For 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.
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.
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.
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.
Members and non-members alike are invited to join us for our annual potluck dinner. This is a great opportunity to socialize, provide feedback on our year of programs and field trips. Also enjoy a sneak preview of what’s on tap for our Chapter’s 2018 – 2019 program & field trip year.
Bring a dish to share, personal bird stories to tell, and gently used bird and nature books to sell.
Not a cook? Store-bought is fine. Everything is welcome – small and large portions alike or bring a beverage.