen around Oak Park, Illinois

Our latest one-page field guide has photos of the six kinds of woodpeckers that we see around Oak Park. Some are here year-round, others are only seen during spring and fall migration.

You can click here to download a PDF version of the Woodpeckers seen around Oak Park field guide, or click on this photo:

WoodpeckersFieldGuide

There is also a checklist version of the field guide, available here:

WoodpeckersCHECKLIST

We used the woodpeckers checklist as a scavenger hunt at Wonder Works, a Children’s Museum in Oak Park. The children searched the museum for small posters of the woodpeckers on the checklist. When they found a poster, they recorded its code on the checklist.

You can download a (large) PDF version of the woodpeckers scavenger hunt posters here:

DownyPOSTER

 

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

Field guide and checklist: Falcons and Hawks seen around Oak Park, Illinois

We developed a one-page field guide to some of the falcons and hawks that we have been seeing around Oak Park, Illinois, duirng the past yard. You can download a PDF version of the field guide by clicking here or on this photo:

falconshawksfieldguide

There is also a simplified checklist version of the field guide, available here:

falconshawkschecklist

We used the falcons and hawks checklist as a scavenger hunt at Wonder Works, a Children’s Museum in Oak Park. The children searched the museum for small posters of the birds on the checklist. When they found a poster, they recorded its code on the checklist. You can download a (large) PDF of the nine posters here:

merlinposter

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

Another field guide and checklist: More Birds to Look for this Winter around Oak Park, Illinois

We developed another one-page field guide to the birds that we have been seeing in Oak Park, Illinois, this winter. (Access the first winter bird field guide here.)

You can click here to download a PDF version of the More Birds to Look for this Winter field guide, or click on this photo:

morebirdsfieldguide

There is also a checklist version of the field guide, available here:

morebirdchecklist

We used the winter birds checklist as a scavenger hunt at Wonder Works, a Children’s Museum in Oak Park. The children searched the museum for small posters of the birds on the checklist. When they found a poster, they recorded its code on the checklist.

You can download a (large) PDF version of the more winter birds scavenger hunt posters here:

morebirdswoodpeckerposter

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