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
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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 PreservesSun, Oct 2 • 8 AM
Free

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Miller Meadow-North, Forest Park
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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
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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
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Bird The PreservesSun, Oct 23 • 5:30 pm
Free

Miller Meadow Big Year Birding Field Trip

Miller Meadow-North, Forest Park
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