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

River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Cancelled Sun, Mar 29 • 1:30 pm

Birds of Prey Series: Hawks & Falcons

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
a double crested cormorant eating a fish on Busse Reservoir
Cancelled Wed, Apr 1 • 10 am

Waterfowl Watch

McGinnis Slough • Orland Park, IL 60462
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Sat, Apr 4 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

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

Prime Real Estate

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Cancelled Sun, Apr 5 • 2 pm

Meet Our Birds of Prey

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Wed, Apr 8 • 8:30 am

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Sat, Apr 11 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Miller Meadow-South • Cook County, IL 60130
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Thu, Apr 16 • 8 am

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Fri, Apr 17 • 8 am

Bird Walk

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

Bird Walk

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
a group birding at Thatcher Woods
Cancelled Fri, Apr 24 • 9:30 am

Morning Bird Walks

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Sat, Apr 25 • 7 am

Spring Morning Bird Walks

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

Bird Walk

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

Bird Walk

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

Red-wing Racket

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Wed, Apr 29 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Wed, Apr 29 • 8:30 am

Sagawau Bird Hikes

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Sat, May 2 • 6 am

The Big Sit

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
#BirdThePreserves logo
Cancelled Sat, May 2 • 6 am

Birding Big Sit

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

Bird the Preserves

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
All Events »