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An Illinois River Almanac

Jason Haupt's Energy and Environment Blog

Animal of the Week: Red-tailed Hawk

One of the most prolific birds of prey seen in Illinois is the Red -tailed Hawk. They are frequently seen along roadsides perched in trees, on light poles, and fence poles. When you see a hawk, you are most likely seeing a Red -tailed Hawk. Red-tailed Hawks are large hawks with rounded wings and short tails. There are several "morphs" of the Red-tailed Hawk, but they are most commonly b...

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Animal of the Week: Bobcat

Quiet and mysterious, the Bobcat is an animal found in Illinois. Most people either do not know it is found in Illinois or will go their entire life never seeing one. It is the only native wild cat still found in Illinois. The Bobcat is this week's animal of the week. Though most people have never seen one in the wild, they could probably identify a Bobcat if they ever saw one. The Bobc...

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Growing Clean Water

Water is important to us all, plays a major role in all of our lives, and is a fundamental human need. Access to clean water is one of the top priorities to many people. A lack of clean water restricts recreation, as well as having an economic impact on the communities. One threat to clean water is excess nutrients in the waterways. There are three major nutrients that are of concern - Total Ni...

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Animal of the Week: Striped Skunk

There are few animals in the woods that have as bad a reputation as this week's "animal of the week." The striped skunk, which is found in Illinois and much of the United States, has a terrible reputation; and if you corner a skunk, that reputation is well earned. But there is much more to skunks than their stink. The striped skunk is one of the most easily identifiable animals that you...

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Animal of the Week: Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle has inspired feelings of majesty and strength long before it became the symbol of the United States. This bird looks strong and powerful and awe inspiring when in flight or sitting on a perch. The way that the Bald Eagle looks makes it easy to see how it was chosen as the national emblem of the United States, though long before the birth of this nation, it was a strong spiritual...

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Groundhogs Day

February 2 nd was Groundhog Day, and in many areas around the county, including Punxsutawney Phil and Gertie the Groundhog (the local weather groundhog), an early spring was predicted. We have lots of nature and weather-related folklore, and they are worth exploring Groundhog Day, as it has become known, is the day where Americans look to a rodent as the indicator of spring. T...

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Animal of the Week: Tufted Titmouse

This week I am highlighting one of my favorite song birds, the Tufted Titmouse. They are a year-round resident. When I was little, they were one of the first birds, outside of the Robin, Cardinal or Blue Jay, that I could identify and the first that I could identify by their song. They are not particularly showy, but they are interesting to watch. As a young boy, identifying them was a point of...

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