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!

oriole-trans

Bird of the Month: Baltimore Oriole

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 the Baltimore oriole and where you can see it in May.

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

May 2016
web-logos-birdthepreserves
Bird The PreservesTue, May 31 • 7 AM
Free

Galloping Hill Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
web-logos-birdthepreserves
Bird The PreservesTue, May 31 • 8 AM
Free

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Miller Meadow-South, Forest Park
June 2016
Girl using a dip net
Don't MissWed, Jun 1 • 10 AM
Free

Nature Is Accessible!

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 4 • 7 AM
Free

Clayton F. Smith Preserves Big Year Birding Field Trip

Bunker Hill, Chicago
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 4 • 8 AM
Free

Deer Grove Birding Field Trip

Deer Grove East, Palatine
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 4 • 8 AM
Free

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Miller Meadow-South, Forest Park
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 4 • 8:30 am
Free

Summer Breeding Birds

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 4 • 9 AM
Free

Orland Grassland Volunteers Welcome Back Bobolinks

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesSun, Jun 5 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
Sun, Jun 5 • 10 AM
Free

Birds Nests

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 11 • 6:30 am
Free

Penny Road Pond Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 11 • 7:30 am
$19

Bird Walk: Summer Nesting Birds

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
web-logos-birdthepreserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 11 • 7:30 am
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Birding Trip: Bergman Slough and Cap Sauers Holding

Bergman Slough, Palos Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 11 • 10 AM
Free

Nesting Birds Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Sun, Jun 12 • 10 AM
Free

Bluebird Monitoring

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

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesFri, Jun 17 • 7 AM
Free

Galloping Hill Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
Fri, Jun 17 • 7 PM
Free

Twilight Bird Hike

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 18 • 7 AM
Free

LaBagh Woods Big Year Birding Field Trip

Irene Hernandez Family Picnic Area, Chicago
Sun, Jun 19 • 1 PM
Free

Feathered Fathers

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesTue, Jun 21 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Big Year Birding Field Trip

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Thu, Jun 23 • 5 PM
Free

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
brookfield-zoo-events
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 25 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 25 • 8 AM
Free

Penny Road Pond Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 25 • 8 AM
Free

Big Year Birding Field Trip Miller Meadow Bird Walk

Miller Meadow-South, Forest Park
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSun, Jun 26 • 8 AM
Free

Eggers Grove Big Year Birding Field Trip

Eggers Grove, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSun, Jun 26 • 1 PM
Free

Bird of the Month: American Robin

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Wed, Jun 29 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
July 2016
Bird The PreservesSun, Jul 3 • 9 AM
Free

July Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Sun, Jul 3 • 1:30 pm
Free

American Raptors

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Wed, Jul 6 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
ospreycover-590
Bird The PreservesThu, Jul 7 • 8 AM
Free

The Return of Osprey to Cook County

Saganashkee Slough East, Willow Springs
Thu, Jul 7 • 6 PM
Free

Avian Encounters!

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jul 9 • 8:30 am
Free

Summer Breeding Birds

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Wed, Jul 13 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesSat, Jul 16 • 7:30 am
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Birding Trip: Orland Grassland

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
bird-the-preserves
Bird The PreservesTue, Jul 19 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Big Year Birding Field Trip

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Wed, Jul 20 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Sat, Jul 23 • 1:30 pm
Free

Feathered Homes

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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
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
bird-the-preserves
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 • 10 AM
Free

Hummingbird Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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
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
+ Export Listed Events
Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County