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: Wood Duck

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 wood duck and where you can see it in April.

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

April 2016
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 30 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
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Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 30 • 8 AM
Free

Salt Creek Big Year Birding Field Trip

Bemis Woods North, Westchester
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Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 30 • 8:30 am
Free

Warblers, Vireos and Flycatchers Oh My!

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 30 • 10 AM
Free

Birding Basics for All Ages

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
May 2016
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Don't MissSun, May 1 • 10 AM
Free

Spring Festival

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
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Bird The PreservesSun, May 1 • 1:30 pm
Free

Birding Basics for All Ages

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesTue, May 3 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesTue, May 3 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds!

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesWed, May 4 • 10 AM
Free

Birding in Your Preserves – Cherry Hill

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesThu, May 5 • 7:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Birding Trip

Perkins Woods, Evanston
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Bird The PreservesThu, May 5 • 7:30 am
Free

Busse Big Year Birding Field Trip

Busse Lake Boating Center, Schaumburg
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Bird The PreservesThu, May 5 • 8 AM
Free

Birding Trip with Lake Cook Audubon Society

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesFri, May 6 • 7:30 am
Free

Skokie Lagoons Birding Trip

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
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Bird The PreservesFri, May 6 • 7:30 am
Free

Big Year Birding at Paul Douglas

Grassy Ridge Meadow, Hoffman Estates
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Bird The PreservesFri, May 6 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walks

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesFri, May 6 • 10 AM
Free

Birding in Your Preserves – Cherry Hill

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit & International Migratory Bird Day

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 5:30 am
Free

The Big Sit

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 7 AM
Free

Clayton F. Smith Preserves Big Year Birding Field Trip

Bunker Hill, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 7:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 7 • 8:30 am
Free

Warblers, Vireos and Flycatchers Oh My!

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
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Bird The PreservesSun, May 8 • 7:30 am
Free

Spring Migrants Birding Field Trip

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Bird The PreservesSun, May 8 • 9:30 am
Free

Mother’s Day Bird Walk

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Don't MissMon, May 9 - Fri, May 13 • 7:30 am
Free

Weekday Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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SeriesTue, May 10 • 6:30 am
Free

Bird ID Canoe Cruise

Tower Road Boat Launch, Northfield
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Bird The PreservesTue, May 10 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
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Bird The PreservesTue, May 10 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds!

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Bird The PreservesWed, May 11 • 7 AM
Free

Salt Creek Big Year Birding Field Trip

Bemis Woods North, Westchester
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Bird The PreservesWed, May 11 • 7:30 am
Free

All Day Bird Search

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesThu, May 12 • 6:30 am
$74

Introduction to Bird-Watching – Session 1

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
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Bird The PreservesFri, May 13 • 6:30 am
Free

Penny Road Pond Big Year Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
Bird The PreservesFri, May 13 • 7 PM
Free

Dusk Bird Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 7 AM
Free

Birding Trip to Palos Area Preserves

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Big Year Birding Field Trip

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 7:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 7:30 am
$74

Introduction to Bird-Watching – Session 2

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 8 AM
Free

International Migratory Bird Day

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 8 AM
Free

Eggers Woods Give Back to Birds Day

Eggers Grove, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 8 AM
Free

Warblers, Vireos and Flycatchers Oh My!

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 14 • 9 AM
Free

Orland Grassland Volunteers Big Year Birding Field Trip

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
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Don't MissSat, May 14 • 11 AM
Free

Nature Block Party: A Celebration of Biodiversity

Eggers Grove, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesSun, May 15 • 8 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
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Bird The PreservesMon, May 16 • 7:30 am
Free

Beverly Lake Big Year Birding Field Trip

Beverly Lake, Park Ridge
Bird The PreservesTue, May 17 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds!

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesWed, May 18 • 10 AM
Free

Birding in Your Preserves – McLaughry Springs

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesThu, May 19 • 7:30 am
Free

Big Year Birding at Paul Douglas

Grassy Ridge Meadow, Hoffman Estates
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Bird The PreservesFri, May 20 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Birding Trip

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Bird The PreservesFri, May 20 • 10 AM
Free

Birding in Your Preserves – McLaughry Springs

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSat, May 21 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 21 • 7 AM
Free

LaBagh Big Year Birding Field Trip

Irene Hernandez Family Picnic Area, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSat, May 21 • 7:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 21 • 7:30 am
$19

Spring Bird Walk

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
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Bird The PreservesSat, May 21 • 7:30 am
Free

Bird Conservation Success Story and Big Year Birding Trip

Eggers Grove, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSat, May 21 • 1 PM
Free

Yellow Warblers – Bird of the Month

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
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Bird The PreservesSun, May 22 • 7 AM
Free

Clayton F. Smith Preserves Big Year Birding Field Trip

Bunker Hill, Chicago
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Bird The PreservesSun, May 22 • 8 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Beginning Birder Walk

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
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Bird The PreservesSun, May 22 • 1 PM
$37

Creating Habitat for Birds and Butterflies

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
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Bird The PreservesTue, May 24 • 7:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Birding Trip

Perkins Woods, Evanston
Bird The PreservesWed, May 25 • 10 AM
Free

Birding in Your Preserves – Bergman Slough

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesThu, May 26 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
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Bird The PreservesFri, May 27 • 8 AM
Free

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Miller Meadow-South, Forest Park
Bird The PreservesFri, May 27 • 10 AM
Free

Birding in Your Preserves – Bergman Slough

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSat, May 28 • 7:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
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Bird The PreservesTue, May 31 • 7 AM
Free

Galloping Hill Big Year Birding Field Trip

Penny Road Pond, Barrington
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Bird The PreservesTue, May 31 • 8 AM
Free

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Miller Meadow-South, Forest Park
June 2016
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Bird The PreservesSun, Jun 5 • 7 AM
Free

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

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

Brookfield Zoo Big Year Birding Field Trip

Brookfield Zoo (South Gate), Brookfield
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Bird The PreservesSat, Jun 25 • 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