Two blades of prairie grass.
Little bluestem can be found this month. © Chris Helzer/TNC

Stories in Illinois

Illinois Nature Notes

Find out which plants and wildlife you can spot this month!

This page was updated on August 31, 2020.

The golden prairies at the Kankakee Sands Preserve and Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie are blooming with New England aster, downy sunflower, blazing star, compass plant and prairie dock.

There is a flurry of activity in the Cache River Wetlands, with spicebush berries and persimmons beginning to ripen, copperhead snakes giving birth, painted turtle eggs hatching, baby skunks leaving home and migratory birds such as northern shoveler ducks, ospreys and kits beginning to arrive.

Sora rail birds can be found at the Indian Boundary Prairies Preserve among the blooming false foxglove and button blazing star.

A bright yellow flower in a field.
Compass Plant in bloom. © Joshua Mayer/Creative Commons

Tree, cliff, bank and barn swallows start to concentrate in great numbers over the wetlands at the Spunky Bottoms and Emiquon preserves, gorging on emerging insects as they start to stage for migration.

Numerous wading birds such as solitary sandpipers and lesser yellow legs can be spotted feeding in wetlands along the Mackinaw River.

The Nachusa Grasslands Preserve’s remnant rocky outcrops are lush with rough blazing star and little bluestem.