Tallgrass Prairie Center


Irvine Prairie Observation Guides

an upland sandpiper in the sky above Irvine Prairie

An upland sandpiper, a grassland nesting bird with a haunting whistled cry, circles above Irvine Prairie in June. Photo by Patty Meissen.

What can you observe at Irvine Prairie?

As more acres of former crop ground are converted to prairie each year of the project, we hope to see grassland dependent bird, insect, and mammal species returning to Irvine Prairie. The upland sandpiper in the photo above shows that this is starting to happen already.

We are preparing some simple guides to help you learn about the most common or important species of birds, insects, wildflowers, and grasses you are likely to find at Irvine Prairie. These guides can also be used for identifying common species at other restored prairies. Each observation guide will be posted here as it is completed. 

Irvine Prairie Bird Guide

Irvine Prairie Wildflower Guide

Irvine Prairie Grass Guide

Thanks to 2019-20 AmeriCorps Communications Associate, Rowan McMullen-Cheng, for creating the observation guides.

Please share your observations and photos with us by emailing laura.walter@uni.edu. We are excited to see what you find!

To help plan your visit to Irvine Prairie, please go to the Irvine Prairie Visitors Policy page.

a bird sings from the top of a tall plant

A male dickcissel sings from his perch on the top of a sawtooth sunflower plant at Irvine Prairie. (Photo by L. Walter)


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