Cook County

Birding the Lincoln Park Zoo area

The zoo grounds and surrounding park are an excellent place to bird during migrations. Chicago’s Lincoln Park, taken as a whole, is arguably the most popular birding destination in Illinois, and probably in the Midwest.

The zoo area has some challenges, such as parking and fences. If you can find a spot, the best place

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Mason County

Sand Ridge State Forest

Sand Ridge is a large expanse (over 7,000 acres) of mixed oak woods, savanna and planted pines. The habitats offer exceptional birding year-round.

Breeding species include Pileated Woodpecker, Broad-winged Hawk, Barred Owl, Whip-poor-will, Wood Thrush, Orchard Oriole, White-eyed Vireo, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Grosbeak. Pine warbler has bred in the pines near the parking lot west

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Putnam County

Clear Creek / Taylor Roads

This 8-mile driving loop can be excellent for forest and open-country species. Begin on Clear Creek Rd. (Co. Rd. 275/300N) east of Highway 26. The road follows Clear Creek and goes through some excellent forest habitat. In the first patch of woods breeding species include Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo, Tufted Titmouse

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Lake County

Ryerson/ Daniel Wright Woods

These two forest preserves make up the largest tract of mature lowland forest in Lake County and are major birding locations along the Des Plaines River corridor. As such they are two of the best locations for Barred Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Broad-winged Hawk in the area. This area is also a great location for

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Lake County

IBSP North Unit- Sand Pond and Sand Pond Rd.

Sand Pond is right at the west entrance to the North Unit and just south of the Hawkwatch. The pond itself is surrounded by wetland areas and some shrubland. The gated road can be walked to the lake or one can walk the trail around the pond. This area can be excellent both for migrants

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Adams County - Brown County

Siloam Springs State Park

Siloam Springs State Park is home to three highly sought-after species in Illinois: Worm-eating Warbler, Bewick’s Wren, and Chuck-will’s-widow, though Bewick’s Wren has not been present since 2014. Worm-eating Warbler can be found in almost any of the ravines found throughout the park, but can be very easily found at the parking lot indicated (Red

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Alexander County

Mill Creek/County Line Road

Slowly driving this road in the early morning in late May or June can result in a bonanza of southern Illinois specialty warblers, especially Worm-eating Warbler. The north-facing slopes in the area indicated by the pin on the map is very reliable for this species.

Other species found along the 5-mile wooded stretch include Pine

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Johnson County

Wildcat Bluff - Little Black Slough

From the Wildcat Bluff parking area, you can access the same network of trails that leads to Boss Island and Heron Pond from Michael Wolf Memorial Wetland. The trail to the west goes steeply down the bluff to the Cache River, where there is a ford consisting of concrete stepping stones that lead across to

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Johnson County

Michael Wolf Memorial Wetland - Little Black Slough

Continue to the parking area at the end of Sunflower Lane (“Gate Across Road”). The three small ponds to the west of the parking lot are the best place to look for Anhinga in Illinois, especially the west-most pond. Anhingas have bred in an inaccessible portion of Little Black Slough for several years, but seem

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Cook County - Cook County Forest Preserves

Cap Sauers Holding Forest Preserve

Cap Sauers Holding is one of the larger wooded areas in the Palos Hills forest preserves of southwest Cook County. It is bordered by State Route 83 to the north, 104th Ave. in the east, McCarthy and Ford Roads to the south and private land to the west. It is primarily a hardwood forest, sometimes

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