About Us and Contact Us

Beyond the screen of your laptop and your smartphone, nature is alive and well!  Come enjoy!

Jane Masterson is a local photographer and Hyde Park Nature Walk guide.  When she was an adjunct college professor, her students observed plants and birds, collected data and tested hypotheses to try to answer questions such as why some plants bloomed earlier than others and why woodpeckers migrated through before orioles.  And while she no longer teaches at the college level, Jane still enjoys encouraging others to explore the Chicago wilderness.  She promises, no quizzes!  Whether you’d just like to look at the photos of Hyde Park wildlife on this blog or want to come out for a Nature Walk, Welcome!

Next Nature Walk:

Moon watch and Nature walks on hold for now.

Interested in helping save Hyde Park’s wild spots:  habitat for our local wildlife and migrating birds may be replaced by a music venue and concession stand unless you speak up.   Want to help prevent this?  Check out savethisspace.com  and sign up for emails from jacksonparkwatch.com

Contact us with any questions or to discuss setting up a time for a Nature Walk.  Feel free to call (773 – 502 – 3159) or to fill out the form below:

Sunrise walk and more butterflies/moths

All these of photos were taken in the Hyde Park area during the last couple of weeks.   Feel free to join us on a nature walk/moon watch tonight at 6 pm.  We will start at the east entrance of the Museum of Science and Industry.

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red spotted purple butterfly

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bunny at 47th Street and Cornell

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monarchs mating

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indigo bunting eating grass seeds

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white underwing moth– forewing pattern provides camouflage IF the moth is resting on a birch tree

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sunrise

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sundog- bright spots in the sky caused by refraction of sunlight by tiny ice crystals

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juvenile double crested cormorant-The feather structure of cormorants decreases buoyancy so they are better able to catch fish underwater. This feather structure also makes their feathers less waterproof than other water birds’ feathers and so they spread their wings to help them dry faster.

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green heron

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juvenile black-crowned night heron

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purple martins lining up– thinking of heading south?

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Nature walk/Supermoon watch tonight (rain date, Sunday July 13)

Meet at east door of Science and Industry Museum tonight at 6:30 pm.  Meet at the Fieldhouse on the Point at 8:15 pm for 8:26 moonrise.  Hope to see you there. Rain date, Sunday 6:30 pm for walk,  9 pm for moonrise at 9:10 pm)

None of these photos, except the rainbow ring around the sun, were taken in Hyde Park.  All of these birds can be seen in Jackson Park.

This is a courting display.  I’ve seen a more dramatic version of this head bob but this guy gets extra points for displaying during a strong wind.  This call has been described as sounding like a rusty pump handle.

fledgling blue jay begging

blue jay fledgling

hungry blue jay fledgling

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“To see a Sun or Moon Halo…you need high, thin cirrus clouds which are usually at altitudes above 20,000 feet. These high altitude cirrus clouds are mostly made of ice crystals which refract the sunlight much like a prism will.  Your typical rainbow is seen as a partial circle or arc. Rainbows are round but the ground prevents you from seeing the full rainbow unless you are high above it…or below it like today.” parphased from Boston weather man

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Eastern Towhee singing “drink your tea”

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fledgling baltimore oriole (3 photos)  The Jackson Park orioles have fledged too but I saw an oriole sitting on her nest today so we may get a second batch of fledglings.

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cedar waxwing

snowy owl back on 63rd Street Pier Sunday–we’ll check out the pier on Tuesday’s nature walk

On December 17th, we will meet at 3:30 pm for a Free Guided Nature Walk.  We meet at the east door (Space Center) of the Science and Industry Museum .  We will use a spotting scope to look at the winter ducks in the 59th Street Harbor and the Lake (63rd and Hayes, where we will hopefully spot the owl).  We will then drive over to the Point for the 5 pm moonrise. 
The meters are expensive if you park right by the East entrance. It is cheaper ($1 an hour) if you turn left into the parking lot. Parking is free if once you are in the parking lot, you drive south past the boats, over the stone bridge and park near the tennis courts. Hope to see you there!   FREE EVENT.  For more information go to passitonchicago.com or call 773-913-2030×3.   Children welcome. Check here if rain date is needed and  Call if you can’t find us: 773-913-2030×3.

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