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Dandelions are an important food source for pollinators, especially in the spring. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The dandelion — a once-prized plant that gardeners used to exhibit at county fairs — now holds the title of Public Lawn Enemy No. 1. But is this reputation deserved?

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Look for an American goldfinch during Saturday's Big Day birding event. (Ken Gibson / Flickr)

This weekend, people around the world will report their bird sightings as part of a massive citizen-science project. Here’s how it works.

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Brookfield Zoo welcomed a litter of seven African painted dogs in January, and is leaving the name of one of the pups up to the public. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

The African painted dog was born in January and still needs a name. Brookfield Zoo has four options, with voting open to the public through May 20.

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In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a dead Asian giant hornet is photographed in a lab in Olympia, Wash. (Quinlyn Baine / Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

The world’s largest hornet, a 2-inch killer dubbed the “Murder Hornet” with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state, where entomologists were making plans to wipe it out.

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In this March 24, 2020 photo, provided by Conner Brown, he is seen using binoculars to look for birds in Cedar Island, Maryland. (Elizabeth Wright / Courtesy of Conner Brown via AP)

With coronavirus restrictions dragging on, interest in bird-watching has soared as bored Americans notice a fascinating world just outside their windows. 

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Geese are more relaxed this spring with fewer humans around, researchers say. (Jocelyn Piirainen / Flickr)

With fewer humans out and about during the coronavirus pandemic, Canada geese are more relaxed during this spring’s nesting season, according to researchers at Ball State University. 

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This undated photo provided by Michael Thomas in April 2020 shows a clouded sulphur butterfly in Cromwell, Conn. (Mike Thomas via AP)

The world has lost more than one quarter of its land-dwelling insects in the past 30 years, according to researchers whose big picture study of global bug decline paints a disturbing but more nuanced problem than earlier research.

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April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. (qimono / Pixabay)

Environmental organizations have had to scale back plans for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Get ready for lots of livestreams and calls for digital action this week. Here’s a sampling of what’s on offer.

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Picking up litter while jogging or walking — also known as “plogging” — is a great solo Earth Day activity. (Visit Viljandi / Flickr)

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, we’re going to have to clean up the planet individually. Creative ideas from the Earth Day Network include “plogging” and #TrashTag.

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An image of Lurie Garden took top prize in the Royal Horticultural Society's 2020 photo competition. (Helen McLain / Royal Horticultural Society)

An image of Lurie Garden in full summer bloom—and it’s “wonderfully romantic glow”—was declared the overall winner in the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual competition.

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Vegetable gardening looks to be the next homebound hobby. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

Garden centers are juggling an anticipated increase in demand with social distancing concerns. Now, many are offering online ordering, no-contact delivery and curbside pickup as options.

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The 20-acre West Ridge Nature Preserve is temporarily closed. (John Iwanski / Flickr)

An influx of visitors has made social distancing difficult, so the preserve was padlocked over the weekend. Nearby, Rosehill Cemetery has also closed its grounds to the general public.

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A monarch butterfly on butterfly milkweed. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region / Flickr)

The University of Illinois at Chicago will administer a groundbreaking agreement that encourages energy companies and transportation entities, among others, to voluntarily convert right-of-way land to pollinator-friendly habitat.

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Chorus frog. (Peter Paplanus / Flickr)

The chorus frog has been filling forest preserves with the sound of its mating calls. Here’s why that’s such good news.

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This undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows Nadia, a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York. (Julie Larsen Maher / Wildlife Conservation Society via AP)

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere, federal officials and the zoo said Sunday.

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(Netflix)

“Tiger King” has become a streaming sensation during the coronavirus pandemic, but accredited zoos and aquariums aren’t entertained by the unsavory practices on display.

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