Calendar

Sep
22
Sat
Chain O’Lakes State Park @ Chain O’Lakes State Park
Sep 22 @ 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.

Sep
25
Tue
On Thin Ice at the North Pole @ Heller Nature Center
Sep 25 @ 7:00 pm
On Thin Ice at the North Pole @ Heller Nature Center

Wilmette’s Annie Aggens has been guiding expeditions to the North Pole by ski and dogsled since 2000 through Polar Explorers, a division of The Northwest Passage adventure travel company, and has witnessed the effects of global warming on the ice and snow there firsthand. She will take us on an armchair expedition to the region and describe the effects of climate change on the polar environment.

Sep
30
Sun
Daniel Wright Woods @ Daniel Wright Woods
Sep 30 @ 7:00 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.

Leader: Joe Rockey (224) 875-8851

Oct
6
Sat
Cuba Marsh @ Cuba Marsh
Oct 6 @ 7:00 am

Search for lingering fall migrants.

Leader: Joe Rockey (224) 875–8851

Bemis Woods – South @ Bemis Woods South
Oct 6 @ 8:00 am
Bemis Woods - South @ Bemis Woods South

Peak fall landbird migration should feature many warbler, sparrow and other species. This is a follow up to our August 28 #BirdthePreserves program and an exceptional opportunity to go birding with Doug Stotz in his “patch.”

Leader: Doug Stotz, Senior Conservation Ecologist, Keller Science Action Center, Field Museum

Note: Members only. Registration required: renabird3@gmail.com

 

Directions:

Bemis Woods South is on the north side of Ogden, just east of I-294 (there is an exit at Ogden) and west of Wolf Road.  Go to the northwestern most part of parking area by Grove # 7 picnic shelter.  Here is a PDF map to Bemis Woods Groves.

 

Oct
14
Sun
Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve @ Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve
Oct 14 @ 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

Leader: Maureen Marsh  (352) 317-5130

Oct
16
Tue
Road to Recovery for Illinois’ Barn Owls @ Heller Nature Center
Oct 16 @ 7:00 pm
Road to Recovery for Illinois’ Barn Owls @ Heller Nature Center

Barn Owls were listed as Illinois-endangered in 1977. The species is now being delisted, thanks to a recovery plan that has included more than 200 new nest boxes, monitoring of more than 450 boxes overall, and habitat protection efforts. Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Terry Esker, a member of the recovery team, will discuss the program, its success, and challenges still faced in maintaining Barn Owl populations in the state.

Oct
20
Sat
McDonald Woods and Hastings Lake @ McDonald Woods
Oct 20 @ 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
4
Sun
Ducks on Lake Michigan @ Illinois Beach State Park - North Unit
Nov 4 @ 7:30 am
Ducks on Lake Michigan @ Illinois Beach State Park - North Unit

Possible Scoters, Red-throated Loons & other migrating waterfowl. Multi-stop trip begins at Illinois Beach State Park North Unit in Zion.

Directions:

From Sheridan Rd., turn east on 17th St., bear left after Sand Pond, drive to last parking lot.

Leader: Jeff Sanders  (847) 657-6431

Nov
10
Sat
Lake County Lakes @ Diamond Lake
Nov 10 @ 7:30 am
Lake County Lakes @ Diamond Lake | Waukegan | Illinois | United States

Date is subject to change depending on waterfowl migration and will be finalized here and in the chapter email. Multi-stop driving trip begins at Diamond Lake in Mundelein. 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.

Leader: Jeff Sanders 847-657-6431

Nov
20
Tue
Haven for Herps: The Spectacle of Snake Road @ Heller Nature Center
Nov 20 @ 7:00 pm
Haven for Herps: The Spectacle of Snake Road @ Heller Nature Center

Snake Road is a unique ecosystem in the Shawnee National Forest of southern Illinois that consists of towering limestone bluffs bordered by hardwood forest and buttonwood swamps. A narrow gravel road parallels the bluffs at their base.  So many snakes cross the road on their way to and from their hibernaculums in the bluffs that the US Forest Service closes the road for two months in the spring and fall to protect the snakes from vehicles.  The 2.5-mile closed section is open to foot traffic, and herpetologists and field herpers flock to the area to observe the phenomenon.  Veterinarian, herpetologist and wildlife photographer Stephen Barten will share the whys, hows and thrills of the experience, which also includes bird and other animal sightings.

Jan
12
Sat
Daytime Owl Prowl @ Captain Daniel Wright Woods - Registration Required
Jan 12 @ 10:00 am
Daytime Owl Prowl @ Captain Daniel Wright Woods - Registration Required | Libertyville | Illinois | United States

NEW! Registration Required. Limit 20. Member priority. $5.00 participation fee.

Join Steve “Owl Whisperer” Bailey to search for Barred Owls 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.

Jan
15
Tue
The Science of Controlled Burns @ Heller Nature Center
Jan 15 @ 7:00 pm
The Science of Controlled Burns @ Heller Nature Center

Every year, on average, land managers perform controlled burns across roughly 2,500 acres of Lake County Forest Preserves in order to reduce nonnative, invasive plants and encourage native growth. The district’s Leslie Berns will discuss the importance of prescribed burns for land management, the timing, how sites are chosen, and the impact on both plant and bird life.

Jan
20
Sun
Saving the Puerto Rican Parrot @ Lincoln Park Zoo
Jan 20 @ 10:00 am
Saving the Puerto Rican Parrot @ Lincoln Park Zoo | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Registration Required.

The Puerto Rican Parrot is one of the world’s most endangered birds. The population has rebounded from just 13 in 1975 to over 600 today, thanks to a multi-agency effort that has included population analysis support from Lincoln Park Zoo scientists. Curator of Birds Sunny Nelson will tell the story and introduce us to two members of this special species, which is found in the wild only in Puerto Rico.

Read more about the Puerto Rican Parrot here.

Space limited, member priority.  Register (required) at renabird3@gmail.com.

Feb
16
Sat
Gull Frolic @ Gull Frolic at Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club
Feb 16 all-day
Gull Frolic @ Gull Frolic at Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club | Winthrop Harbor | Illinois | United States

18th 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
19
Tue
What Radar Tells Us about Bird Migration @ Heller Nature Center
Feb 19 @ 7:00 pm
What Radar Tells Us about Bird Migration @ Heller Nature Center

Radar has become an important tool for tracking bird movements. Well-known local birder Geoff Williamson will explain how radar can detect birds, how scientists are using it, how birders can use it during migration to help determine ‘good’ birding days, where to find radar forecasts, and how to interpret the patterns displayed.

Mar
2
Sat
Hennepin-Hopper Day Trip @ Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes
Mar 2 all-day
Hennepin-Hopper Day Trip @ Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes | Illinois | United States

Waterfowl migration spectacle at Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, 2 hours south on the Illinois River.

Details to be provided to attendees. Register (required) at renabird3@gmail.com

Mar
19
Tue
Conserving Migrating Birds from Central Illinois to the Tropics @ Heller Nature Center
Mar 19 @ 7:00 pm
Conserving Migrating Birds from Central Illinois to the Tropics @ Heller Nature Center

From American Golden-Plovers that migrate through central Illinois to thrushes and vireos that cross the Gulf of Mexico, migrating birds need a lot of TLC to get to their breeding grounds in North America. Illinois Natural History Survey’s Mike Ward, an ornithologist who also teaches at University of Illinois, will discuss his group’s studies of stopover ecology and efforts to promote safe passage for migrating birds.

Mar
24
Sun
Loons of Lake County @ Diamond Lake
Mar 24 @ 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
6
Sat
Woodcocks in Lake Bluff @ Lake Bluff Open Lands’ Skokie Valley Reserve
Apr 6 @ 7:00 pm
Woodcocks in Lake Bluff @ Lake Bluff Open Lands’ Skokie Valley Reserve | Lake Bluff | Illinois | United States

NEW!

Woodcock watching at dusk.

Apr
13
Sat
Orland Grassland South @ Orland Grassland South
Apr 13 @ 7:30 am
Orland Grassland South @ Orland Grassland South | Orland Park | Illinois | United States

Target birds are Smith’s and Lapland Longspurs, plus the first wave of shorebirds.

Directions:

Take I-55 to Exit 279A, Route 45-LaGrange Rd. south; turn west on 179h St., then south on 104th Ave about two blocks. Then left/east into grassland.

Apr
16
Tue
Welcome Back, River Otters! @ Heller Nature Center
Apr 16 @ 7:00 pm
Welcome Back, River Otters! @ Heller Nature Center

River otters have returned to the Chicago area in 2015 after decades of absence caused by trapping, habitat destruction and poor water quality. Chris Anchor, senior wildlife biologist with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, will share the story of their discovery, the factors behind their return, and what the future holds for their survival locally.

 

Apr
28
Sun
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary – Magic Hedge @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
Apr 28 @ 7:00 am
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary - Magic Hedge @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary | Chicago | Illinois | United States

First wave of passerine arrivals gets us in the swing of spring migration. This is the first of two spring field trips to Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, everyone’s favorite Chicago birding hotspot.

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
4
Sat
2019 Spring Bird Count @ Contact Joel Greenberg for Lake County assignments or Alan Anderson for Cook County assignments
May 4 all-day
2019 Spring Bird Count @ Contact Joel Greenberg for Lake County assignments or Alan Anderson for Cook County assignments

Citizen science bird count. Not a leader-led field trip. Prior arrangements for participation are required.

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
5
Sun
LaBagh Woods @ Labagh Woods
May 5 @ 7:00 am
LaBagh Woods @ Labagh Woods | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Warblers and vireos, oh my! 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
Wed
Ryerson Conservation Area @ Ryerson Conservation Area
May 8 @ 6:45 am
Ryerson Conservation Area @ Ryerson Conservation Area | Deerfield | Illinois | United States

Who’s migrating today?    [Note: We will meet at Brushwood Center – NOT the Welcome Center]

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., drive to Ryerson entrance on left and turn left at first driveway to Brushwood Center.

 

May
11
Sat
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary – Magic Hedge @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
May 11 @ 7:00 am
Montrose Point 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
12
Sun
Daniel Wright Woods @ Daniel Wright Woods
May 12 @ 7:00 am
Daniel Wright Woods @ Daniel Wright Woods | Illinois | United States

Local magnet for migrating songbirds and more. Start Mother’s Day with a (bird)song.

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.

Leader: Ethan Ellis 773-677-4175

May
17
Fri
Birding by the Big Lake: Illinois Audubon Society Spring Gathering @ Host Hotel - Doubletree Libertyville/Mundelein
May 17 @ 5:00 pm – May 19 @ 1:00 pm
Birding by the Big Lake: Illinois Audubon Society Spring Gathering @ Host Hotel - Doubletree Libertyville/Mundelein | Mundelein | Illinois | United States

Birding by the Big Lake
Spring Gathering 2019
May 17-19
hosted by Lake-Cook Chapter

Lake/Cook Chapter is hosting the 2019 Illinois Audubon Society Spring Gathering, which will draw IAS members from around the state. The weekend will feature Friday and Saturday night speakers, nearly 20 field trips, and a raffle and silent auction whose proceeds will support future chapter programs and initiatives.

On Friday night, local raptor photographer and enthusiast Vic Berardi will discuss why Lake County has two hawk watches just a short distance apart, what’s been seen at them, and his personal hawk watching highlights. On Saturday night, in keeping with the “Big Lake” theme of the weekend, David Ullrich, longtime director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, will provide insights into the past and present environmental challenges faced by the Great Lakes.

A full schedule of field trips and registration information will be available in January.  Prior registration is required and opens January 1, 2019.  Members and non-members are welcome.

Event location:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Libertyville/Mundelein

May
21
Tue
Rail Tales @ Heller Nature Center
May 21 @ 7:00 pm
Rail Tales @ Heller Nature Center

Rails are among the most elusive birds in our area, usually hiding in dense marsh vegetation. Stephanie Beilke, an Audubon Great Lakes staffer who has been involved in monitoring marsh birds in Illinois and Indiana, will fill us in on the habits, population trends, and best places to find these secretive wetland dwellers in our area.