Wildlife

Give Thanks for Pollinators on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here again, and we at the Chicago Botanic Garden are thankful for all the pollinators who make our food possible, every day, around the world. Bats, bees, butterflies, birds, and more pollinate plants that create one-third of the food we eat. As you enjoy a meal with friends and family, take a moment to say thanks for the little things that make such a big difference—pollinators!

Dreaming of Bald Eagle Pairs at the Garden

When I was growing up, there were certain animals I was saddened to think I would never see in my lifetime. There were those species that had become extinct, of course, like passenger pigeons, Carolina parakeets, ivory-billed woodpeckers, and Labrador ducks. I had read the life histories of these species and marveled at descriptions of their colors, sounds, and abundance. It made me feel depressed that these amazing creatures were gone forever.

The Best Time to See Butterflies Fight?

Read on. Want to see a butterfly dry its wings, hang upside down, or even fight? Watch the weather first. As summer gets underway, it’s fun to see how weather changes affect the activity at Butterfly & Blooms. The seasonal exhibition is a photographer’s dream, with hundreds of live butterfly species native to countries around the world. Here are some tips on butterfly behavior, depending on the weather:

Dragonflies Capture Summer

It still counts as summer as long as there are dragonflies around. Some years at the Chicago Botanic Garden, there are dragonflies everywhere! The quick, strong fliers seem to love the Garden.
Eastern pondhawk dragonfly, female. Most dragonflies have very different-looking males and females. This one was in the Native Plant Garden. Photo ©Carol Freeman.

Sir or Madame Butterfly?

A Half Male, Half Female ButterflyAt Butterflies & Blooms on Monday, I saw something I had never seen before in my five years as a butterfly wrangler at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I noticed that a leopard lacewing's right wings were bright orange, just like any other male of the species, but the left wings were beige—only females have beige wings. This lacewing was half male and half female, or a gynandromorphic butterfly.