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

Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Nov 23 • 1 pm

Feed the Birds

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sun, Nov 24 • 1 pm

Winter Bird Feeding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sat, Dec 7 • 1 pm

One Ounce Wonders

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
River Trail Nature Center Building in Northbrook
Fri, Dec 13 • 7 pm

Night Owls

River Trail Nature Center • Northbrook, IL 60062
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sat, Dec 14 • 4:30 pm

Evening Owl Hike

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Dec 14 • 7 pm

Owl Prowl

Thatcher Woods • River Forest, IL 60305
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sun, Dec 15 • 5:30 am

Dawn Owl Prowl

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sun, Dec 15 • 2 pm

Meet Our Birds of Prey

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Fri, Dec 20 • 7 pm

Evening Owl Hike

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Mon, Dec 30 • 1 pm

Raptor Rendezvous

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Jan 10 • 6:30 pm

Winter Owl Prowl & Folklore

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sun, Jan 12 • 2 pm

Meet Our Birds of Prey

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Jan 15 • 9 am

Bird Walk

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Jan 18 • 9:30 am

Winter Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Feb 1 • 4:30 pm

Superbowl

Killdeer Wetlands • Tinely Park, IL 60477
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Sun, Feb 9 • 2 pm

Meet Our Birds of Prey

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Feb 19 • 9 am

Bird Walk

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
All Events »