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Creature Feature: The Agile Gray Squirrel

Do you know what kind of squirrel is taking up residence in your yard? Learn more about eastern gray squirrels and how to differentiate them from other squirrels that live in Illinois.

Creature Feature: The Beloved American White Pelican

American white pelicans make their presence known in Will County twice a year, so get to know more about these biannual visitors in our creature feature.

Creature Feature: The Gangly and Graceful Great Blue Heron

With their long legs and necks and striking plumage, great blue herons somehow manage to be both gangly and graceful all at once. These birds are commonly seen throughout Will County, particularly near water.

Creature Feature: The Diminutive Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpecker in North America. Learn more about these birds in this creature feature.

Creature Feature: The Treasured Monarch

The monarch is the most recognizable butterfly in the United States, but these winged creatures aren't as common as they used to be.

Creature Feature: The Crafty Raccoon

Loved or reviled, the raccoon is one of the most common mammals in Illinois.

Creature Feature: The Mysterious Mink

The mysterious mink lives across Illinois, but are not often seen by humans.

Creature Feature: The Mighty Muskrat

If you've ever caught a glimpse of a muskrat, it was probably near water. These rodents spend most of their time in and around water, feasting on aquatic plants and animals.

Creature Feature: The Awesome Osprey

Osprey or eagle? Learn what sets the osprey apart from other birds of prey.

Creature Feature: The Wacky Woodcock

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.

Creature Feature: The Boisterous Bullfrog

The American bullfrog is common in the lakes and ponds across Will County. Do you know how to identify it?

Creature Feature: The Crafty Killdeer

One of most common birds in North America, the killdeer has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to protecting its nest from potential threats.

Creature Feature: The Playful River Otter

River otters once nearly disappeared from Illinois, but these playful creatures have rebounded, thanks to a successful conservation program.

Creature Feature: The Ubiquitous Garter Snake

The garter snake is the most common snake in the United States, living from coast to coast. But these snakes are still interesting creatures, despite being ubiquitous.

Creature Feature: American Badgers Are Digging Machines

The American badger isn't as well-known as many of the other mammals that call Will County home, but these fascinating creatures are exceptional diggers that are known to work alongside coyotes to hunt.

Creature Feature: The Cunning and Clever Red Fox

These sly creatures are skilled hunters and adaptable to many habitats and environments, including rural, suburban and urban areas.

Creature Feature: The Season-Predicting Groundhog

The groundhog becomes a celebrity each year on February 2, awakening from a months-long slumber to "predict" when winter will end. Beyond this annual ritual, most Americans know little about the groundhog.

Creature Feature: The Lovely Luna Moth

The lovely luna moth is prized by many for its beauty. But there's more to these moths than just their outward appearance.

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.

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.

Creature Feature: The Powerful Snapping Turtle

The snapping turtle isn't hunted by many animals, but it does face many risks in the wild, including being hit by cars and having their nests hunted.

Creature Feature: The Clever Green Heron

The green heron isn't as well known or as frequently seen as the great blue heron, but these birds are interesting in their own right.

Creature Feature: Coyotes, the Opportunistic Eaters

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

Creature Feature: The Prolific Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

You've probably seen a cottontail rabbit, but how much do you know about these common creatures?

Creature Feature: Opossums Are Nature's Pest Control

Opossums are so ugly that they're cute, but beyond their appearances we should appreciate them for their amazing pest control abilities.

Creature Feature: The More Vulnerable Spiny Softshell Turtle

Softshell turtles are a little different than most turtles. Learn what sets them apart and how they compensate.

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.

Creature Feature: The Often-Misidentified 13-Lined Ground Squirrel

That chipmunk you see may be a 13-lined ground squirrel. Learn how to tell them apart and everything you need to know about these ground squirrels.

Creature Feature: The Secretive Blue-Spotted Salamander

Have you ever seen a blue-spotted salamander? Most people haven't, but they do live in Will County. Finding one is a matter of knowing where to look.

Creature Feature: The Elusive, Fast Flying Merlin

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

Creature Feature: The Royal-Sounding Queen Snake

The royal-sounding queen snake is common in the Great Lakes region. This snake, often seen near water, is sometimes confused with the garter snake and the northern water snake. Learn what sets it apart.

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.

Creature Feature: The Loud and Imposing Red-Tailed Hawk

That hawk soaring overhead or perched atop a light pole is probably a red-tailed hawk. Learn more about these high-flying birds.

Creature Feature: The Season-Announcing Spring Peeper

Soon, spring peepers will be calling out in the night, letting us know spring has arrived.

Creature Feature: The Striking Red-headed Woodpecker

With its crimson cap and stunning black and white wings, the red-headed woodpecker is a beauty among birds.

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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