December Natural Events Calendar

Take a break from December's holiday craze to take a breath and watch red fox courtship displays! See below for all the natural events occurring throughout Illinois' diverse habitats this month and what our Conservation Director recommends!

  • With the leafless trees, bird nests and the bright green Christmas ferns are easily spotted at Grassy Slough in the Cache River wetlands.
  • The rusty-colored oak woodlands and little bluestem grass on the prairie are beautiful on a sunny winter day at Nachusa Grasslands and Midewin.
  • As the lake begins to freeze, see hundreds of waterfowl fly overhead as they migrate from Emiquon.
  • Birds such as redheaded woodpeckers, harriers, redtail hawks, chickadees, juncos, cardinals and mourning doves can be seen at Kankakee Sands.
  • Along the Mackinaw River, enjoy seeing turkeys, white-tailed deer, coyotes and birds like Eastern screech owls, red-tailed hawks and American kestrels.
  • While the great blue herons arrive from the north, barred owls and red foxes begin courting in the forest at Grassy Slough in the Cache River wetlands.
  • At Spunky Bottoms, bald eagles are overwintering while the last of the fall migratory waterfowl are moving through, including cold weather ducks such as the common merganser, hooded merganser, goldeneye and bufflehead.
  • Winter restoration begins at the Indian Boundary Prairies and solitary gray foxes are hunting for food in the evenings.


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