Wildlife and habitats
Lockport Prairie includes many different types of habitat, including forest, prairie, savanna and wetland. The Des Plaines River runs along the edge of the preserve. In addition to being home to several endangered plant species, the habitat areas at Lockport Prairie also support a few endangered animals as well.
The wildlife in a dolomite prairie is similar to what is found in other types of prairies and includes a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, according to IDNR. Mammals at the preserve include raccoons, cottontail rabbits, muskrats, voles and mice. Lockport Prairie is also home to wetland areas and their associated flora and fauna.
The preserve is a great place for birding because of the many different species big and small that can be present on any given day, including songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and birds of prey, IDNR reports.
“I’ve seen some really beautiful birds in different seasons, such as hawks, eagles, pelicans, all kinds of waterfowl, warblers and other songbirds,” Guest said. “Once I saw a whole flock of cedar waxwings hanging out in the trees and brush along the road.”
In summer months, dragonflies and pollinators are busy and abundant, zipping and zooming around and hanging out near the plants on the trail, she said.