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The Buzz

All Buzz Articles

Quiz: How Savvy Are You About Snowy Owls?

Take this quiz to see how much you know about this treasured species.

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Have Your Christmas Lights Been Cut? Blame These Troublemakers

Almost nothing kills the holiday spirit quite like looking out your window to find that the Christmas lights you spent hours hanging outside are no longer lighting up the winter night.

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Creature Feature: The Stunning Snowy Owl

Snowy owls are a prized find among bird-watchers, because the beautiful birds are a sight to behold set against a wintry backdrop.

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Quiz: Test Your Beaver Brainpower

We all know the saying "busy as a beaver," but how much do you really know about these buck-toothed rodents?

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Nature Curiosity: How Do Birds Hear?

If you’ve thought to yourself "Do birds have ears?," well the answer to that question is both yes and no. 

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They Were Hired to Cut Down A Dead Tree; They Ended Up Saving an Owl

It wasn't a normal day on the job.

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Real or Fake Christmas Tree: Which One Is Better for the Environment?

Think you’re doing Earth a favor by reusing the same artificial Christmas tree year after year rather than cutting down a fresh one each holiday season? Not so fast with the rationalization.

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The Science Behind This Week's Winter Wonderland

Did you wake up to a winter wonderland Monday, only to find sunny skies and no fresh snowfall? It was all part of a beautiful weather phenomenon some parts of Will County and northern Illinois experienced this week.

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What Happens When Biodiversity is Lost? Rats, Pigeons Move In, Study Shows

According to a new study published by PLOS Biology, as species that are unique to particular ecosystems vanish, the more common — and mostly undesireable ones — move in.

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Creature Feature: Nature's Lumberjack, the Beaver

Beavers' ability to build structures is one of the most significant in the animal kingdom and these animals are second only to humans in their ability to change the environment they live in.

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The Geminid Meteor Shower Will Peak This Week

You'll have multiple chances to try to see the Geminid meteor shower, which will be at its peak on December 13.

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CDC Warns of Self-Cloning, Disease-Carrying Tick That Can Cause 'Massive Infestations'

The cold weather may be here and with that comes some bug-free outdoor excursions, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm for next year in regard to an exotic, self-cloning tick that's invading the United States.

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Your Christmas Tree Could Have Up to 25,000 Bugs On It

If you don't take precautions, it could be the gift that keeps on giving.

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Wardens Rescue Window Breaking, Basement Trashing, Pool Table Dancing Deer

Animal encounters come in all shapes and sizes, but this is the incredible tale of a basement, a deer that’s run amok and two conservation officers who engaged in an epic tag-team wrestling match to subdue it.

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Creature Feature: The Big, Colorful Wild Turkey

Most of us think of turkey as the star of the Thanksgiving table, but these birds live among us too, right in our own forests and prairies. 

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The Leonid Meteor Shower is Coming This Weekend and Here's What You Need to Know

It may be cold outside, but this weekend you may want to bundle up, grab some hot cocoa and settle in by a warm fire to watch the show overhead in the nighttime sky.

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Quiz: How Sharp Are You When it Comes to Sandhill Cranes?

It's that time of year when you'll likely hear sandhill cranes overhead, and possibly see them. But do you know anything about them?

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Creature Feature: The Predatory Great Horned Owl

The great horned owl is most well known from storybooks and folklore, because it is the owl that makes the famous hooting call.  

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Rabid Raccoons? Nope ... Police Say They're Just Drunk Raccoons

Dealing with drunk, disorderly and sometimes wild creatures of the night is nothing new for police, but in this case, authorities in a West Virginia town weren't handling a pedestrian disturbance.

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Creature Feature: Coyotes, the Opportunistic Eaters

Coyotes try to remain unseen, hunting under the cover of darkness to protect themselves from being hunted.

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For First Time in Years, Red-Throated Loon Sighting Reported in Will County

It was a fairly rare treat for birders.

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Dive Into This Quiz on Birds of Prey

How much do you know about these impressive creatures are built for hunting, with sharp beaks, strong talons and spectacular flying ability?

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Why is This Canada Goose at Lake Renwick Flying Upside Down?

It's not your common, everyday occurrence.

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Creature Feature: The Tall, Bulky and Elegant Sandhill Crane

Sandhill cranes are a magnificent sight, whether flying overhead or congregating in prairies and fields, but we often realize the birds are nearby because we hear them before we see them.

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It's Mating Season for Deer, Which Can Have Deadly Consequences

During this time, deer tend to move about more freely, causing an uptick in collisions with vehicles.

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'Most Beautiful' Meteor Shower of the Year Coming This Weekend

Even though it won't be as impressive as the summer's Perseid meteor shower, NASA officials say there should be about 15-20 meteors per hour that can be seen.

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Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Coyotes?

See if you can ace the test.

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Creature Feature: The Elusive, Fast Flying Merlin

These birds are smaller than most falcons, known for their powerful flying and astute hunting abilities. 

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Injured Hummingbirds Bring Big Challenges for Wildlife Rehabbers

They eat constantly, fly in excess of 30 mph and weigh less than a nickel, and it's that combination which can make diagnosing and treating an injured hummingbird quite the gargantuan task. 

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Now is a Great Time to See Snakes in the Preserves

If you like limbless reptiles, you're going to love the next few weeks.

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Creature Feature: Praying Mantis is Perfectly Designed for Hunting Prey

September and October are the most common times to see these intriguing insects.

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Have You Seen Any Black Squirrels in the Preserves?

While no hard data exists, anecdotal evidence indicates this black squirrel at McKinley Woods is indeed a rare find locally.

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Five Bloody Good Facts About Mosquitoes

Here's a little something to read while you're busy itching and scratching all those bites.

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Chimney Swifts Are Putting on Impressive Nightly Show in Mokena

The village building is in the older section of Mokena, and the chimney swifts have been congregating there in the fall for at least the past several years.

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This Big Fungus Find Comes in Very Small Package

Fungi can come in all shapes, colors and sizes, and while the big ones across the forest floor can be amazing to see, it's the teenie-tiny ones that can truly take your breath away.

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Wolf Spiders: Often Accused, Rarely Guilty

Wolf spiders tend to get a bad rap in autumn for invading your house as the weather cools, but they are mostly being falsely accused. 

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This Carnivorous Plant has an Appetite for Bugs

Animal-eating plants seem like an idea ripped from a Hollywood movie script – “Little Shop of Horrors,” anyone? – but carnivorous plants do exist, even right here in Will County.

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The Harvest Moon is Coming and It's Guaranteed to Mess With Your Head

When the moon rises on September 24, the "moon illusion" will be on full display.

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Five Fascinating Facts About the Monarch Super Generation

The monarchs you see at this time of the year are truly special, part of a “super generation” different than the previous three generations.

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Ghost Plant: The Albino on the Forest Floor

This unique specimen is often confused for a fungus, but it's a perennial plant that lacks chlorophyll.

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Freaky Fungus of the Week: Old Man of the Woods

When it comes to fungi that leave no mystery as to how they got their name, Old Man of the Woods definitely fits the bill.

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Rabbits, Stink Bugs are Most-Googled Wildlife Images in Illinois

While we often get the biggest reaction on social media from creepy crawlies such as colorful spiders and huge snakes, data shows you're searching for stinky and cuter forms of wildlife.

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Peak Monarch Migration is Right Around the Corner

If you enjoy the sight of colorful monarchs fluttering about, you're going to love the next few weeks.

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Freaky Fungus of the Week: Bleeding Tooth

We apologize in advance to anyone with trypophobia.

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Quiz: Are You Brilliant When it Comes to Bats?

Can you ace the quiz?

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Freaky Fungus of the Week: Dead Man's Fingers

There's no mystery how this one got its name.

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Get Ready for a Spectacular Perseid Meteor Shower

This will be the best meteor shower of the year.

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The Stink on Skunks

If you – or more likely, your dog – find yourself on the receiving end of a skunk’s stinky spray, you can’t say you weren’t warned. 

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The Story of Eastern Phoebes, a Suspect Raccoon and a Rebirth

Every day in the preserves, natural selection and the cycle of life are carrying on and, oftentimes, people see it firsthand.

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Department of Public Health Issues Warning After 17 Rabid Bats Found in Illinois

Five bats in Will County have tested positive for rabies so far this summer.

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Cicada Killer Wasps' Annual Rampage in Full Swing

It's not just what they do, but how these wasps do it that may send shivers up your spine.

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Caught on Video: Snake Slithers Onto Windshield of Moving Car

What would you do?

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Can You Identify These 15 Birds? Take the Test to Find Out

Birding can be a rewarding experience, but also tricky to get those identifications just right.

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These Animal Dads are Worth Celebrating

Many males play a key role in giving their offspring a much-needed jump-start. 

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After Tragedy Strikes, Game Warden Saves Unborn Fawn with C-Section

Within seconds, the unborn fawn was out and breathing on its own.

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Quiz: How Much Bee Brainpower Do You Have?

Take this quiz to test your knowledge on these very important pollinators.

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It's Prime Time for Snapping Turtles in the Preserves

If you're a big fan of turtles, particularly snapping turtles, it's a great time to head out into the preserves and do a little wildlife spotting.

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Quiz: How Good is Your Great Blue Heron Knowledge?

Take this quick quiz to test your knowledge of these amazing birds.

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Watch a Bee Complete its Life Cycle in Seconds

We've previously brought you the amazing metamorphosis of Monarch butterflies and now it's time for something just as magical: The life cycle of a bee condensed into 60 seconds.

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Study Shows Squirrels Steal Half of Food Put in Bird Feeders

Squirrels can be relentless when it comes to stealing a meal.

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Dandy Dandelions: This 'Common Weed' has Many Benefits

Each spring, homeowners declare war on dandelions, pulling out all the stops to keep America’s most hated weed out of their yards and gardens. But is it a war worth waging? Should we just leave these plants be?

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Squirrel 'Came in Like a Wrecking Ball,' Immediately Regretted It

There's no shortage of videos featuring these furry little critters taking a spin on squirrel-proof feeders, but this one is particularly entertaining.

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Homer Glen Man Checks Pool, Finds 'Thousands' of Tadpoles

We get our fair share of calls about wildlife, but right out of the gate it was clear this wasn't going to be the standard call.

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What Squirrels Did Under the Hood of This Car is Just Plain Nuts

These little critters can make quite a mess and here's the photo to prove it.

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A Brief History of Wildlife Stealing Everyone's Tiny Cameras

If you have grand plans this summer of planting a camera outside in hopes of getting some incredible footage, consider using a tether.

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Watch the Incredible Moment a Bison Calf is Born

The scene recently played out at Nachusa Grasslands, where bison were reintroduced to the prairie in 2014.

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Spring Breeding Season Reminder: Leave Young Wildlife Alone

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is issuing a warning to would-be do-gooders.

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Quiz: Test Your Hummingbird Braininess

While these bright and beautiful birds can be seen in our area, learn more about these miniature but mighty marvels.

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Baltimore Orioles Have Landed in Illinois

Here's another colorful sign of spring that may be popping up in your yard.

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Midewin Announces Birth of Bison Calves

The bison herd in Wilmington just got a little larger. And cuter.

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Quiz: Check Your Monarch Butterfly I.Q.

Show your appreciation for this butterfly’s tenacity and check your monarch I.Q. with our quiz. You may never think about this popular pollinator in the same way.

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Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Rabbits?

That time of year is upon us, when the local forest preserves and your yards could quite literally be littered with rabbits and their offspring.

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Watch: The Power of Nature as Told Through Timelapse Video

There are many ways to showcase the sheer power of nature and, while a photo or standard video can do the trick, there's nothing more magically jaw-dropping than a timelapse video.

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Rescued Baby Squirrel Gets Tiny Cast for Broken Arm

Wildlife rescues can come in all shapes, sizes and levels of cuteness.

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Midewin to Offer Bison Tours Starting in May

This spring and summer, volunteer rangers will be leading guided hikes in search of the national mammal.

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Anti-Parasite Drug Could Turn Humans Into Mosquito-Killing Machines

New research shows scientists may be able to transform human blood into deadly poison for mosquitoes.

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Monarchs are Moving North and You Can Chart Their Progress

Not only are hummingbirds inching closer to Illinois, but the great monarch butterfly migration is in full swing and they're also making some incredible progress toward the area.

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Quiz: How Smart Are You About Salamanders?

Take this quiz to see how much you know about the salamanders that can be found in Will County.

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Hummingbirds are on Their Way and You Can Map Their Migration Progress

Each year, birders in the area look forward to the summer return of hummingbirds. 

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Bald Eagles' Insane Food Fight Caught on Slow-Motion Video

It's a bald eagle tussle like you've never seen before.

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Five Wild and Wacky Woodcock Facts

When it comes to birds you can see in the preserves, the American woodcock may be the most unique one you'll come across. 

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Before and After: Prescribed Burn at Braidwood Dunes

It's a stunning contrast in photos.

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Caught on Video: Bald Eagle Attacks Nesting Bald Eagle

The bald eagle was minding its own business, tending to two eggs in a nest that's being monitored by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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Raccoon In Awkward Situation Generates Some Buzz

It's apparently the season for animals getting themselves in all sorts of uncomfortable situations.

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Quiz: Test Your Pelican Proficiency

They are magnificent birds, traveling and foraging in large flocks, making them nearly impossible to miss. 

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Police, Animal Control Rescue Coyote Stuck in Fence

The coyote will be treated for injuries to her forelegs and mouth and then released back into the wild.

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Diver Gives Us Shocking Look at How Much Trash is in Waterways

When Rich Horner went for a dive to check out some marine life, he found "so much plastic" instead.

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Bald Eagles Rescued After Nearly Fighting to Their Death

A once-in-a-lifetime encounter for a Pennsylvania woman likely saved two bald eagles from a death that would have been nobody's fault but their own.

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What's the Better View: Fall or Winter at Goodenow Grove?

We have to admit that they're both pretty amazing. But if you had to choose, which one would it be?

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10 Insane Wildlife GIFs for National Wildlife Day

Some of these GIFs will leave your head spinning, which wouldn't be a problem if you're an owl. But you're not.

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Can You Ace This Bison Quiz?

Here's your chance to test your knowledge of these amazing animals.

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Be Mesmerized by This Snake Slithering Along a Wire Fence

This snake isn't local, but that doesn't make the Tasmanian tiger snake's moves any less noteworthy. 

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Good Samaritans Rescue Coyote with Jar Stuck to its Head

Thankfully for one coyote, some kind folks came to the rescue to get it out of a situation that not only looked ridiculous, but totally stunk.

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Is Your Wildlife Knowledge Worthy of a Gold Medal?

Just like the Olympians in South Korea, animals have all sorts of incredible skills and strengths. 

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Daring Raccoon Rescue is Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse

It's fair to say things didn't go exactly as planned when a crew tried to rescue a raccoon that had been trapped on the ledge of a suburban Detroit building for days.

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Which Wild Animal Are You?

We all can display some wild tendencies every now and then. 

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Spectacular 'Super Blue Blood Moon' Coming on Jan. 31

As long as there are some clear skies, January is going to close out with a rare heavenly trifecta for astronomy fans in the form of a supermoon, blue moon and lunar eclipse. 

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Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Raccoons?

Are you a trash panda expert? Or is your knowledge total garbage? 

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Bird Executes Huge Photobomb During Weather Forecast

When it comes to photobombs, bigger always is better.

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Quiz: Are You a Bald Eagle Expert?

Test your knowledge to see how much you really know about these amazing birds.

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Five Fascinating Facts About Coyotes

Coyotes are incredibly smart and adaptable. But how much do you really know about these generally reclusive animals that are afraid of humans?

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Unsavory Squirrel Steals Cookie, Attacks Police Officer

In the end, the law won. 

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8 Adorable Videos of Chipmunks Eating

Simply put, chipmunks can be pigs.

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Police 'pawsitively surprised' when trash bandit turns itself in — on moving vehicle

Police officers deal with all sorts of situations on a daily basis, but this one may go down as the strangest — and cutest — of all time.

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Glow-in-the-dark algae lights up Australia

A unique bioluminescent bloom in Australia is setting the Internet on fire.

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Amazing Video Captures Rare Sight: A Great Horned Owl Going For a Swim

It's an incredibly majestic and incredibly rare piece of video, courtesy of some hikers in a canyon in Lake Powell, between Arizona and Utah.

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99-million-year-old baby bird found in amber is a fossil like we've never seen before

The hatchling is the most complete fossil ever found in Myanmar amber, with its head, wings, skin, feathers and a clawed foot clearly visible to the naked eye.

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Squirrel invades home, and complete pandemonium breaks out

Squirrels belong outside, and this video proves that.

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D.C. Duck Ramp Proves Sometimes Nature Just Needs a Boost

They took to it like a duck to water, naturally.

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Animals Drinking Water is the Best Thing on the Internet This Week

A GoPro, a bucket of water and a parade of thirsty animals is truly mesmerizing.

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Current Headlines

Holiday Closures Christmas, New Year's Day

12/19/2018

All Forest Preserve visitor centers will be closed in observance of the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays.

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Sign Up Now for Wildlife Monitoring Workshops 

12/19/2018

Both beginning and experienced wildlife monitors are invited to attend a series of free, upcoming workshops on recording data related to frogs and toads, dragonflies, and butterflies found in Will County forest preserves.

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