Because trees are bare, early spring offers clear views for watching wildlife. As trees leaf out and flower, many animals and insects come to pollinate them, eat them, and use them for cover. These animals are particularly active in spring.
Look for orange Baltimore orioles, bright blue Indigo buntings, and many other species! Hear them call as they establish their territories and look for mates. Some birds build nests and stay through summer. Others rest here briefly before flying further north. See a list of the 250 birds that have been sighted here over the years.
Where to look: In treetops everywhere.
The Arb is home to chorus frogs, American toads, and the largest population of spring peepers in Du Page County. With excellent camouflage and acute eyesight, frogs play a mean game of hide 'n seek. You likely won't see them, but you'll surely hear them. At times, their calls are deafening—amazing for critters as small as quarters!
Where to look: Near Burr Reed Marsh, Spike Rush Marsh, and other wetlands.
In spring, snakes seek heat in open places like sun-warmed roads. These pretty garter and brown snakes may look like sticks or rocks. Sleepy and slow this time of year, many snakes are killed by vehicles. So please be careful as you drive or bike. (Despite their reputation, nearly all snakes in Northeastern Illinois are harmless. Only one, the Massasauga, has venom. But this endangered animal hasn't been found in Du Page County in more than 30 years, according to the Illinois Natural History Survey.)
Where to look: Along roads.
Discover red-eared sliders, Eastern spiny softshell turtles, and common snapping turtles. You'll find them catching rays while lounging on rocks and logs in ponds. Approach these shy animals slowly and use binoculars if you have them.
Where to look: All our ponds and lakes, including Meadow Lake, and Lake Marmo, and along the river banks.