Outdoor Report Feb. 6
Staff members used grooming equipment like this to create improved conditions for cross-country skiing at several locations this week.
The outdoors news for this week is the big snowfall. Staff members spent most of Monday clearing parking lots, walkways and other access points. And after that, they headed out to groom the trails for cross country skiing, including those at Blackwell, Waterfall Glen, Greene Valley, Fullersburg Woods, Danada, Herrick Lake, Meacham Grove and Springbrook Prairie.
Visitors can hear the latest conditions for cross-country skiing and the tubing hill at Mount Hoy at Blackwell in recorded messages on the Outdoor Report phone line at 630-871-6422.
Head over to the Wonders of Winter event on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Mayslake Peabody Estate for a chance to try out seasonal activities like ice fishing and snowshoeing, hop on a horse-drawn hayride and enjoy fun crafts. The open house is free and is suitable for all ages. Activities take place outdoors and inside Mayslake Hall.
The District played a part in two animal stories this week that illustrate why humans should take care to let wild animals be wild and only intervene when necessary to save them. A visitor to York Woods recently encountered a young buck wearing a pet collar. She was able to free the deer and likely saved its life. Read more about this story here.
At Willowbrook Wildlife Center, our animal care staff is treating an injured harlequin duck. Concerned bird-watchers were able to rescue the bird from near the Fox River and bring it to Willowbrook. It had been tangled in fishing line and is battling several other ailments. Read more about the bird’s story on Willowbrook’s Facebook page.
This week’s snapshot is a great-horned owl on a nest. These birds are already likely to be in mating pairs and may even be incubating eggs. Chicks hatch early in the year, which may give them better access to food sources and an improved change to survive their first winter. Read more about our area's most common owl and their activities this time of year here.
Great-horned owls often make use of abandoned nests built by other birds.