Peregrine falcons have adapted to city life, but species without the star power are still languishing.
Small birds and rodents are learning the hard way that the Cooper’s hawk is back in town.
On the brink of extinction a few decades ago, sandhill cranes now descend by the thousands every year on a favorite spot in Indiana.
Urban arborist Charlie Miller saves Chicago’s trees from bugs, disease, the weather, and sometimes their owners.
The dry spell we’re experiencing this spring may have an upside: it will limit run-ins between man and beaver. The spring rains that cause rising rivers usually signal the beginning of beaver-busting season. April and May are traditionally when towns and park districts along Illinois rivers rip out beaver dams built during the winter. If […]
They may look delicate, but the pair of swans camped out under the Diversey bridge can take care of themselves.
The appearance of a rare duck sets birders atwitter.
Our globally warmed climate seems to be giving us winter in short bursts. Between the blizzards we have the sort of weather usually associated with late fall or early spring. This alteration of the seasons seems to be changing some well-established ecological patterns. Reports come in of short-eared owls apparently still flying south in January. […]
Winter is a good time for me to start studying butterflies. In summer I get distracted and confused when the objects of my study flutter on before I am ready to identify them. If that little creature dancing on the breeze in June could wait just one more week, I would be ready to declare […]
This past summer Daniel John Sobieski wrote a letter about one of my columns. I felt honored. For those of us who regularly read the letters to the editor in Chicago newspapers, Sobieski is a household name. If memory serves, he has been a regular contributor for at least 30 years. His name is distinguished. […]
November storms bring birds, and as a rule of thumb, the bigger the storm the better the birds. This year we marked the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald with a storm as violent as the one that sent that ship to the bottom of Lake Superior. The storm reached its peak on […]
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of a series of scientific papers under the general title “The Ecological Relations of the Vegetation on the Sand Dunes of Lake Michigan.” Written by Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles of the University of Chicago, the papers were a major contribution to the young science of […]
Our mythology claims that we are a nation carved from the wilderness. The pioneers pushed through trackless forests to “people” a continent, facing bears, wolves, mountain lions, and Indians along the way. If you raise any objections to the preceding list of menaces, you will be accused of political correctness and other sins against true […]
September is the kindest month. A month when electric bills are going down and gas bills have not yet begun to go up. A month when mosquitoes are dying off but butterflies are still with us. A time when migrant songbirds enliven every backyard and parkway and the last flowers of summer are in full […]
I used to have a problem staying interested in plants. My first interest in the natural world was birds. Birds are not only beautiful but endlessly active. They soar so high you can barely see them. They make short, quick flights from perches on tree limbs to capture flying insects. They run after retreating waves […]