Ecological Survey - Summer 2020

Ecological survey for Arlington Heights Illinois. All images taken off wikipedia.


Arlington Heights


°C °F Date
Low 1.5 34.7 May 27
High 36.67 98.01 Aug 10
Mean 21.69 70.88

Climate data (Download CSV)



McDonald Creek

Coordinates: 42.13120/-87.97922 (OpenStreetMap)


Species Count
Red-winged blackbird some
Eastern Cotton-tailed Rabbit some
Monarch Butterfly some
Crayfish 1
Unknown Frog 3
Unknown Tadpole 5+
Unknown Wasp some
Unknown blue dragonfly some

Mallards Bog

Coordinates: 42.12794/-87.96206 (OpenStreetMap)


Species Count
Red-winged blackbird many
Blue dasher many
Mallard 24+
Great blue heron 1
Sleepy Orange Butterfly 1
Pond skipper turtle 4
Unknown Fish some
Unknown snail some

Golf club

Species Count
Blue jay 2


Black Swallowtail Butterfly

female black swallowtail

Beautiful little floating flower. Member of the swallowtail family, or Papilionidae. Identified as a black swallowtail, but could also be a spicebush swallowtail.

sightings sex count
2020-09-02 F 1

Bees + wasps

Bumble Bee


Half-inch to one inch long. Fuzzy bee.

Eastern Carpenter Bee


Big black rump, no stripes on it.

Western Honeybee


A fuzzy-buzzy. Seen playing in the flowers, polinating and eating nectar. Smaller than honeybees; about a half-inch in length

Paper wasp


Builds nests in upsided down overhangs. Eats wood from tables, chairs, trees, to make their nests.



Aggressive and constructs paper nests. Can sting many times without losing its stinger.



Found a single crayfish in McDonald Creek near my house while cleaning up garbage and litter.

sightings count
2020-08-29 1

Canadian Goose


Huge honker. Famalies starting to move south as the summer nears its end.

sightings count
2020-08-22 8

Canada Goose Status & Trends -

Striped skunk

Big stinker, seen in the evenings and at night.

Northern Cardinal


Female female

Common bird with a great whistle.

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Norther Cardinal Status & Trends -

American Robin


Very common bird in the neighborhood in the spring and early summer. Not seen as much around now in August. Many different songs and calls.

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

American Robin Status & Trends -

American Goldfinch


Seen mostly in the early evenings.

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

American Goldfinch Status & Trends -

Monarch Butterfly


(Female pictured) Similar looking to Viceroy butterflys, but can be distinguished by looking at the vein patterns. Notice here:

viceroy vs monarch

With the monarch on the left, and the viceroy on the right, one can tell the difference by looking at the vein parallel to the edge of the wing.

Males can be identified from females by looking for a spot on one of the veins.

male female
male monarch female monarch

On the bottom wings of the male, there are black spots, but there are no spots on the female.

sightings count location
2020-09-05 1 Backyard
2020-09-06 2 Backyard
2020-09-07 1 Backyard

Baltimore Oriole

oriole Vibrant orange body with a striking black head and wings. Member of the Icterid family of blackbirds.

sightings count sex location
2020-08-17 1 M Backyard
2020-08-29 1 M Northbrook IL

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Baltimore Oriole Status & Trends -

Eastern Cotton-tailed rabbit

cotton tail

A common friend around the neighborhood. Inquisitive and often hungry.

Downy Woodpecker


A beautiful woodpecker with many black and white striped designs, and pearl speckled wings. Males have red feathers on the top of their heads, females do not.

sightings count sex location
2020-08-17 1 F Backyard

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Downy Woodpecker Status & Trends -

Red tailed Hawk

Red-tailed hawk

I've seen some hawks fly through the neighborhood every now and then. Identified as a red-tailed hawk since they are the most common it seems, but I am not sure.

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Red-tailed Hawk Status & Trends -

Great blue Heron


Wades on the shallow end of the bog, feeds on small fish. Quiet and lonesome.

sightings count location
2020-06-27 1 Buffalo Creek
2020-07-12 1 Mallards Bog

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Great Blue Heron Status & Trends -

Red-winged blackbird

Male Female
Male Female

Males are a jet black with striking orange and yellow shoulderblades. Females are brown with a grey and white head. Incredibly complicated tones, sounds like telephone bells. Members of the Icterid family

sightings count location
2020-06-27 5+ Buffalo Creek
2020-07-13 10+ Mallards Bog
2020-07-14 1+ Peyton Hill

By August, the birds seem to have left from Mallards Bog

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Red-winged Blackbird Status & Trends -


Female (left) Male (right) Juveniles

These ducks maintain social structures at the bog. There are several families living together

location count
Mallards Bog 24+

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Mallard Status & Trends -

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Sapphire blue bird. Mysterious and elusive in my neighborhood...

sightings count location
2020-07-06 1 Golf Club

eBird Abundance Map

eBird Recording

Blue Jay Status & Trends -

Sleepy Orange Butterfly

Sleepy Orange

I'm not sure if this is exactly the species but there was one that looked similar

sightings count location
2020-06-27 1 Mallards Bog

Blue Dasher

blue dasher

Very vibrant, almost reflective like a saphire crystal.

sightings count location
some Mallards Bog

Painted Turtle

Painted Turtle

sightings count location
2020-07-14 1(+?) Mallards Bog

Jun 13 2020