Lake County

Almond Marsh

Located in Northern Lake County, Almond Marsh is an active heron colony and is a part of the Lake County Forest Preserve District. In spring and summer, roosting birds include Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, and the only reliable spot to find Black-crowned Night Heron in Lake County throughout the summer months.   Post-breeding wanderers are also a highlight and something to look for at Almond Marsh in season.  Records have included Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron and Neotropic Cormorant.

Besides the rookery, the main attraction is the open water.  During migration, one can find Horned Grebe, American Black Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck.  Breeding waterfowl seen here include Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser.   Other marsh breeders include Green Heron, Sora, and Virginia Rail.  By the entrance gate there can be Woodcocks “peenting” in early spring.   In past years, this has been a reliable spot for Yellow-headed Blackbird and Red-headed Woodpecker.  Common Gallinule is also a sporadic breeder.  Both Red-tailed Hawk and Cooper’s Hawk have bred on the preserve, as well as Great Horned Owls.

The oaks surrounding the marsh are a good place to look for spring migrants as they begin to bud, and most regular migrants have been seen.

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