The famous American bald eagles at Tampier Slough in southwest Cook County have returned to the nest. Both eagles were spotted by the nest in mid-February and are now tending it. It’s believed they may have stayed in the area over the mild winter, as two adult eagles were recorded at nearby Long John Slough in December.
Because eagles typically return to one nest year after year, District biologists believe they're the same pair that successfully raised at least one eagle last year, the first time that's happened in Cook County in more than a century.
Read more about their return to breed in Cook County and learn the rules for viewing them…
The Forest Preserve District is testing water pumps, assessing burn plans, and readying crews in preparation for the spring burn season. The season typically lasts from early March through late April. Across the county, trained crews will burn in preserves where conditions are right for safety, smoke management and the type of burn needed in a given habitat.
Skunk cabbage generates its own heat.
Our earliest-blooming native plant, the flower of the bizarre skunk cabbage pushes up through the leaf litter (and often the snow) in March. It can even appear as early as mid-February. The common name “skunk cabbage” apparently combines two of the stinkiest things its namer could think of, and indeed, the skunk cabbage flower has a noticeably skunky scent. Perhaps most unusual, the skunk cabbage can generate its own heat, holding the air within its distinctive spathes (thick vegetable sheaths) at some 20 degrees above the surrounding air temperature. This power plant can even melt the snow around it.
Before almost any other group of migratory birds have arrived, waterfowl are coming to long, splashy, skidding stops on our lakes and rivers throughout March. If the words wigeon, scaup, bufflehead, merganser, teal, shoveler, or gadwall don’t sound like birds to you (let alone ones you can see in Cook County), it’s time to “go beyond mallards” and see the serious and colorful variety of ducks nature creates. Wear warm clothes and gloves, and take along binoculars, a bird book, a thermos full of something hot and a friend or two. Then head out to a local waterway!
New Volunteer Portal Unveiled
The Forest Preserve District is excited to announce a new tool that makes it easy for the public to connect to the preserves in new and different ways. Last month, the District launched a new online volunteer coordination system integrated into District website. This system dramatically expands the District’s ability to recruit, coordinate and communicate with volunteers. With volunteers all across Cook County, many of whom have a range of interests, an online system keeps everyone connected.
Weather forecast by WP Wunderground & Denver Snow Plowing