45.6 F
Naperville
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Spring reminder to respect and protect wildlife and waterfowl in all parks

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Above / Naperville Park District reminds park visitors to give wildlife space and refrain from feeding them. Let geese be wild and free. Allow them to dunk for food naturally in the DuPage River. (PN Photo)

As signs of spring appear in the woodlands and in all of the parks, the Naperville Park District reminds park visitors to be aware of the needs of birds and other wildlife who are nesting or raising their young.

Families of geese are fun to watch… Just don’t get too close. And let them find food naturally in local ponds and rivers. (PN Photo 2022)

Spring is nesting time for geese, who become protective of their mates and young. Signs that a goose is protecting its territory include:

  • A warning call
  • Spreading its wings 
  • Hissing sounds
  • Confronting any person or animal that comes near their nest
  • Lowering its head 

When walking in a park, try to stay away from protective geese. Learn more about Canada Geese at www.flightcontrol.20com/learn-more/about-canada-geese/.

Another animal to watch for in the spring is the turtle. In springtime, female aquatic turtles leave the water to find a suitable spot to lay their eggs. The most common aquatic turtles in our parks are painted turtles, red-eared sliders and common snapping turtles. Individuals who see a snapping turtle on a trail or in a park should only observe the turtle from a safe distance. Female turtles often cross roads to get to a suitable nesting site, even if it is far away from water, so drivers are encouraged to slow down and be observant this spring and summer. For more information about turtle nesting and how best to help them, visit www.wildlifeillinois.org/gallery/amphibians-and-reptiles/turtles/.

Spring also is the time when coyote pups are born and raised. Knoch Knolls Park is home to a family of coyotes and other wildlife. When walking on the trails at Knoch Knolls Park, stay on the trail and keep your dog on a leash. The Forest Preserve District of Will County provides helpful information about coyotes in our area at www.reconnectwithnature.org/news-events/co-existing-with-wildlife/coexist-with-coyotes

Signs along the Riverwalk are reminders to let ducks, geese and all wildlife can find food without human help. (PN File Photo)

Additionally, in the spring and throughout the year, the Park District asks park visitors to protect river wildlife by not feeding ducks or other waterfowl. Benefits of allowing ducks to find their own food include the following:

  • Waterfowl stay healthy by eating a varied diet 
  • Prevents overcrowding and aggression among the waterfowl 
  • Young fowl are protected from predators attracted to human food
  • The river stays cleaner 

These reminders are posted on the Park District’s website at www.napervilleparks.org/wildlifereminders.

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Naperville Park District
Naperville Park Districthttp://www.napervilleparks.org/
Created in 1966, the Naperville Park District is an independent, municipal agency serving the recreation needs of its residents. An Illinois Distinguished Agency since 1994, the District is one of only 1% of park districts across the country to be nationally accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Naperville Park District’s mission is to provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. The District maintains and operates more than 2,400 acres with 137 parks and provides more than 1,500 recreational, arts and environmental programs and special events annually. Included within the District’s operations are two championship golf courses, a multitude of playgrounds, trails, athletic courts and sports fields, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, two inline skating and skateboarding facilities, the Millennium Carillon, a paddle boat quarry, historic Centennial Beach, and the beautiful Riverwalk.
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