Calendar

Sep
24
Sun
Chain O’Lakes State Park @ Chain O’Lakes State Park
Sep 24 @ 7:00 am
Chain O’Lakes State Park @ Chain O’Lakes State Park | Spring Grove | Illinois | United States

This field trip to our closest state park is a great migratory stopover for southbound migrants. Plus, as a bonus, we will look for wetland species.

Limit 20. Member Priority. Register (required) at renabird3@gmail.com

Directions:

From I-94 tollway, exit IL-173/Rosecrans Rd, turn left on Rosecrans, drive 13 mi, turn left on Wilmot Rd.. then left into park. Follow signs to Park Office/Goldfinch Trail lot.

Oct
1
Sun
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
Oct 1 @ 7:00 am
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Everyone’s favorite migrant hotspot! Join us to search for late warblers, early sparrows and shorebirds from the Magic Hedge to the beach.

Directions:

From Lake Shore Dr. take the Montrose Ave. exit east, turn right at the Bait Shop at Montrose Harbor Dr., and park along the bend in the road.

Oct
12
Thu
Victor Emanuel’s ‘One More Warbler’ @ Heller Nature Center
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm

Victor Emanuel, founder of the world’s largest avian ecotourism company and one of the world’s top birders, will share his biggest adventures and sign his new memoir One More Warbler: A Life with Birds. Emanuel has seen 6,000+ species during travels to every continent and has received some of birding’s highest honors, including the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association and the Arthur A. Allen Award from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, He also started the first birding camps for young people, which he considers one of his greatest achievements.

In One More Warbler, Emanuel recalls a lifetime of birding adventures—from his childhood sighting of a male Cardinal that ignited his passion for birds to a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Asia to observe all eight species of cranes of that continent. He tells fascinating stories of meeting his mentors who taught him about birds, nature, and conservation, and later, his close circle of friends—Ted Parker, Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, Roger Tory Peterson, and others—who he frequently birded and traveled with around the world. Emanuel writes about the sighting of an Eskimo Curlew, thought to be extinct, on Galveston Island; setting an all-time national record during the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count; attempting to see the Imperial Woodpecker in northwestern Mexico; and birding on the far-flung island of Attu on the Aleutian chain. Over the years, Emanuel became a dedicated mentor himself, teaching hundreds of young people the joys and enrichment of birding. “Birds changed my life,” says Emanuel, and his stories make clear how a deep connection to the natural world can change everyone’s life.

Oct
14
Sat
Sand Bluff Bird Banding @ Sand Bluff Bird Observatory
Oct 14 @ 8:30 am
Sand Bluff Bird Banding @ Sand Bluff Bird Observatory | Rockton | Illinois | United States

Travel to Sand Bluff Bird Observatory near Rockford to see bird banding, with optional birding nearby afterward.

Located within Colored Sands Forest Preserve in Northwest Winnebago County, Illinois, Sand Bluff Bird Observatory is one of the largest small-bird banding operations in the country that is open to the public. Originally purchased in 1964 as a working farm, it has been converted back into prairie over many years.

Co-sponsored with Heller Nature Center, Park District of Highland Park.

Oct
15
Sun
Daniel Wright Woods @ Daniel Wright Woods
Oct 15 @ 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Daniel Wright Woods @ Daniel Wright Woods | Illinois | United States

Local magnet for migrating songbirds and more.

Directions:

From Waukegan Rd., turn west on Everett Rd. in Lake Forest, drive to the end (St. Mary’s Rd), and turn left (south) into the parking lot.

Oct
17
Tue
Small But Mighty: Why Ants Rock @ Heller Nature Center
Oct 17 @ 7:00 pm
Small But Mighty: Why Ants Rock @ Heller Nature Center

Ants are found on every continent except Antarctica, can lift up to 100 times their own body weight, communicate mostly by smell, and play such an important role in the environment that they are considered an indicator species for restoration success in grasslands and savannas. Lake Forest College’s Sean Menke will fill us in on these often-overlooked insects, including their relationship to birds.

Oct
21
Sat
Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve @ Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve
Oct 21 @ 7:30 am
Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve @ Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve | Lake Forest | Illinois | United States

Multiple sparrow species, possible Pine Siskins and other fall migration goodies. We’ll also be looking for late songbirds, early waterfowl, migrating raptors and whatever else we can find in this diverse habitat of savanna, wetlands, woodlands and prairie.

Directions:

From Rt. 60, take Rt. 43 north to Westmoreland Dr./Middlefork Dr. Turn left to the parking lot

Oct
29
Sun
McDonald Woods and Hastings Lake @ McDonald Woods
Oct 29 @ 7:30 am
McDonald Woods and Hastings Lake @ McDonald Woods | Lake Villa | Illinois | United States

Late fall migrants and early waterfowl.

Directions

Meet at McDonald Woods on Grass Lake Road just west of Rt. 45 and east of Rt. 83.

Nov
11
Sat
Lake County Lakes @ Diamond Lake
Nov 11 @ 7:30 am
Lake County Lakes @ Diamond Lake | Waukegan | Illinois | United States

Here ducky ducky! Multi-stop driving trip begins at Diamond Lake in Mundelein. This is mostly a driving trip visiting various inland lakes in Lake County. Specific itinerary will be distributed at starting point based on prior day’s scouting observations. Binoculars mandatory. Bring a scope if you have one.

Directions:

From Rt. 22, take Rt. 83 north to Diamond Lake Rd., turn right, drive ½ mile to Gale Street Inn parking lot on right.

Nov
21
Tue
Bird City Wisconsin: A Model for Local Conservation @ Heller Nature Center
Nov 21 @ 7:00 pm
Bird City Wisconsin: A Model for Local Conservation @ Heller Nature Center

Since recognizing its first communities in 2010 under the auspices of Milwaukee Audubon Society, Bird City Wisconsin has grown to 103 communities that take over 1,200 conservation and education actions every year to make Wisconsin’s communities healthy for birds as well as people. Program director Dr. Bryan Lenz will explain how cities join the program, share success stories, and discuss how other states are now adopting it as a model of conservation and education.

Jan
13
Sat
Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Response Team @ Shedd Aquarium
Jan 13 @ 10:00 am
Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Response Team @ Shedd Aquarium | Chicago | Illinois | United States

SPECIAL OFF-SITE PROGRAM – MEMBER PRIORITY. 30 PERSON MAXIMUM

From stranded sea lions to endangered African penguins threatened by oil spills and marine animals endangered by single-use plastic, the Shedd Aquarium’s Response Team rescues and rehabilitates animals in danger. Tim Binder, the aquarium’s EVP of Animals, will discuss the team’s work. Limit 30. Member priority.

Register (required) at renabird3@gmail.com.

 

Jan
16
Tue
#BirdThePreserves – Cook County’s Big Year @ Heller Nature Center
Jan 16 @ 7:00 pm
#BirdThePreserves - Cook County’s Big Year @ Heller Nature Center

In 2016, Cook County Forest Preserves sponsored a #BirdthePreserves initiative that unleashed hundreds of birders on more than 20 of the county’s forest preserve sites to see what they could find. Field Museum conservation ecologist Doug Stotz will discuss new information about birds in the Chicago area yielded by this effort, including new insights into distribution, abundance, migration timing and breeding.

Feb
17
Sat
Gull Frolic @ Gull Frolic at Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club
Feb 17 all-day
Gull Frolic @ Gull Frolic at Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club | Winthrop Harbor | Illinois | United States

17th annual Illinois Ornithological Society event.

Pre-registration required. Watch the Lake Cook Audubon email or visit www.illinoisbirds.org for details.  Attendance is limited to first 150 registrants. Members of Illinois Ornithological Society get advance opportunity to register.

Feb
20
Tue
Going Native: A Personal Restoration Story @ Heller Nature Center
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm

Openlands Greenways Director and Land Conservancy of McHenry County board member Ders AndersonFor the past 35 years, Ders Anderson has been restoring a 2½-acre property in McHenry County that was once home to a dairy farm. Over the years, the Openlands Greenways Director and Land Conservancy of McHenry County board member has planted and seeded the land with 150 native species including forbs, grasses, shrubs and trees – bringing back native prairie, wetland and savanna plus a rich array of wildlife. He will discuss his journey as well as the many surprises he encountered along the way.

Feb
24
Sat
Ducking in Indiana @ Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area
Feb 24 – Feb 25 all-day
Ducking in Indiana @ Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area | Linton | Indiana | United States

Duck migration spectacle at Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area in Linton, IN.

Locally known as the Goose Pond and Bee Hunter Marsh, this 8,034-acre State Fish and Wildlife Area is located along SR 59 just south of Linton. Since 2005, it has grown to become one of the largest and most successful wetland restoration projects in the United States. This huge expanse of wetlands includes over 30 miles of earthen dikes, 1,400 acres of prairie, and nearly 4,000 acres of shallow water. Today, the area is becoming a significant destination for Midwestern birders and hunters; and home to many migrating bird species, attested by the impressive Sandhill Crane fly-in each spring, as well as many endangered species such as the Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Short-Eared Owl, Wilson’s Phalarope, King Rail, Sedge Wren, Henslow’s Sparrow, Whooping Crane, and American and Least Bitterns.

Registration is Required: renabird3@gmail.com

Goose Pond Map (PDF download)

Mar
20
Tue
The Ups & Downs of Illinois’ Grassland Birds @ Heller Nature Center
Mar 20 @ 7:00 pm

Shrinking habitat is causing population declines among many grassland bird species in North America, but some are doing well in Illinois despite the odds. Grassland bird authority and Illinois Audubon Society Executive Director Jim Herkert will discuss what new research is showing about the conservation needs and approaches for five keystone species in the state: Henslow’s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, Dickcissel and Greater Prairie Chicken.

 

Mar
25
Sun
Loons of Lake County @ Diamond Lake
Mar 25 @ 8:00 am
Loons of Lake County @ Diamond Lake | Mundelein | Illinois | United States

Our annual search for migrating loons and other waterfowl will begin at Diamond Lake in Mundelein and proceed to other lakes in the area. This is mostly a car driving field trip and not much walking for the entire morning. Bring a spotting scope if you have one.

Directions:
From Rt. 22, take Rt. 83 north to Diamond Lake Rd., turn right, and drive ½ mile to the Gale Street Inn parking lot on the right.

Apr
1
Sun
Waterfowl, Woodcocks & Dinner @ Meet at Glenview Park District's Park Center
Apr 1 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Waterfowl, Woodcocks & Dinner @ Meet at Glenview Park District's Park Center | Glenview | Illinois | United States

Afternoon birding for waterfowl on Lake Glenview, dinner at Whole Foods, and American Woodcock watching at Air Station Prairie at dusk. Dress for ticks which are possible along the paths at Air Station Prairie.

For dinner we will gather at Whole Foods located near the corner of Willow and Waukegan Roads in the Willow Festival shopping center on the north side of Willow Road. Whole Foods has an extensive hot and cold prepared foods selection, a comfortable area to eat with seating for about 70 people and rest rooms.

Directions:

Meet at Glenview Park District Park Center. Turn East from Patriot Blvd. Travel to the southeast corner of the development. You will see Lake Glenview and parking lot adjacent.

Apr
17
Tue
300+ New Bird Species in 20 Days & Elephants Too! @ Heller Nature Center
Apr 17 @ 7:00 pm
300+ New Bird Species in 20 Days & Elephants Too! @ Heller Nature Center

Join Red Hill Birding’s Josh Engel and five local birders, including Lake/Cook’s Rena and Sonny Cohen, as they revisit their 2016 trip to Namibia and Botswana – complete with 5-ft-tall bustards, hundreds of mammals at Etosha National Park, a hungry hippo joining the group for dinner, and video of the adventure.

 

 

Apr
22
Sun
Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area @ Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area
Apr 22 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area @ Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area | Morris | Illinois | United States

All-day trip for early passerines and lingering waterfowl. Register (required) renabird3@gmail.com

May
5
Sat
2018 Spring Bird Count @ Contact Joel Greenberg for Lake County assignments or Alan Anderson for Cook County assignments
May 5 all-day
2018 Spring Bird Count @ Contact Joel Greenberg for Lake County assignments or Alan Anderson for Cook County assignments

Contact Joel Greenberg for Lake County assignments(630-725-6660) or Alan Anderson for Cook County assignments (casresearch@comcast.net or 847-390-7437).

May
6
Sun
LaBagh Woods @ Labagh Woods
May 6 @ 7:00 am
LaBagh Woods @ Labagh Woods | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Early spring migrants.

Directions:

LaBagh is on the corner of Cicero and Foster Ave., park in Irene Hernandez Picnic Grove lot on Foster, just east of Cicero.

May
8
Tue
Ryerson Conservation Area @ Ryerson Conservation Area
May 8 @ 6:45 am
Ryerson Conservation Area @ Ryerson Conservation Area | Deerfield | Illinois | United States

‘Warbler Alley’ should be hopping with migrants.

Two separate field trips begin at 6:45AM and 7:15AM. You must register for the trip of your choice. Limit 18 per time slot. To register (required): email renabird3@gmail.com

Directions:

From Deerfield Rd., turn north on Riverwoods Rd., and turn into the Ryerson entrance on the left. Follow signs to Welcome Center parking lot.

 

May
10
Thu
North Pond Nature Sanctuary @ North Pond Nature Sanctuary (Lincoln Park)
May 10 @ 7:00 am
North Pond Nature Sanctuary @ North Pond Nature Sanctuary (Lincoln Park)

Warblers before work!

Directions

North Pond is behind the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr. Street parking on Cannon or Stockton. Meet at casting pier in southeast corner of the pond.

 

May
12
Sat
Montrose Bird Sanctuary – Magic Hedge @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
May 12 @ 7:00 am
Montrose Bird Sanctuary - Magic Hedge @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Spring migration is in full swing – warblers and more await!

Directions:

From Lake Shore Dr. take the Montrose Ave. exit. Continue east toward the lake. Turn right at the Bait Shop (Montrose Harbor Dr.) and park on the street along the bend in the road. We will meet at the entrance to the sanctuary.

May
15
Tue
Pine Dunes Forest Preserve @ Pine Dunes Forest Preserve
May 15 @ 7:00 am
Pine Dunes Forest Preserve @ Pine Dunes Forest Preserve | Antioch | Illinois | United States

NEW TRIP at a newer county forest preserve

Directions:

From US-41 N, exit west on IL-173, drive 1.5 miles to Hunt Club Rd., turn north. Preserve is on east side.

The Prothonotary Chronicles @ Heller Nature Center
May 15 @ 7:00 pm

Over two decades of studying and banding 15,000+ Prothonotary Warblers, Illinois Natural History Survey’s Jeff Hoover and his team have made some remarkable discoveries. He will share some of their findings – from surprising behaviors like birds moving away from “bad” sites and returning from their wintering grounds to breed close to where they were born, to life expectancy, lifetime reproductive success, and response to global climate change – and how they relate to the broader bird world.

 

 

 

May
17
Thu
Dam #1 Woods Forest Preserve @ Dam #1 Woods Forest Preserve
May 17 @ 7:00 am

NEW!

New trip along newly restored preserve on the Des Plaines River Trail.

Directions

Dam #1 Forest Preserve Des Plaines RiverEntrance is on the south side of Dundee between Milwaukee Ave. and Portwine Rd. Drive to far south end of long parking lot.

 

May
18
Fri
Illinois Audubon Spring Gathering @ Amboy Marsh
May 18 – May 20 all-day
May
23
Wed
The Grove @ The Grove
May 23 @ 6:30 am
The Grove @ The Grove | Glenview | Illinois | United States

Who’s migrating today? The Grove is a favorite spring stop with both land and water habitat. See warblers and other migrants up close and personal.

Directions:

East side of Milwaukee Ave., south of Lake St. Follow the road into the preserve. Meet in the east parking lot by the Redfield Estate (this is the second parking lot).