Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows

The following videos were taken at Deer Run Forest Preserve in our home county, Winnebago, in northern Illinois. This preserve has many sparrow species – Henslow’s, Grasshopper, Savannah, Vesper, Field, Lark, Chipping, and Song, along with Dickcissels. The cicada invasion is finally winding down, so it is easier to hear the birds songs. The video

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Farms to Prairies – Why Isn’t Illinois Really the Prairie State?

Prairies are one of the most under-conserved land areas in Illinois and elsewhere in the Midwest. Wetlands, forests, and riparian areas have all gotten extensive attention. So why not the prairies? Illinois at one time consisted of 22 million acres of prairie compared to 14 million acres of forest. These 22 million acres were part

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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Brown-headed Cowbird?

Why do we hate the Brown-headed Cowbird so much? Is the hatred deserved? After all, cowbirds don’t fragment habitat. The Brown-headed Cowbird is known to use the nests of more than 200 other bird species. Cowbirds used to follow the large herds of Bison and as nomads, didn’t have time for nest building and incubating.

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