Birding

person birding at Bartel Grassland

New and experienced birders can enjoy this fun and versatile year-round activity while exploring the Forest Preserves.

On this page:


Birding Resources

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!

Printed copies of the checklist are available Forest Preserves Nature Centers.


Partnering for Birds Report

Developed in partnership with Chicago Audubon Society, Partnering for Birds (2018) is a guide to birds of conservation concern, their habitats and best management practices to insure their success in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Support for Partnering for Birds was generously provided by the Bobolink Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


#BirdThePreserves logo

#BirdThePreserves

The #BirdThePreserves initiative launched in 2016 to promote the Forest Preserves as a world-class destination for birding—and to expose new audiences to this popular activity.

Help promote birding in the Forest Preserves by using the #BirdThePreserves hash tag whenever you post birding photos and observations on social media.

The Forest Preserves continues to hold dozens of #BirdThePreserves events each year.

Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Chicago Wilderness.


Bird of the Month

Check out our Bird of the Month posts from the first year of the #BirdThePreserves campaign:


Birding Events

blazing star flowers in bloom at Bartel Grassland. Photo by Erin Soto.
Sun, Mar 1 • 2:45 pm

Seeds N’ Sunsets Seed Dispersal

Bartel Grassland • Cook County, IL 60477
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Mar 8 • 1 pm

Crane Moon

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Mar 20 • 7 pm

Woodcock Walk

Bartel Grassland • Cook County, IL 60477
#BirdThePreserves logo
Tue, Mar 24 • 8 am

Bird Walk

McGinnis Slough • Orland Park, IL 60462
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Wed, Mar 25 • 10 am

Waterfowl Watch

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Sun, Mar 29 • 1:30 pm

Birds of Prey Series: Hawks & Falcons

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Wed, Apr 1 • 10 am

Waterfowl Watch

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Apr 4 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Apr 5 • 1 pm

Prime Real Estate

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Apr 11 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Miller Meadow-South • Cook County, IL 60130
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Thu, Apr 16 • 8 am

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Tue, Apr 21 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sat, Apr 25 • 7 am

Spring Morning Bird Walks

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Apr 25 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Orland Grassland • Cook County, IL 60467
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sun, Apr 26 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

LaBagh Woods • Chicago, IL 60630
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Apr 26 • 1 pm

Red-wing Racket

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sat, May 2 • 6 am

The Big Sit

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sat, May 2 • 6 am

Birding Big Sit

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, May 2 • 10 am

Bird the Preserves

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sun, May 3 • 7 am

Migration Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
All Events »