The smaller, drabber cousin of the Monarch is headed north in huge numbers this year.
Keep reading Painted Lady butterflies migrating through NYC
Tell the FWS that Chicago and Milwaukee would like Hackmatack, a new wildlife refuge they could drive to. You might see whooping cranes, river otter, cougars, blandings turtles and all kinds of birds there. They take comments until April 27 and are set to decide this fall.
In the last week hummingbirds flew into IL, NY, PA, OH, MD and even Ontario, way ahead of schedule. Freakishly, many fragile hummingbirds spent all winter up north.
Bald eagles chose the post-industrial wasteland of Chicago’s way South Side to build their first nest in the city in 130 years. The Chicago PD cancelled plans for a huge outdoor firing range nearby that environmentalists hated anyway.
Neighbors wanted to shelter a fawn in a garage. My brother convinced them to let the tiny baby deer sleep outside (while he guarded from nearby tent) till its mom returned. It worked. During a 4 am feeding, the doe showed up and walked off with her offspring.
Keep reading How my brother saved a newborn fawn
Dozens fed and tried to catch Rusty in Oak Brook, IL. After 3 year chase, he’s headed to UT’s Best Friends.
The grizzly bear committee report mainly just takes on a strawman claim that whitebark pine decline=grizzly decline. That’s not what the Times said. The agency’s report really doesn’t refute the real claim, whitebark pine decline=grizzly conflict increase. It just says it’s not the biggest factor.
This week the Fish and Wildlife Service announced they’d study a plan to start a wildlife refuge between Milwaukee and Chicago. What would the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge mean for wildlife watchers?A chance to see cranes, trumpeter swan, otter, badger, coyote, deer–and possibly cougar, whooping cranes, a funny kind of squirrel and some threatened bats and turtles.
The Friends of the Hackmatack NWR who have already been working for years to get this gonig, in part inspired by the fact that when Audubon Magazine boasted that “a wildlife refuge is located within an hour’s drive of every major metropolitan area” Chicago proved them wrong. It’s the biggest city without one. This refuge takes note of the need for wildlife watching near where people live; it’s designed to be within two hours of Chicago and Milwaukee. Judging by the excited email I got from my friend David Hall and others, I’d say it would be pretty popular.
Hackatack–named after the larch tree–would try to sew together the patchworkd of 88 parks and preserves already there so that wildlife can have some breathing room. The wildlife service wouldn’t force anyone out, but they would offer to buy property within the refuge boundaries.
I did some research on what animals we might expect to see if we visited the refuge:
Cougar: The Cougar Network has two confirmed sightings in the refuge area since 2008, one with physical evidence, the other verified by a qualified pro.
Trumpeter Swan: Maybe!