County Line Orchard and its hayfield/overflow parking lot, photographed June 16. (Chicago Ornithological Society / X)

What happens when an endangered bird nests in a hayfield set to be harvested? A great debate has been swirling in Northwest Indiana. 

Left: Native-born Imani at Montrose Beach, April 2023. (Courtesy of Matthew Dolkart) Right: A piping plover egg – a product of piping plover pair Imani and Searocket – recently spotted at Montrose Beach. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

The egg is the product of a recent pair bond between native-born Imani, who hatched at Montrose Beach in 2021, and Searocket, one of the 5-week-old captive-reared piping plover chicks released at the beach last year.

Turtles basking at a Lincoln Park pond. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

May 23 is World Turtle Day. Sure, it’s a fake holiday, but it’s a good reason to take a closer look at the many species that make their home in northern Illinois.

A deer grazing in LaBagh Woods, a Cook County forest preserve, spring 2024. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Hundreds of cities around the world will take part in the friendly City Nature Challenge competition — Friday through Monday — to see who can identify the most biodiversity.

Brumby, a 2-year-old koala, is coming to Brookfield Zoo Chicago. (Courtesy of San Diego Zoo)

For the first time in its 90-year history, Brookfield Zoo Chicago will welcome koalas.

Say hello to Seldovia, Shedd Aquarium’s rescued otter pup. (Heidi Zeiger / Shedd Aquarium)

The rescued otter pup, now nearly 6 months old, was named in honor of his Alaskan roots.

Brookfield Zoo’s grey seal pup is just one week old and already a charmer. (Courtesy Brookfield Zoo)

The grey seal pup was born Feb. 17. He’ll stay behind the scenes for the next month and a half while bonding with his mom.

Sandhill cranes. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region)

Red-winged blackbirds, American robins, and sandhill cranes are among the species of birds Chicagoans have spotted in recent days on the leading edge of spring migration. But wait — according to the calendar, it’s still winter.

Shedd’s newest rescued sea otter pup explores the aquarium’s otter habitat. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

The still-unnamed pup arrived at Shedd Aquarium in November 2023 and recently made his public debut after acclimating behind the scenes.

Baby leatherback sea turtles head to the sea at sunset on Indonesia’s Lhoknga Beach in February 2023. (Chaideer Mahyuddin / AFP / Getty Images)

Of the 1,189 creatures listed by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, more than one in five are threatened. They include species from all sorts of animal groups — whales, sharks, elephants, wild cats, raptors, birds and insects, among others.

Tapeko, one of Brookfield Zoo’s bottlenose dolphins, gets a big welcome home from Melissa Zabojnik, a senior animal care specialist. (Jim Schulz / CZS-Brookfield Zoo)

The zoo’s seven bottlenose dolphins will spend the next six weeks getting used to their new and improved digs.

A volunteer pulls a freshwater mussel from the Chicago River, Dec. 12, 2023. (Patty Wetli / W

Freshwater mussels can be a river system’s best friend, but they’re missing from long stretches of the Chicago River. Here’s a look at one effort to reintroduce them.

(Courtesy of PAWS Tinley Park’s Facebook page)

Fourteen cats and two dogs showed signs of respiratory distress, according to PAWS Tinley Park. The shelter expects all the animals to make a full recovery.

Pup EL2306 is Shedd Aquarium’s newest charmer. The sea otter was rescued in Alaska at the end of October and arrived at Shedd in late November. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd is one of only 11 institutions in North America with the resources to give a rescued sea otter pup a home.

A dog in a kennel at Chicago Animal Care and Control on the Lower West Side on Nov. 8, 2023. Euthanasia is up 25% at the city animal shelter as it sees more stray animals come through its doors. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

“Any animal that walks through our door can be a candidate for euthanasia due to the population and everything that we go through here,” said acting executive director of the city of Chicago Department of Animal Care and Control Susan Cappello.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Technician James Stone works to remove a floating solar-powered telemetry receiver from the Mississippi River backwaters near La Crosse, Wis. on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. (AP Photo / Todd Richmond)

Over the last five years, agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have employed a new seek-and-destroy strategy that uses turncoat carp to lead them to the fish’s hotspot hideouts.