The Midwest is not known for having mountainous high points. Yet, every state, Illinois included, has one part of its land that’s higher than the rest, even if it’s not that impressive. The highest point in Illinois is called Charles Mound. This rural area near the state’s border with Wisconsin has a wide assortment of nearby wildlife. Take a look at 10 different animals that prowl near Charles Mound and learn what animals to seek!
About Illinois’s Highest Point
Charles Mound is a 1,235-foot hill found in the northwestern part of Illinois. While the elevation is not very significant, it’s still the tallest point in the state. This part of the Midwest is known more for the Great Plains than it is for great elevation changes.
The highest point in Illinois is located in Scales Mount Township in Jo Daviess County. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this hill is barely located in Illinois at all. In fact, a quarter mile north of this location is the state’s border with Wisconsin!
The area is surrounded by rural communities, and the hill itself lies on private property. That means a person has to seek permission from the owners to reach Charles Mound.
The 10 Animals That Live Near Charles Mound
Given the location of Charles Mound in a rural area of Illinois, people can find several different animals nearby. Discover some of the most interesting animals that you may encounter during a journey to see the highest point in Illinois.
Coyotes are widespread throughout Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, these mammals live in rural, suburban, and urban places. These omnivorous creatures usually weigh less than 50 pounds and measure about 3 feet long. Their distinctive pointy nose and ears are an easy way to distinguish coyotes from domestic dogs. These animals can pose a risk to humans and their pets, but attacks are very rare. Still, these animals may prowl near Charles Mound.
2. Red Fox
Red foxes are found in grasslands, fields, and woods throughout the state of Illinois. They’re mostly carnivores, but these foxes also eat berries and fruits in addition to the rodents and rabbits that make up most of their diet. These animals are usually hesitant to go near humans. However, they may show up in places where humans live in pursuit of prey, especially on farms containing poultry or other small animals.
Many different birds live throughout Illinois, but the pheasant is one of the few in the state that is a very popular game bird. In fact, Charles Mound is about a mile away from a pheasant hunting preserve. The chances are high that a person looking for pheasants in this area will see one of these birds. They can range in size, but they’re often about 2 to 2.5 feet long.
4. Eastern Gray Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel is one of the most common tree squirrels in North America. They’re often seen climbing trees or running across the forest floor in search of the nuts and seeds that make up their diet. Interestingly, this is not the only species of squirrel found in Illinois. Other tree squirrels, like fox squirrels and red squirrels, are also found throughout Illinois.
5. Northern Cardinal
The northern cardinal is a common songbird in Illinois and many other parts of North America. These birds often live near woodlands, shrublands, and other wetlands. A visitor to Charles Mound is bound to find these animals by looking up in trees for a mid-sized, bright red bird. At least, that’s the case for males. The females of this species are usually an olive-brown color with bits of red in their feathers.
6. White-Tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer is one of the most common species of deer in North America. They’re also one of the smallest deer species in this part of the world. Usually, males weigh between 150 and 300 pounds while females weigh between 90 and 200 pounds.
They’re often found in wooded areas, clearings, and places along the edges of forests. White-tailed deer are herbivorous animals, eating a variety of different plants depending on the time of year. Anyone keeping an eye on the wooded areas will see these animals prowl near Charles Mound.
7. Indiana Bat
The Indiana Bat is one of 13 different bat species that live throughout Illinois. Although the thought of one swooping by a person at dusk might be frightening, these animals are harmless to humans. These mammals are insectivores, and that means they primarily subsist on insects like mosquitoes and beetles. For that reason, these bats are helpful because they reduce insect populations. Still, they may not be the most favored animal for someone to see.
8. Eastern Raccoon
Eastern raccoons are small mammals known for their long gray, brown, white, and black fur. They often have black fur “masks” on their face and a ringed tail. These animals live in woodland areas, usually near the water. Usually, these animals will avoid humans unless something is wrong with them. Like other animals on this list, it’s best to admire these creatures from a distance.
9. Blue Jay
The blue jay is a songbird native to North America. In this area, the most common variety would be the northern blue jay. These birds usually have blue feathers on their heads, gray or white throats, blue backs, and a chest that is gray or white as well. They also frequently have black bands on their throats. These birds are distinguished by their looks as well as their calls.
Groundhogs, or woodchucks, are the largest squirrels in Illinois. These burrowing mammals can grow upwards of 2 feet long and weigh as much as 13 pounds. These omnivores often spend time in forests and woodlands. They’re also found near gardens and farms where they try to score a quick and easy meal. These animals prowl near Charles Mound, but they may have a fox or coyote on their heels if they’re not careful.
Many animals live near Charles Mound, Illinois. Even though it’s the highest point in Illinois, Charles Mound is not particularly difficult for animals to reach. However, this area is small. As a result, you probably will see more of these animals in the surrounding area than at the peak of this hill. Still, visitors have many opportunities to see some of the incredible wildlife in Illinois if they keep their eyes open for animals.
Summary of 10 Animals Prowl Near Charles Mound – Illinois’s Highest Point
|1||Coyote||Coyotes prey on pets – please keep them on a leash!|
|2||Red Fox||Red foxes scream at each other during mating season – loudly|
|3||Pheasant||Pheasants are popular game birds for hunters|
|4||Eastern Gray Squirrel||Squirrels hide nuts and seeds to store for the winter|
|5||Northern Cardinal||Cardinals generally mate for life|
|6||White-Tailed Deer||They are one of the smallest deer species in North America|
|7||Indiana Bat||These bats are good! They eat deadly mosquitoes|
|8||Eastern Raccoon||Raccoons like to nest in the hollows of old trees|
|9||Blue Jay||Blue Jays mate for life after an elaborate courtship ritual|
|10||Groundhogs||Groundhogs are a large species of squirrel|
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