Calendar

Mar
30
Sat
Loons of Lake County @ Diamond Lake
Mar 30 @ 8:00 am

Our annual spring waterfowl trip begins at Diamond Lake in Mundelein, followed by other stops looking for ducks, loons and pelicans passing through on their spring journey to their breeding grounds. Bring scopes if you have them.

Directions: Meet at Gale Street Inn parking lot, 935 N. Diamond Lake Rd., Mundelein.

Leader: Jeff Sanders 847-675-7172 (landline)

Contact day of trip: Rena Cohen 848-971-1107

Apr
21
Sun
Rollins Savanna – Grayslake @ Rollins Savanna - Drury Lane entrance
Apr 21 @ 7:00 am
Rollins Savanna - Grayslake @ Rollins Savanna - Drury Lane entrance

Wetland, grassland and oak grove habitats provide ample opportunity to see a wide variety of  migrating landbirds, shorebirds & waterfowl. Meet at Drury Lane parking lot.

Directions: From I-94, exit Grand Ave. west to Rollins Road, turn left (west) on Rollins and south on Drury Lane – drive .3 mile to parking lot.

Leader: Beau Schaefer 847-337-3602

Apr
25
Thu
Southern Illinois in Spring @ Giant City State Park Lodge
Apr 25 – Apr 28 all-day
Southern Illinois in Spring @ Giant City State Park Lodge | Makanda | Illinois | United States

Join Lake/Cook and Red Hill Birding’s Adam Sell for a spring jaunt to southern Illinois. Migrants are at their peak in this area in late April, and most of the southern breeding specialties are already actively setting up territories. We’ll search for migrants that haven’t yet reached our area plus specialties like Chuck-wills-Widow, Prairie, Worm-eating, and Kentucky Warblers, Bell’s Vireo, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Fish Crow, and Loggerhead Shrike. Bonus: we will be staying at the Giant City State Park Lodge, where species like White-eyed Vireo, Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, and Red-shouldered Hawk can be right outside our door.

We’ll be traveling by one or two vans from the Chicago area, depending on participant numbers. Email renabird3@gmail.com for itinerary and cost. Maximum 15 participants. Member priority

Apr
27
Sat
Skokie Lagoons/Erickson Woods @ Skokie Lagoons/Erickson Woods - Northfield
Apr 27 @ 7:00 am
Skokie Lagoons/Erickson Woods @ Skokie Lagoons/Erickson Woods - Northfield

This popular migrant stopover has a mix of woodland and wetland habitats that can yield a rich mix of early migrants. It is also one of the best places in the north suburbs to look for Rusty Blackbirds in April.

Directions: Meet at the Willow Rd. entrance just east of the Edens Expressway (the sign says Erickson Woods). From the north, take Edens X-way south exiting at Tower Road. Turn left (south) on the Frontage road to Willow Road. Turn left (east) on Willow over the Edens to Erickson Woods entrance. Drive to north end of parking lot.

Leader: Amanda Tichacek, 404-803-4145

May
2
Thu
Beginners Bird Walk, Daniel Wright Woods – Mettawa @ Daniel Wright Woods
May 2 @ 7:00 am
Beginners Bird Walk, Daniel Wright Woods – Mettawa @ Daniel Wright Woods | Illinois | United States

Discover the wonders of spring migration at one of the area’s best hotspots, thanks to its location on the Des Plaines River. Bring binoculars (not opera glasses), wear sturdy shoes, and see why spring is birders’ favorite season. Optional gathering for coffee after the walk.

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. Meet in the parking lot at Everett and St. Mary’s Roads.

Leader: Rena Cohen 847-971-1107

May
4
Sat
Spring Bird Count
May 4 all-day
Spring Bird Count

Every year since 1972, volunteers have participated in this one-day count across the entire state of Illinois to help measure bird populations.

Contact renabird3@gmail.com if you would like to participate.

May
5
Sun
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary/Magic Hedge – Chicago @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
May 5 @ 7:00 am
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary/Magic Hedge - Chicago @ Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary | Chicago | Illinois | United States

Spring warblers should be making their appearance along with other migrating passerines, lingering waterfowl and – if we’re lucky – returning Piping Plovers (descendants of Monty and Rose) and other special avian “guests” at Chicago’s favorite birding hotspot. One eBird report lists 78 species on the same weekend in 2023.

Directions: From Lake Shore Dr. take the Montrose Ave. exit east, turn right at the Bait Shop at Montrose Harbor Dr., park near sanctuary entrance and feed parking meters OR park on Montrose before or after Bait Shop for free. Meet at the sanctuary entrance.

Leader: Rena Cohen 847-971-1107

May
6
Mon
Lakewood Forest Preserve – Wauconda @ Lakewood Forest Preserve
May 6 @ 7:00 am
Lakewood Forest Preserve - Wauconda @ Lakewood Forest Preserve | Wauconda | Illinois | United States

Lake County’s largest forest preserve – made famous last spring for a sighting of the first-ever state record of Painted Redstart – is a great place to check out early spring songbird migration.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1RlRjHn-igE3F8zEq6AN4VmCaKHdusew&usp=sharing

Directions: From westbound Route 176, turn left (south) onto Fairfield Road. Within a 1/4 mile turn right (southwest) onto W. Ivanhoe Road. Do NOT turn left into the Lakewood Forest Preserve parking lot. Continue southwest on Ivanhoe Road about 1/4 mile to the first road on your left (past big white house on corner). This road is gravel and unnamed. Drive down this road to a small parking lot and public toilets. (Map)

Leader: Beau Schaefer 847-337-3602

 

May
7
Tue
Illinois Beach State Park – South Unit – Zion @ Illinois Beach State Park - South Unit
May 7 @ 7:00 am
Illinois Beach State Park - South Unit - Zion @ Illinois Beach State Park - South Unit | Laguna Beach | California | United States

From the Dead River Trail to the Lake Michigan shoreline with sand dunes and other habitats in between, IBSP provides a rich mix of passerines, waterfowl and raptors.

 Directions: From US-41, turn east on Wadsworth Rd. and drive 2 miles into the park. Park in the Nature Center parking lot.

 Leader: Kerry Swift (847) 323-6878

May
9
Thu
University of Saint Mary of the Lake – Mundelein @ University of Saint Mary of the Lake
May 9 @ 7:00 am
University of Saint Mary of the Lake – Mundelein @ University of Saint Mary of the Lake

NEW! This underbirded location is a beautiful seminary campus featuring a hard surface road that loops 3.2 miles around a large lake, plus woods surrounding the lake with excellent habitat for migrants.

Directions: From Route 176, turn north off Route 45. Enter at the stoplight on Route 45 between Route 176 and Winchester Rd. (The address is 1000 E. Maple Avenue but the access is from Route 45.) Park in the Purple Lot.

USML Purple Parking Lot and Package Delivery – THIS IS THE PIN

Leader: Wanda Supanich 224-433-1675

May
11
Sat
Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve – Oakbrook @ Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve
May 11 @ 7:00 am
Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve - Oakbrook @ Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve

NEW! Join us to explore two DuPage County hotspots: Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in Oakbrook and nearby Lyman Woods Forest Preserve in Downers Grove. We’ll begin at Fullersburg Woods, where several paths along Salt Creek can yield both landbirds and shorebirds. Lyman Woods features large swaths of oak forest and is just a few miles away.

Note: Wear boots if it has rained recently. The trails can be muddy.

Directions: The Fullersburg Woods parking lot is at 3609 Spring Road in Oak Brook. From the north suburbs, take the I-294 tollway south to Ogden Avenue/34 West (exit 37B).  Drive .8 miles to North York Road and turn right, then .2 miles to Spring Road and turn right. Then drive ½ mile to the entrance. (The sign is obscured by some brush but it’s at the bottom of a slope.) Lyman Woods is a few miles west of Fullersburg at 901 31st Street.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/Z9bUnGKnE2jhCiMDA

Leader: Scott McKinney 630-364-0603

 

May
12
Sun
Daniel Wright Woods – Mettawa @ Daniel Wright Woods
May 12 @ 7:00 am
Daniel Wright Woods – Mettawa @ Daniel Wright Woods | Illinois | United States

Start your Mother’s Day with a (bird)song! This Lake County warbler hotspot along the Des Plaines River is a rich oak and maple woodland where migrants frequently land on their journey north.

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. Meet in the parking lot at Everett and St. Mary’s Roads.

Leaders: Charlotte Pavelka & Doug Reitz (847) 347-8416

May
14
Tue
Lyons Woods – Waukegan @ Lyons Woods
May 14 @ 7:00 am
Lyons Woods - Waukegan @ Lyons Woods | Waukegan | Illinois | United States

The trails in this Lake County Forest Preserve move from pine grove to prairie to oak woodland, providing an ideal stopover for migrants as well as breeding habitat for favorites like Blue-winged Warbler.

Directions: The entrance is on Blanchard Road, just west of Sheridan Road, north of Bowen Park and south of Yorkhouse Road.

Leader:Kerry Swift (847) 323-6878

May
17
Fri
Crabtree Nature Center – Barrington Hills @ Crabtree Nature Center
May 17 @ 7:15 am
Crabtree Nature Center - Barrington Hills @ Crabtree Nature Center | Barrington | Illinois | United States

Great location for migrating and resident birds with a mix of woodland, wetland and prairie habitat. Trails are unpaved and can be muddy depending on weather. Probable sightings range from warblers, vireos and other passerines to rails, waterfowl and Black-crowned Night Heron.

Directions: Take Willow Rd./Palatine Rd. west, turn north into preserve (Stover Rd.) one mile west of Barrington Rd. Meet in the main parking lot. The gates open at 7 am on Friday so plan to arrive between 7 and 7:15.

 Leader: Dan Ellig 224-456-8011

 

May
18
Sat
Ryerson Conservation Area – Riverwoods @ Ryerson Conservation Area
May 18 @ 7:00 am
Ryerson Conservation Area - Riverwoods @ Ryerson Conservation Area | Deerfield | Illinois | United States

This hotspot along the Des Plaines River corridor can yield some of the most sought-after migrants, like the Hooded Warbler that nested there for several years and the Cerulean Warbler that hung out at eye level for 20 minutes on a Lake/Cook outing a few years ago. We’ll look for the resident Pileated Woodpeckers as well.

Directions: From Deerfield Rd., turn north on Riverwoods Rd., drive to Ryerson entrance. Enter preserve and follow the signs to Brushwood Visitors Center. Meet in the Brushwood parking lot. NOTE: The gates open at 6:30 am.

Leader: Donna Kenski 847-347-3474

May
19
Sun
Glacial Park – Ringwood @ Glacial Park
May 19 @ 7:30 am
Glacial Park - Ringwood @ Glacial Park | Ringwood | Illinois | United States

One of the best sites in Chicagoland for Yellow-headed Blackbirds, with varying habitats also yielding a rich range of migrating land and water birds. Our last mid-May sightings here included Olive-sided Flycatcher, Clay-colored Sparrow, Short-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Phalarope, young Sandhill Cranes, Henslow’s Sparrow, Bobolink and many warbler species.

Directions: From IL 137 (Buckley Rd.), turn slight right onto W. Peterson Rd., right onto IL 60, left onto IL 120/Belvidere Rd., right onto N. Richmond Rd./IL 31, and left onto Harts Rd. into preserve. Turn into first parking lot on your right. Restrooms are available there.

Leader: Mark Fritzmann 815-382-0055

May
22
Wed
Wadsworth Canoe Launch / Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve – Wadsworth @ Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve
May 22 @ 7:00 am
Wadsworth Canoe Launch / Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve - Wadsworth @ Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve | Wadsworth | Illinois | United States

The trail beginning at the Des Plaines River canoe launch loops through woodland, savanna and wetland habitats that can be filled with a wide variety of bird species. One previous chapter walk here even yielded a Brewster’s Warbler, a hybrid Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warbler that is rarely reported in the Chicago area.

Directions: Preserve is on Wadsworth Rd., just east of US 41. Park at the Canoe Launch entrance.

Leader: Donna Kenski 847-347-3474

May
24
Fri
Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at Fort Sheridan – Highwood @ Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at Fort Sheridan
May 24 @ 7:00 am
Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at Fort Sheridan - Highwood @ Openlands Lakeshore Preserve at Fort Sheridan | Highwood | Illinois | United States

Now part of the Lake County Forest Preserves and reopened in 2023 after several years of being closed to the public, this 72-acre site along the shoreline of Lake Michigan is one of the few publicly accessible ravines and blufftop ecosystems in the area and a great stopover for migrants on the way to their breeding grounds.

Directions: The preserve is located at 24256 North Patten Rd. From downtown Highwood, turn east on Walker Ave., then north on Patten Rd. to the parking lot just south of the bridge. The lot is small. You can also park on street. Observe street signs, if any.

Leader: Nancy Tikalsky 773-655-0269

 

May
25
Sat
The Grove – Glenview @ The Grove
May 25 @ 7:00 am
The Grove - Glenview @ The Grove | Glenview | Illinois | United States

This National Historic Landmark spans 150 acres of oak-hickory savanna and wetland pools that provide an oasis for spring migrants.

Directions: The Grove is located at 1421 Milwaukee Avenue, south of Lake Street and north of Abt Electronics). Enter the property and drive to the last (easternmost) parking lot adjacent to the Redfield Estate.

Leaders: Ed and Rebecca Rice 847-420-0734

May
26
Sun
Illinois Beach State Park North Unit – Winthrop Harbor @ Fisherman's Parking Lot
May 26 @ 7:00 am
Illinois Beach State Park North Unit – Winthrop Harbor @ Fisherman's Parking Lot | Winthrop Harbor | Illinois | United States

Great spot for lingering and late migrants, including star skulkers like Mourning and Connecticut Warblers.

Directions: From Sheridan Road/Route 137 turn east on 7th Street. Follow 7th street toward the North Point Marina. At the stop sign, turn right and then, almost immediately, turn right into the fisherman’s parking lot.

Leader: Beau Schaefer 847-337-3602

 

 

May
30
Thu
Chain O Lakes State Park – Spring Grove @ Chain O’Lakes State Park - Spring Grove
May 30 @ 7:00 am
Chain O Lakes State Park – Spring Grove @ Chain O’Lakes State Park - Spring Grove | Spring Grove | Illinois | United States

Our closest state park is a multi-habitat migrant trap that has recorded nearly 250 species, including over 80 in one outing in late May in 2023.

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. Meet at the pull-out/overlook on the right side of the entrance road.

Leader: Beau Schaefer 847-337-3602

Jun
8
Sat
Illinois Beach State Park North Unit and Whip-poor-wills – Winthrop Harbor @ Fisherman's Parking Lot
Jun 8 @ 6:30 pm
Illinois Beach State Park North Unit and Whip-poor-wills – Winthrop Harbor @ Fisherman's Parking Lot | Winthrop Harbor | Illinois | United States

We’ll bird the IBSP North Unit trail heading south from the “fisherman’s parking lot” at North Point Marina, then wind up near the parking lot shortly after 8 pm to be in place when the Whip-poor-wills begin chanting their endless whip-poor-will breeding call at dusk. Sunset is at 8:24 pm so be prepared to stay until 8:45-9 pm.

Directions: From Sheridan Road/Route 137 turn east on 7th Street. Follow 7th street toward the North Point Marina. At the stop sign, turn right and then, almost immediately, turn right into the fisherman’s parking lot.

Leader: Nancy Tikalsky 773-655-0269

 

 

Jun
27
Thu
Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve – Libertyville @ Liberty Prairie Nature Preserve
Jun 27 @ 7:00 am

NEW! This small natural area connects Independence Grove with Oak Openings. It packs a lot of different habitats into a short 2-2.5 mile walk, including rolling prairie, woods, creek and pond habitats, providing opportunities for a wide range of birdlife.

Directions: Take Route 41 north to Buckley Rd./Route 137. Turn west and drive 5.6 miles to Butterfield Rd. Turn right on Butterfield (NOT left, ignore the arrow on the street sign) and park on Castleton Rd near the trail head.  No bathrooms are available; use McDonalds on Peterson Rd before arriving.

Leader: Wanda Supanich 224-433-1675