Chicago outdoors: A curious wood duck, Wisconsin sturgeon and native plants are in the notes package

A curious wood duck photograph, Wisconsin record sturgeon and an early sturgeon spawn, and a question on native-plant sales are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Chicago outdoors: A curious wood duck, Wisconsin sturgeon and native plants are in the notes package
A curios wood duck. Credit: John Heneghan

A curios wood duck earns Wild of the Week.

John Heneghan

Notes come from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.


John Heneghan spotted a wood duck peering into a box where a male screech owl roosts while the female rests in another box 50 feet away. He messaged that the woodie was looking for a nest box on Wednesday, April 21.

WOTW, the celebration of wild stories and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs most weeks in the special two-page outdoors section in the Sun-Times Sports Saturday. To make submissions, email ( or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).



Turkey hunting: Through Wednesday, April 28, third season, north zone; Thursday, April 29, to May 5, fourth season, north; Through Wednesday, April 28, fourth season, south; Thursday, April 29, to May 6, fifth season (final), south.

Friday, April 30: Final day, applications for first firearm deer season.


“I have a layout for a perennial pollinator garden in my yard. The problem is, I can’t seem to find the plants anywhere! Most places are either wholesale or sell seed only. Any idea where you can purchase general pollinator plants for a native garden here in Illinois?” Chris Hunger

A: The best resource is a master list by the Illinois Native Plant Society at The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has a native plant sale remotely this year, see


170-10: Pounds-ounces of the Wisconsin hook-and-line record for lake sturgeon, caught on Sept. 22, 1979.


“The spawning season this year was short, intense and early! By April 13, most sturgeon on the Wolf and Upper Fox Rivers had stopped spawning. In early April, the unseasonably warm temperatures warmed the rivers into the high 50s and low 60s, causing the sturgeon to spawn early”

Wisconsin DNR, describing the spawning season during which staff handled more than 1,300 sturgeon (measuring, looking for tags or tagging). For more information on sturgeon spawning, visit the DNR webpage here.

Spawning sturgeon in Wisconsin. Credit: Bob Rashid

Spawning sturgeon in Wisconsin.

Bob Rashid

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