March Madness is here, and at our local forest preserves, it’s a showdown of the fowl-est nature.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is pitting birds against mammals in its Nature Madness 2021 bracket. Their match-offs started on March 15 with a bald eagle versus great horned owl pairing, with both birds battling to move forward in the “tweet” sixteen. They’ll work their way through eight birds and eight mammals until the top in each category face-off, claw to paw. Brackets are available to print on the forest preserve’s website.
The offbeat brackets are a fun way for the forest preserve to bring attention to some of our native wildlife, and engage the public in the process. There’s usually a bit of information about each contender in the Facebook post on each day’s match-up.
It’s a tactic the Forest Preserve District of Will County has taken on as well. They’re hosting the 2021 Tournament of Birds, which kicked off on March 14. Our area’s finest feathered friends fight for pecking order in different color-coded brackets. They’ve taken it one step further, with a Tournament of Birds committee “seeding” each bird. Top seeds are the Northern cardinal, snowy owl, indigo bunting and Western tanager. (Spoiler alert – there’s already been one top seed upset.)
Voting for both bracket contests takes place on the Will County and DuPage County forest preserve pages on Facebook, with a new match-up each day. Voters choose their picks in the comments section, with the advancing mammal or bird announced the following day. There’s still time to get in on the action – and if you aren’t sure of a pick, just wing it.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.
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