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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Always respect and protect wildlife in local parks and beyond


Above / Nesting time for geese and ducks is happening here and most everywhere. Naperville Park District reminds park visitors to respect and protect all wildlife while giving animals space and refraining from feeding them. (PN Photo)

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

Hissing is a warning way for geese to say “Stay away.” (PN Photo / Riverwalk)

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

  • Warning call
  • Spreading its wings
  • Hissing sounds
  • Confronting people or animals that come near their nest or their mate
  • 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/.

Watch out for turtles along the Riverwalk when entering the walk toward Sindt Woods. (PN Photo / Riverwalk)

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. If you see a snapping turtle on a trail or in a park, observe it from a safe distance. Female turtles often cross streets to get to a suitable nesting site, even if it is far 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 support and protect turtles, visit www.wildlifeillinois.org/gallery/amphibians-and-reptiles/turtles/.

Be mindful of red-winged blackbirds with their aggressive nature and loud trilling call as they defend their nests. (PN Photo / May Watts Park)

Spring and early summer is Red-winged Blackbird nesting season around wetlands. While on parenting duty, these protective birds may become aggressive defending their nests, which are hidden within the vegetation. Red-winged Blackbirds may fly towards intruders and hover above to scare them away. If this happens, simply walk away from the area. Visitors are advised to use caution around nesting areas. To learn more about Red-winged Blackbirds, visit www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-winged_Blackbird/id.

This time of year also is 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 as well as stamped messages in the concrete along the low-flow walk are reminders not to feed wildlife. Feeding ducks and geese is harmful. Let wildlife be wild by finding food on their own. (PN Photo)

Lastly, in the spring and throughout the year, the Park District asks park visitors to protect the health of the river and its wildlife and avoid feeding ducks or other waterfowl.

Watch for Mallard duck families coming soon to a park pond near you! (PN Photo / May Watts Park)

Benefits of allowing ducks to find their own food include:

  • 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 clean

These reminders also can be found at www.napervilleparks.org/wildlifereminders.

Whenever possible, enjoy sights and sounds of the great outdoors every changing season! Respect the Earth every day!


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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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