McLean County - Woodford County

Evergreen Lake

Evergreen Lake, which is located in both McLean and Woodford Counties and the surrounding Comlara Park, is arguably the overall best location to find birds in McLean County, IL, boasting over 245 reported species, including such rarities as the only recorded Yellow-billed Loon in Illinois found in December 1998, Long-tailed Duck, Black Scoter, White-winged

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Lake County

Crawford Road

Crawford Road is one of the most reliable spots in Lake County to find breeding Vesper Sparrows. The breeding Vespers are best accessed from Millburn Rd. Drive north on Crawford until the you begin to notice agricultural fields with sporadic trees. This is where most of the birds are singing. This is an unfinished road.

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Lee County - Ogle County

Nachusa Grassland

Nachusa Grassland is a huge area of high-quality sand-hill prairie with many desirable breeding and wintering species. Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow’s Sparrow, Savanna Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Bobolink, Horned Lark are all easily found breeding species. Look and listen for Lark Sparrows along the sandy two-track that goes west from the visitor center. Other sandy-scrub

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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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Mason County

Chautauqua NWR

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge is well known to Illinois birders for waterfowl and shorebird concentrations. The water in the various pools is regulated, and if dropped at the right time of year the habitat can be outstanding for shorebirds. Even if the water levels are fairly high, there are usually mudflats in the SW corner

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Massac County

Mermet Lake

Located in the very farthest south portion of Illinois, Mermet Lake is well known for having regular Purple Gallinules. Other rare or difficult-t0-see species that have been found here include Neotropic Cormorant, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Least Tern, Anhinga.

The cattail and lily-pad marshes at the north end of the lake is where the Purple Gallinules

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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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Fulton County

Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge / Thompson Lake

Thompson Lake is one of the magical birding spots in Illinois. The number of rarities and unusual species found here in recent years is too big to list here. Breeding or summering species include up to 16 species of ducks and geese, Black-necked Stilt, Black Tern, American White Pelican, Common Gallinule, Cattle Egret, Black-crowned Night

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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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