The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

The Buzz

Who Will Win The Ultimate Animal Bracket Battle?

Thanks to the overwhelming success of our second annual "Tournament of Birds," we're branching out with a new animal bracket pitting two things against each other that people love and love to hate: cute and cuddly animals against creepy crawlies.

Following much deliberation, the seeding committee settled on a 16-team field, of which we're sure some people will disagree with a few of the choices. 

An opossum is cute and cuddly? Well, some would say they are so ugly they're cute. But there's no debating the merits of the northern saw-whet owl's No. 1 seed on that side of the bracket. And we're pretty sure the No. 1 seed on the other side, the wolf spider, gives most people the heebie jeebies.

It'll be up to you — and thousands of others — to pick the winner in each battle. How do you decide which one to vote for? Is it the one that you think really is the cutest or the creepiest? Is it the one that you think would win out against the other in a head-to-head fight in the forest? Is it the one you'd most like to see in person? Well, that's up to you. 

This is a fake battle, afterall, so in reality, there are no official rules.

Here's a look at the bracket:

Voting is simple. Each day at 10 a.m., we'll post that day's matchup. 

In the comments, simply say which of the two critters you are voting for. We'll tally up the votes and the winner will advance to the next round, with the cutest and cuddliest critter taking on the creepiest and crawliest for the championship.

Voting will open up Friday morning on Facebook.


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.

Don't Pitch Your Pumpkins; Put Them To Good Use


Halloween is over, but you've probably still got some pumpkins on your porch. Rather than throw them out with next week's trash, put them to good use. 

Read More

Nature Curiosity: Why Is Blue So Rare in the Animal Kingdom?


Creatures come in all sizes, shapes and colors, but not all colors are represented equally. Find out why blue is so rare in the animal kingdom.

Read More

Creature Feature: The Creepy, Crawly Wolf Spider


With eight long legs, eight eyes and fangs for mouthparts, wolf spiders look scarier than they are. In reality, they aren't dangerous at all, and they play an important role in the ecosystem.

Read More

Sign up for a Newsletter