Birding

Dickcissel-Jim-Phillips

 

#BirdThePreserves

Did you know some birds sing notes too high for humans to hear? Or that ospreys almost always carry fish parallel to their bodies to improve aerodynamics? Have you ever seen a heron eat a fish whole, or a crow using homemade tools catch their prey? The native and migrating birds that can be spotted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County are as unique and diverse as the Forest Preserves themselves!

osprey in flight with fish

Bird of the Month: Osprey

Each month during our 2016 Bird the Preserves initiative, we’re giving you the opportunity to see some of the most interesting birds in the preserves. Learn more about osprey and where you can see them in July.

New and experienced birders can enjoy this fun and versatile year-round activity while experiencing the many amenities offered throughout the Forest Preserves, including miles of marked trails, major waterways that can be canoed or kayaked, dedicated nature preserves, nature centers and more.

 

Throughout 2016, take advantage of frequent opportunities to view some of the most interesting and spectacular birds in the preserves. Odd mating dances, unbelievable migrations and more will take center stage at bird walks, festivals and informational programs across the county.

Printable Birding Checklist

Whether you are an avid birder or just starting out, track all of your bird sightings by downloading the printable Forest Preserves of Cook County Birding Checklist!

Download

Top Photo: Dickcissel by Jim Phillips; Timberdoodle photo modified from Flickr user Fyn Kynd Photography

 


2016 Big Year Competition

From March 1 to December 31, 2016, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is hosting a Big Year birding competition... with a twist! During the #BirdthePreserves Big Year competition, the preserves compete instead of the people.

Learn More
U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceChicago Wilderness

Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Chicago Wilderness.

Events List Navigation

Birding Events

July 2016
Wed, Jul 27 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jul 30 • 8 AM
Free

Burnham Prairie Big Year Birding Field Trip

Burnham Prairie, Burnham
Bird The PreservesSun, Jul 31 • 1 PM
Free

Bird of the Month: Great Blue Heron

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
August 2016
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesSat, Aug 6 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
Sat, Aug 6 • 10 AM
Free

Hummingbird Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Sat, Aug 6 • 1:30 pm
Free

Live Healthy, Discover Nature Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Thu, Aug 11 • 5 PM
Free

Hummer Watch

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
garden-bird-walk
Bird The PreservesSat, Aug 13 • 7:30 am
Free

Bird Walk

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
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Bird The PreservesSat, Aug 13 • 8:30 am
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Birding Trip: Powderhorn

Powderhorn Lake, Burnham
Sat, Aug 13 • 10 AM
Free

Hummingbird Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Sun, Aug 14 • 8 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Sun, Aug 14 • 10 AM
Free

Hummingbird Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesWed, Aug 17 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Aug 20 • 8 AM
Free

Burnham Prairie Big Year Birding Field Trip

Burnham Prairie, Burnham
Sun, Aug 21 • 10 AM
Free

Hummingbird Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSun, Aug 21 • 1 PM
Free

Bird of the Month: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
films-forest-big-year
SeriesTue, Aug 23 • 6:30 pm
Free

Films in the Forest: “The Big Year”

Cermak Woods, Lyons
Wed, Aug 24 • 10 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Aug 27 • 8:30 am
Free

Confusing Fall Warblers Bird Walk

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Sun, Aug 28 • 10 AM
Free

Hummingbird Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
September 2016
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 10 • 7 AM
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Birding Trip: McGinnis Slough

McGinnis Slough, Orland Park
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesTue, Sep 13 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 17 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
garden-bird-walk
Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 17 • 7:30 am
Free

Bird Walk

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesSun, Sep 25 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
October 2016
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesMon, Oct 3 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesWed, Oct 12 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
+ Export Listed Events
Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County