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

Quiz: Test Your Hummingbird Braininess




Of the nearly 10,000 bird species in the world, hummingbirds are definitely some of the most compelling. In spite of being small in stature, they pack a wallop in multiple categories including amazing flying ability, incredible memories, voracious appetites and a willingness to fight off just about any bird that tries to move in on their territory.

In northern Illinois, ruby-throated hummingbirds usually start making their way into the area beginning in April and stay until about the end of September. These tenacious creatures migrate each spring to breed, returning to the warmer climates of Central America and Southern Mexico as winter approaches. The trip in either direction can be a demanding journey, especially for those who choose to fly over the Gulf of Mexico. This route equates to 18-22 hours of non-stop flying before reaching land approximately 500 miles later on the other side of the gulf.

So, while these bright and beautiful birds can be seen in the area, what can you do to make their stay here a good one? Hang your feeders, plant some nectar-producing native flowers, and prepare yourself by taking our quiz. The more you know, the more you’ll appreciate these miniature but mighty marvels.

Note: If on a mobile device, click here to take the quiz.

Think Twice Before Your Next Sip and Skip the Straw Instead

2/19/2019

Next time you order a drink from a restaurant, think twice before you unwrap the straw. Americans use millions of straws a day, and many of them end up as litter, eventually making their way into ours lakes and rivers. National Skip the Straw Day, held every February, aims to change that. 

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Creature Feature: The Wacky Woodcock

2/19/2019

The American woodcock is related to the sandpiper, but you wouldn't know it based on its behavior. Woodcocks are known for their unusual antics, including elaborate and sometimes noisy "sky dances" and a weird walk to help them find food.

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Skip the Stink: How to Keep Stink Bugs at Bay

2/15/2019

Winter is stink bug season, at least indoors. If you are finding these bugs around your house, don't squish them or step on them unless you're prepared for their noxious odor. Instead, your best bet is to prevent them from getting inside your house in the first place.

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