Naturalist Notes June 2017

 Naturalist Notes

June 2017

As we approach the first day of summer here in the park, we have many young birds that will be hatching. Recently, USGS stopped by to check up on our nesting boxes. Every one of them is being used, particularly by tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), and many have eggs that they are carefully tending to. During the early evening, a pair of Canadian geese (Branta canadensis) and their gosling are often seen swimming near the pebble beach. Keep an eye out for the young ones, but don’t get too close. The parent birds are protective of their young. While they won’t attack you, they may squawk or hiss, and it puts stress on the birds.

On the northern end of the park, our prairies are starting to really bloom. The heavy rains in May and the warmer temperatures this month have produced large blooms of white penstemon (Tradescantia ohiensis). In the prairie near the north entrance, our blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) is also in bloom. The bluish purple flowers will only last a few weeks, so check them out while they’re here! Our butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) has begun growing quickly and is expected to bloom before the end of the month. Watch out for their yellow, orange, and red flowers in prairie restoration areas.

Our park naturalists are starting to get busy conducting and planning education programs for the summer. We are fortunate to have wetland, prairie, urban, and lake ecosystems all within our park. We will be working with several community groups, schools, and summer camps to help encourage stewardship and appreciation for nature in our youth. We will be expanding our programs focusing on concerns in Lake Michigan. If you would like to observe or volunteer with any of the educational programming at Lakeshore this summer, please contact our park naturalists, Angela and Anne at (414) 274-4282. We hope you will join us for our monthly beach bonfires, the urban beach party (August) and Sturgeon Fest (September) this year!

Lakeshore State Park
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources