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

#BirdThePreserves logo
Wed, Sep 18 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Beverly Lake • Cook County, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Thu, Sep 19 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Perkins Woods • Evanston, IL 60201
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Fri, Sep 20 • 8 am

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sat, Sep 21 • 1 pm

Good Birders Don’t Wear White

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sun, Sep 22 • 9:30 am

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Tue, Sep 24 • 8 am

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds!

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Thu, Sep 26 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Perkins Woods • Evanston, IL 60201
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Sep 27 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Deer Grove-East • Cook County, IL 60074
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sat, Sep 28 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Burnham Prairie • Burnham, IL 60633
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Tue, Oct 1 • 8 am

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds!

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Oct 4 • 8 am

Bird Walk

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sat, Oct 5 • 8 am

Bird Walks

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sun, Oct 6 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

LaBagh Woods • Chicago, IL 60630
exterior of the Sand Ridge Nature Center building
Tue, Oct 8 • 8 am

Tuesday Mornings are for the Birds!

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center in summer.
Sat, Oct 12 • 9:30 am

Bird Banding

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center • Lemont, IL 60439
Trailside Museum building in River Forest
Sun, Oct 13 • 7:30 am

Fall Bird Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History • River Forest, IL 60305
#BirdThePreserves logo
Sun, Oct 13 • 7:30 am

Bird Walk

Wampum Lake • Cook County, IL 60476
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Oct 18 • 6 pm

Owl Prowl

Jurgenson Woods • Cook County, IL 60476
#BirdThePreserves logo
Tue, Oct 22 • 6 pm

Owl Prowl

Eggers Grove • Chicago, IL 60617
#BirdThePreserves logo
Fri, Oct 25 • 8:30 am

Bird Walk

Penny Road Pond • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
All Events »