A Spring Reminder to Respect and Protect Wildlife in our Parks

Thursday, April 6, 2023

As signs of spring appear in the woodlands and in all of the parks, the Naperville Park District reminds park visitors to be aware of the needs of birds and other wildlife who are nesting or raising their young.

Spring is nesting time for geese, who become protective of their mates and young. Signs that a goose is protecting its territory include:

. A warning call

. Spreading its wings

. Hissing sounds

. Confronting any person or animal that comes near their nest

. Lowering its head

When walking in a park, try to stay away from protective geese. Learn more about Canada Geese at http://www.flightcontrol.20com/learn-more/about-canada-geese/.

Another animal to watch for in the spring is the turtle. In springtime, female aquatic turtles leave the water to find a suitable spot to lay their eggs. The most common aquatic turtles in our parks are painted turtles, red-eared sliders and common snapping turtles. Those who see a snapping turtle on a trail or in a park should only observe the turtle from a safe distance. Female turtles often cross roads to get to a suitable nesting site, even if it is far away from water, so drivers are encouraged to slow down and be observant this spring and summer. For more information about turtle nesting and how best to help them, visit https://www.wildlifeillinois.org/gallery/amphibians-and-reptiles/turtles/.

Spring also is the time when coyote pups are born and raised. Knoch Knolls Park is home to a family of coyotes and other wildlife. When walking on the trails at Knoch Knolls Park, stay on the trail and keep your dog on a leash. The Forest Preserve District of Will County provides helpful information about coyotes in our area at www.reconnectwithnature.org/news-events/co-existing-with-wildlife/coexist-with-coyotes.

Additionally, in the spring and throughout the year, the Park District asks park visitors to protect river wildlife by not feeding ducks or other waterfowl. Benefits of allowing ducks to find their own food include the following:

. Waterfowl stay healthy by eating a varied diet

. Prevents overcrowding and aggression among the waterfowl

. Young fowl are protected from predators attracted to human food

. The river stays cleaner

These reminders are posted on the Park District's website at https://www.napervilleparks.org/wildlifereminders.