Inland Lake Crawl @ Inland Lake Crawl
Nov 29 @ 7:30 am
Inland Lake Crawl @ Inland Lake Crawl | Illinois | United States

Car caravan with minimal walking to observe ducks inland. Will take most of the morning to complete but you can leave anytime.


The stops will be announced closer to event and by email (register). The route will start at the northern most stops and move south.

Leader: Beau Schaefer 847-337-3602

South Lakefront Chicago @ Rainbow Beach Dunes Natural Area
Dec 11 @ 7:30 am
South Lakefront Chicago @ Rainbow Beach Dunes Natural Area | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Lakefront birding at Rainbow Beach Dunes with possible stops at Park 566, Steelworkers Park and more. We’ll be looking for winter ducks, scoters, loons, special gulls and other new arrivals.


Follow DuSable Lake Shore Drive south. Continue past 78th Street turning left onto S. Farragut Drive. Follow Farragut Drive to the first parking lot. (Map)

Leader: Josh Engel  (224) 213-2280

The Rise and Fall of the Rosy-Finches: A Climate Change Story @ Zoom Online
Jan 17 @ 7:00 pm
The Rise and Fall of the Rosy-Finches: A Climate Change Story @ Zoom Online

Rosy-finches are high elevation and high latitude specialist birds that are found broadly across western North America. Research has demonstrated that human-induced climate change is more extreme in high latitude and high altitude environments. The rapid changes occurring across the ranges of the three North American rosy-finch species have led to their listing as species of conservation concern. Garth Spellman, Curator of Ornithology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will discuss recent collaborative research efforts to understand the origin and life history of these enigmatic species, and work aimed at understanding how the birds are responding to climate change from the genetic level to the landscape level.


The presentations will be on Zoom. You must install the Zoom application (Zoom Client for Meetings) on your computer. We strongly recommend doing this BEFORE the events. 

We will be emailing online participation instructions for each event. You must be on the email list to receive the link to the program.
Download the Zoom Client for Meetings here.

Saving Chicago’s Oak Trees @ Zoom Online
Feb 21 @ 7:00 pm
Saving Chicago’s Oak Trees @ Zoom Online

Oaks are a keystone species critical to ecosystem health including bird survival, but the Chicago region’s oak trees have suffered massive declines both in savanna ecosystems and on residential streets. The Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan is a region-wide effort by government agencies, nonprofit organizations and volunteers to conserve oaks, protect them from growing pressures, and restore their ecosystems. Brandon Hayes, coordinator of the plan’s working group and founder/principal at Bold Bison Communications and Consulting, will join us to discuss why oaks have disappeared from the landscape, why they are important for birds, the details of the recovery plan, and how homeowners and community members can get involved.

Black Tern Conservation in the Great Lakes @ Zoom Online
Mar 21 @ 7:00 pm
Black Tern Conservation in the Great Lakes @ Zoom Online

The Black Tern is one of the most rapidly declining wetland birds in the Great Lakes region. Breeding populations have likely been completely lost in Indiana and Ohio, and this species is on the brink in Illinois.

Stephanie Beilke, Senior Manager, Conservation Science for Audubon Great Lakes, will discuss efforts to restore breeding populations in the region, including monitoring work at the largest regional colony in St. Clair Flats, Michigan, and examine what we’ve learned about the threats this species faces. In addition, she will explore recent results from a tracking study that was the first to chart the migratory journeys of juvenile Black Terns.

Before Monty and Rose: 22 Years of Restoration at Montrose Beach Dunes @ Zoom Online
Apr 18 @ 7:00 pm
Before Monty and Rose: 22 Years of Restoration at Montrose Beach Dunes @ Zoom Online

Join longtime steward Leslie Borns for a history of the Montrose Beach Dunes, the state-designated natural area on Chicago’s lakefront that she founded 22 years ago.  Borns will explain how the site evolved from mostly bare beach into the highest quality, most biodiverse ecosystem in the Chicago Park District system, hosting 28 state-listed plant species and hundreds of bird species. Borns also developed a stewardship base of almost 1,000 volunteers including politicians and agency staff from around the region, whose dedication and advocacy ensured the site’s protection and maintained its pristine state.  The evening will also include a special homage to the dunes’ most famous avian visitors, the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover pair Monty and Rose and their offspring.

Unlikely Urban Residents: Lincoln Park’s Black-crowned Night Herons @ Zoom Online
May 16 @ 7:00 pm
Unlikely Urban Residents: Lincoln Park's Black-crowned Night Herons @ Zoom Online

Black-crowned Night Herons (BCNH) are endangered in Illinois and six other Great Lakes region states. Yet a breeding colony of these herons has thrived in Chicago’s Lincoln Park since 2007. Since their arrival, they have garnered significant conservation attention from various groups including the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute (UWI), whose researchers began monitoring the population in 2010.

Henry Adams, UWI’s Wildlife Management Coordinator, will discuss the history of the colony, including productivity trends, breeding phenology, and colony movement within Lincoln Park over the years. He will also explain plans for researching the herons’ movement, resource selection, and health in collaboration with Illinois Department of Natural Resources and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign to further conservation management planning for this endangered species.