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Unknown Illinois

Courtesy of Douglas Tallamy

Environmentalist Douglas Tallamy believes every person with a patch of front or back yard can be a conservationist.

'Miracle' Whooping Cranes Make A Comeback

Nov 1, 2017
International Crane Foundation

Whooping cranes have long captured the imagination of poets and painters. They are the tallest birds in North America, avid dancers and can live and breed well into their fifties.

Unknown Illinois: Faces Tell The Prairie's Story

Oct 18, 2017
Judith Valente / WGLT

There are some new faces in the prairies around McLean County—ceramic faces, that is.

Biologist Studies The Voices (And Songs) Of Trees

Oct 2, 2017
Courtesy of David Haskell

You might have heard about people who talk to trees. But can trees speak?

Michael Jeffords

Most people would shrink from an opportunity to walk through the woods at night. All that darkness. All those strange insect sounds, not to mention the screeching owls.

Miller Park Zoo: A Leader In Species Conservation

Jun 23, 2017
Miller Park Zoo

Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington may be one of the smaller accredited zoos in the nation. It's a leader, however, when it comes to preserving several species of animals that are threatened or endangered.

The zoo currently is helping some 20 species survive, including the snow leopard, the red wolf, and San Clemente Island goat. It is a breeder for about 50 kinds of animals to insure they don't become endangered. Among them are: the sumatran tiger, tammar wallaby, the red-ruffed lemur and the kookaburra, a long-bill bird.

Unknown Illinois: Prowling For Owls

Jun 13, 2017
Bill Majoros / Flickr

It’s a perfect night to watch for nocturnal birds. Calm winds, clear sky and waxing moon just above the horizon.

I’m standing at dusk on the Lexington Blacktop, just east of Lake Bloomington. I’m with Angelo Capparella of the biology department at Illinois State University, and Given Harper, another avid bird watcher and professor at Illinois Wesleyan.

We’re on the prowl for owls.

Citizen-Scientists Document Illinois Plants

May 26, 2017
Judith Valente / GLT News

Walking along Shady Hollow Trail at Comlara Park, Sherrie Snyder spots a small flowering plant in the underbrush that contains a series of delicate deep purple blossoms. She stoops to snap a photograph of it on her cell phone.

"I'm going take a picture of this little guy, the dwarf larkspur," she says.

It's all part of a citizen-science project called Flora of Comlara Park. She and other volunteers—you might call them plant Sherlocks—observe and photograph the current plant life so that botanists can compare the plants growing today with those that grew a hundred years ago in central Illinois. 

Unknown Illinois: Eagles Thrive Along The Mackinaw

May 2, 2017
Mary Jo Adams

Two years ago, a female eagle was found shot dead in Normal. Her mate soon died -- killed apparently by another bird. Then their three orphaned eagles died. Bird watchers feared it would be the end of eagles in McLean County. But there is good news.

A new pair of the white-topped, hooked-beak creatures has taken up residence in the nest the dead eagles left behind and they are raising three eaglets there.

Sherrie Snyder

Two miles east of the city limits of Bloomington, not far from Ireland Grove Road and  at the origin of Kickapoo Creek, are 85 acres of restored prairie known as "The Grove."

The Grove is part of unique project in Illinois that combined construction of a housing subdivision with a prairie restoration.