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!

 

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.

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

March 2017
Bird The PreservesFri, Mar 24 • 6:30 pm
Free

Timberdoodle Trek

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesSat, Mar 25 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSun, Mar 26 • 10 AM
Free

Ornithology 101: Beginning Bird ID

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
April 2017
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 1 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 1 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 2 • 7:30 am
Free

LaBagh Woods Birding Trip

Irene Hernandez Family Picnic Area, Chicago
Bird The PreservesTue, Apr 4 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesWed, Apr 5 • 10 AM
Free

Waterfowl Watch – Saganaskee Slough

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesFri, Apr 7 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesFri, Apr 7 • 6:30 pm
Free

Timberdoodle Trek

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Sat, Apr 8 • 8 AM
Free

McGinnis Slough Waterfowl Trip

McGinnis Slough, Orland Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 8 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 9 • 7:30 am
Free

Camp Pine Woods Field Trip

Camp Pine Woods, Glenview
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 9 • 10 AM
Free

Ornithology 101: Understanding Avian Behavior

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 9 • 1 PM
Free

Prime Real Estate

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesTue, Apr 11 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 15 • 7:30 am
Free

Miller Meadow Birding Trip

Miller Meadow-South, Forest Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 15 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesTue, Apr 18 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Birding Trips

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Bird The PreservesTue, Apr 18 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesWed, Apr 19 • 8 AM
Free

Bemis Woods Birding Trip

Bemis Woods North, Westchester
Bird The PreservesWed, Apr 19 • 10 AM
Free

Waterfowl Watch – McGinnis Slough

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesThu, Apr 20 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesFri, Apr 21 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 22 • 7 AM
Free

LaBagh Woods Birding Trip

LaBagh Woods, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 22 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 22 • 9 AM
Free

Orland Grassland Earth Day Celebration: Family-friendly Bird Walk

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 22 • 1 PM
Free

Giant Bird Art Workshops

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 23 • 1:30 pm
Free

Bird of the Month: Wood Duck

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesTue, Apr 25 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
SeriesWed, Apr 26 • 6:30 am
Free

Outdoor Adventures: Bird ID Canoe Cruise

Tower Road Boat Launch, Northfield
Bird The PreservesThu, Apr 27 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 29 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 29 • 7:30 am
Free

Orland Grassland Birding Trip

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 29 • 7:30 am
Free

Orland Grassland South Birding Trip

Orland Grassland South, Orland Park
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 29 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSat, Apr 29 • 1 PM
Free

Giant Bird Art Workshops

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 30 • 7:30 am
Free

Bunker Hill Spring Migration Bird Walk

Bunker Hill, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 30 • 10 AM
Free

All About Bluebirds

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
May 2017
Bird The PreservesTue, May 2 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesWed, May 3 • 7 AM
Free

Thatcher Woods Bird Walk

Thatcher Woods Pavilion, River Forest
Bird The PreservesThu, May 4 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Birding Trip

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Bird The PreservesThu, May 4 • 7:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Bird Walks

Perkins Woods, Evanston
Bird The PreservesThu, May 4 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesFri, May 5 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walk

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

International Migratory Bird Day and #BirdThePreserves Big Sit

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesSat, May 6 • 6 AM
Free

#BirdThePreserves Big Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Sat, May 6 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

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

Bunker Hill Spring Migration Bird Walk

Bunker Hill, Chicago
Sun, May 7 • 10 AM
Free

Birding Basics for All Ages

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 7 • 1 PM
Free

Birding Basics for All Ages

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Don't MissMon, May 8 • 9 AM
Free

All Week Search for Birds

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Bird The PreservesTue, May 9 • 8 AM
Free

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Don't MissTue, May 9 • 9 AM
Free

All Week Search for Birds

Swallow Cliff Woods South, Palos Park
Don't MissWed, May 10 • 9 AM
Free

All Week Search for Birds

Orland Grassland, Orland Park
Bird The PreservesThu, May 11 • 7:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Bird Walks

Perkins Woods, Evanston
Bird The PreservesThu, May 11 • 7:30 am
Free

Camp Pine Woods Field Trip

Camp Pine Woods, Glenview
Bird The PreservesThu, May 11 • 8 AM
Free

Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Don't MissThu, May 11 • 9 AM
Free

All Week Search for Birds

Black Partridge Woods, Lemont
Don't MissFri, May 12 • 9 AM
Free

All Week Search for Birds

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesFri, May 12 • 7 PM
Free

Dusk Bird Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesSat, May 13 • 6 AM
Free

#BirdThePreserves Big Sit

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesSat, May 13 • 6 AM
Free

#BirdThePreserves Big Sit

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Sat, May 13 • 7 AM
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Bird The PreservesSat, May 13 • 7:30 am
Free

McClaughrey Springs Birding Trip

McClaughrey Springs, Palos Park
Don't MissSat, May 13 • 9 AM
Free

International Migratory Bird Day

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSun, May 14 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Sun, May 14 • 9 AM
Free

Mother’s Day Hike

Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland
Bird The PreservesTue, May 16 • 7 AM
Free

Skokie Lagoons Birding Trips

Erickson Woods, Winnetka
Bird The PreservesWed, May 17 • 8 AM
Free

Bemis Woods North Birding Trip

Bemis Woods North, Westchester
Bird The PreservesThu, May 18 • 7:30 am
Free

Perkins Woods Bird Walks

Perkins Woods, Evanston
Bird The PreservesFri, May 19 • 9:30 am
Free

Morning Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSat, May 20 • 6 AM
Free

#BirdThePreserves Big Sit

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
Bird The PreservesSat, May 20 • 6 AM
Free

#BirdThePreserves Big Sit

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Don't MissSat, May 20 • 9 AM
Free

International Migratory Bird Day Celebration

LaBagh Woods, Chicago
Sat, May 20 • 1 PM
Free

Conservation@Home: Building a Bird Garden

Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills
Bird The PreservesSun, May 21 • 7:30 am
Free

Burnham Prairie Birding Trip

Burnham Prairie, Burnham
Bird The PreservesSun, May 21 • 7:30 am
Free

Bunker Hill Spring Migration Bird Walk

Bunker Hill, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSun, May 21 • 8 AM
Free

Miller Meadow Bird Walk

Miller Meadow-North, Forest Park
Bird The PreservesSun, May 21 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Bird The PreservesSun, May 21 • 1:30 pm
Free

Birds of Prey

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesTue, May 23 • 7:30 am
Free

Eggers Grove Birding Trip

Eggers Grove, Chicago
Bird The PreservesSat, May 27 • 7:30 am
Free

Whistler Woods & Kickapoo Woods Birding Trip

Whistler Woods, Riverdale
Bird The PreservesSat, May 27 • 1 PM
Free

Sketch-booking and Journaling Along the Trails

Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest
Bird The PreservesSun, May 28 • 8:30 am
Free

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
Sun, May 28 • 1:30 pm
Free

Bird of the Month: Baltimore Oriole

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