Have you ever wondered what kind of wildlife is monitored by trail cameras, where you can spot waterfowl in the preserves or which plants are the first to pop out of the ground in spring?
If so, March’s episode of “The Buzz,” the Forest Preserve District’s monthly nature show, will answer all your questions when it premieres at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, on the District’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
The show will begin with a segment on the Forest Preserve’s wildlife monitoring program and how it helps wildlife prosper in the preserves. Becky Blankenship, the District’s wildlife biologist, will describe how trail cameras, coverboards and aerial surveys are all used to track creatures. She also will discuss the various scientific research projects that involve species that live in the Will County preserves.
“Becky has a wealth of knowledge and works so hard to keep tabs on our wildlife populations,” said “Buzz” host Suzy Lyttle, a Forest Preserve program coordinator. “You’ll see a day in her life as she checks trail cameras and coverboards hoping to find something exciting. And viewers will hear all about the other projects she handles and how the public can participate in wildlife monitoring.”
During the show’s second segment, interpretive naturalist Jessica McQuown will highlight the various types of waterfowl that can be viewed in the preserves at this time of year.
“She will show us her favorite spots along the river to find waterfowl,” Lyttle said. “Then we will dive deeper into what are waterfowl and how to ID them. I think a lot of us would look out on the water and say 'Oh, that’s just a duck.' But the more you know, the more fascinating they can be!”
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The show’s Buzz Bit will focus on skunk cabbage, which is one of the first plants to emerge every spring.
“This odd plant can produce heat to melt the snow to make way for its unique flower,” Lyttle said. “Skunk cabbage gets me really excited because the plants start off the spring ephemeral flower season. These spring wildflowers are only here for a short window of time before the leaves on the trees emerge and block the forest floor from the sun.”
Finally, the show will feature a Moment of Zen highlighting the pelicans that drop by Will County forest preserves, including McKinley Woods and Rock Run Rookery, each spring and fall during migration.
After Wednesday’s broadcast, a recording of the show will be available for viewing on the District's Facebook and YouTube pages. “The Buzz” also airs on cable stations in Joliet, Naperville, New Lenox, Romeoville and Tinley Park.
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