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!

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Bird of the Month: Black-capped Chickadees

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 black-capped chickadees and where you can see them in September.

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

September 2016
SeriesSat, Sep 3 • 10 AM
Free

Wee Wonders: Bird Migration

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Sat, Sep 3 • 10 AM
Free

Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 3 • 10 AM
Free

Birding Basics

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Bird The PreservesFri, Sep 9 • 7:30 am
Free

Penny Road Pond Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 10 • 7 AM
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Birding Trip: McGinnis Slough

McGinnis Slough, Orland Park
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 10 • 7 AM
Free

Viaje de Campo Bosque LaBagh / Chicago Ornithological Society Big Year Birding Field Trip

Irene Hernandez Family Picnic Area, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 10 • 8 AM
Free

Eggers Woods Give Back to Birds Day

Eggers Grove, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 10 • 9 AM
Free

Orland Grassland Volunteers Big Year Birding Field Trip: Grassland Birds

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 10 • 10 AM
Free

Birding with the Field Museum en Español con Wild Indigo

Eggers Grove, Chicago
Sat, Sep 10 • 1:30 pm
Free

Birds at the Feeder

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Sun, Sep 11 • 1:30 pm
Free

The Black-capped Chickadee

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Bird The PreservesTue, Sep 13 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
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Bird The PreservesThu, Sep 15 • 8:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Birding Trip

Perkins Woods, Evanston
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 17 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

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

Orland Grassland Volunteers Big Year Birding Field Trip: Shorebirds

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 17 • 7:30 am
Free

Bird Walk

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
Sat, Sep 17 • 10 AM
Free

20th Anniversary of Bird Banding at Sagawau

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Sat, Sep 17 • 1 PM
Free

Bird of the Month: Black-capped Chickadee

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
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Bird The PreservesSun, Sep 18 • 8 AM
Free

Burnham Prairie Big Year Birding Field Trip

Burnham Prairie, Burnham
Bird The PreservesSun, Sep 18 • 9 AM
Free

Bird Walks

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Bird The PreservesTue, Sep 20 • 7 AM
Free

Big Year Birding Field Trips at Skokie Lagoons

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Bird The PreservesTue, Sep 20 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesThu, Sep 22 • 8:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Birding Trip

Perkins Woods, Evanston
Bird The PreservesFri, Sep 23 • 9 AM
Free

Bird Walks

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Fri, Sep 23 • 7 PM
Free

Night Owls

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 24 • 7 AM
Free

Orland Grassland Volunteers Big Year Birding Field Trip: Fall Migration

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 24 • 7:30 am
Free

Viaje de Campo Miller Meadow

Miller Meadow-North, Forest Park
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Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 24 • 8:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Birding Trip

Perkins Woods, Evanston
Bird The PreservesSat, Sep 24 • 9 AM
Free

Bird Walks

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Bird The PreservesSun, Sep 25 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
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Bird The PreservesSun, Sep 25 • 8 AM
Free

Bird ID Canoe Cruise

Tower Road Boat Launch, Northfield
Bird The PreservesSun, Sep 25 • 9 AM
Free

Bird Walks

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Bird The PreservesTue, Sep 27 • 8 AM
Free

Big Bend Lake Big Year Birding Field Trip

Big Bend Lake, Des Plaines
Bird The PreservesTue, Sep 27 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesThu, Sep 29 • 7:30 am
Free

Busse Big Year Birding Field Trip

Busse Lake Boating Center, Schaumburg
October 2016
SeriesSat, Oct 1 • 8 AM
Free

Migrating Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSat, Oct 1 • 9 AM
Free

Bird Walks

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Oct 1 • 10 AM
Free

Wee Wonders: Woodpeckers

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Bird The PreservesSun, Oct 2 • 8 AM
Free

Birding with the Field Museum at Eggers Grove

Eggers Grove, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesMon, Oct 3 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
Bird The PreservesTue, Oct 4 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesFri, Oct 7 • 7:30 am
Free

Penny Road Pond Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
Bird The PreservesFri, Oct 7 • 9 AM
Free

Bird Walks

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
spring-bird-paddle
Bird The PreservesSun, Oct 9 • 10 AM
Free

Bird ID Canoe Cruise

Powderhorn Lake, Burnham
Bird The PreservesSun, Oct 9 • 1 PM
Free

Knock, Knock! Who’s there?

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesMon, Oct 10 • 1:30 pm
Free

Holiday Program: The Red-bellied Woodpecker

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesTue, Oct 11 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesWed, Oct 12 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
Bird The PreservesSat, Oct 15 • 1 PM
Free

Bird of the Month: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
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Bird The PreservesTue, Oct 18 • 7 AM
Free

Big Year Birding Field Trips at Skokie Lagoons

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
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Bird The PreservesSat, Oct 22 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Birding Trip: LaBagh Woods

LaBagh Woods, Chicago
Fri, Oct 28 • 5 PM
Free

Dusk Bird Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
November 2016
SeriesSat, Nov 5 • 10 AM
Free

Wee Wonders: Who’s Still Around?

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
SeriesSun, Nov 6 • 9 AM
Free

Waterfowl Watch

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Sat, Nov 12 • 10 AM
Free

November Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
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Bird The PreservesTue, Nov 15 • 7 AM
Free

Big Year Birding Field Trips at Skokie Lagoons

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
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Bird The PreservesSat, Nov 19 • 7:30 am
Free

Penny Road Pond Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
Bird The PreservesSat, Nov 19 • 1 PM
Free

Bird of the Month: Great Horned Owl

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSun, Nov 27 • 10 AM
Free

Feeder Watching

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesSun, Nov 27 • 1:30 pm
Free

Feeder Watching

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
+ Export Listed Events
Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County