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:


two bluebirds on a nesting box at horizon farm
Photo by Gary Henle.

How You Can Help Birds

Birds face threats from habitat destruction, building collisions, climate change and more. But there are steps individuals can take to support our local birds.


Birding Events

#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Aug 17 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center • Chicago, IL 60620
Thu, Aug 18 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
Ruby-throated hummingbird feeding on cardinal flower at McCormick Woods. Photo by Fidencio Marbella.
Special Event Sat, Aug 20 • 9 am

Hummingbird Fest

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sat, Aug 20 • 10 am

Hummers Galore

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Aug 24 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center • Chicago, IL 60620
Thu, Aug 25 • 6 pm

Be a Better Birder: Intro to Bird ID

Zoom Presentation
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Aug 27 • 8 am

Birdability Bird Watching

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sun, Aug 28 • 7 am

Early Birders

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Aug 31 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center • Chicago, IL 60620
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sat, Sep 3 • 10 am

Nest Search

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sun, Sep 4 • 10 am

Nest Search

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439