Observe Your Preserve
What is Observe Your Preserve?
Observe Your Preserve (OYP) is a new website developed by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to give teachers students and forest preserve fans a way to share observations and interact with District naturalists and ecologists, and to learn more about plants, animals and cultural resources. We've put together a short video to help you understand how to use the site and start learning about your local species.
Observe Your Preserve Monthly Challenge
We are well into autumn now, and a number of changes are beginning to appear in the preserves that indicate we are on the doorstep of winter. This video will help you Create an account so you can post your November observations on Observe Your Preserve.
Here are some suggestions, things to watch for, as signs of this transition. Let others see what you find — your observations will post to our main map:
You know winter is coming when…
• Great horned owls are increasingly vocal as they re-establish their territories. Where and when are you observing this behavior?
• November is the rutting season for deer. This is the time to be especially careful when driving, as deer can throw caution to the winds. Are you observing any odd deer behavior?
• Winter moths are flying. This is the time when adults of the linden looper make their appearance, the brown males fluttering dreamily through the forest in the daytime, seeking the wingless females.
• We have already experienced the first frosts. When will the first snowfall come? The first skim ice on ponds and lakes?
• Sandhill cranes, ducks and geese are among the last migrants to pass through on their way to warmer winter quarters. Keep your eyes (and ears) to the skies.
• Leaf fall doesn’t happen all at once. What is the order in which the different kinds of trees around you lose their leaves?
• A few ground crickets still are singing, at least on the warmer days. How late will they go?
• See what other people are observing — click here.
Living With Coyotes
Coyotes are active right now, which means the phones at Willowbrook Wildlife center are ringing off the hook from people wondering how to handle sightings in their neighborhoods. Don't be alarmed, be coyote smart. Naturalist Ron Skleney discusses why coyotes are on the move and visible right now.
School is back in session…
• Use OYP with your students.
• Sign-up for the District’s School, Scout and Youth Programs newsletter.
• Check out the Forest preserve District’s educational programs and resources.
• Use OYP to bridge Illinois learning standards with your class curriculum.