Naturalist Notes March 2018

Naturalist Notes

March 2018

The weather is beginning to warm up and the animals are starting to become more active. During the winter months, you may have seen some Coyote tracks around, and thanks to one of our park visitors, Michael DeBoer, we have photographic evidence of its presence. While Coyotes (Canis latrans) have been known to take over fox dens, this one has been primarily seen on the Summerfest property and likely was just using the park as hunting grounds. It was seen by park staff in January, wandering around the Summerfest stages, and Michael DeBoer’s photographs were taken earlier this month on the berm area behind the American Family Amphitheater at the south entrance. Our Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) typically den in the rocky area in the northern half of the park.

The birds are also becoming a bit frisky. Male Common Goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula) can be seen bobbing their head up and down while verbally calling for females. The Red Breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator) are back, and the males will soon appear to be racing around the lagoons, showing off their speed to potential mates. Our yearly visitor, a leucistic (low-pigment) female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) appeared to have already chosen a mate, as she chased a particular male around the lagoon earlier this month.

While you’re walking through, enjoy the mild weather and watch the waterfowl behavior. Share your photos of the park, or of your catch, with us on our facebook page, or email them to  We’d love to see your photos! We’re getting closer to spring, so make sure to check our website or facebook page often for upcoming events!