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Ryerson Woods

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Check out the spring migrants and returning breeders at this beautiful Lake County forest preserve.  Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Brushwood Center parking lot.  The entrance to the Ryerson Conservation Area is on Riverwoods Rd., north of Deerfield Rd.  Leader:  Gary Hantsbarger. 224-628-6108

Spring Saturday Mornings at Northwestern

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Northwestern has long been a stopover for migrating birds of all kinds.  Park on  the upper deck of the south parking lot off of Sheridan Rd. and Clark St. at 8:30 am. Leaders:  Libby Hill and Josh Engel.  847-475-2096.

Skokie Lagoons

Friday, May 1, 2015
These Friday trips pack a great list of warbler species during spring migration.  Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Forest Preserve parking lot north of Willow Rd. just east of the Edens Expressway.  Leader: Lynne Carpenter. 


PROGRAM: "DNA Sequencing: What species is that Bird Anyway?"

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DNA sequencing is on par with Roger Tory Peterson's first field guide, advances in the quality of optics, and the proliferation of digital technology in changing the way we approach birding. Yet for all the attention that "splits" and "lumps" garner--most of them the result of genetic studies--we still don't have a perfect explanation for the fundamental question "What is a species?" Josh Engel, who studies bird genetics at the Field Museum, will explain how DNA sequencing works and why it has led to such dramatic rearrangements of our field guides. He will discuss some of the most surprising results of DNA studies, along with how we know that Yellow-breasted Chat is not a warbler and why there could soon be three species of White-breasted Nuthatches.

Getaway Weekend: American Golden Plovers and Smith's Longspurs

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday – Getaway Weekend
Champaign will be our base in central Illinois.
Target species include American golden-plover,
Carolina chickadee, Smith's longspur, and early migrants.
 Optional overnight stay in Champaign Saturday night. 
Meeting place & time to be announced.
Reservations and $25 deposit required.
Limit 12 participants.
RSVP to leader: David B. Johnson at or 224-567-9650.

Northwestern University Campus

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Northwestern's campus is a stopover for migrants of all kinds heading north.  Park on the lake side of the upper deck of the south parking lot off of Sheridan Rd. and Clark St., north of Clark St. beach, at 8:30 a.m.  Leaders:  Libby Hill and Nancy Halliday. 847-475-2096

North Glenview.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tour the better birding areas that North Glenview has to offer.  We will most likely bird Techny Basin Conservation Area, Lake Glenview, and Air Station Prairie for early migrants and lingering waterfowl.  Techny Basin is located west of Waukegan Rd., south of Willow Rd., and east of Ravine Way in Glenview.  Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the gravel parking lot on Claire Ct. off of Ravine Way.  The trip will last approximately 3 hours but you are welcome to leave at any time.  Leader:  John Leonard. 847-845-5563

Looney Trip, Lake County

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Dave Johnson specialty!  Loads of loons and lots of lakes.  Expect other birds as well.  Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Diamond Lake Rd. at Diamond Lake across from Mundelein boat launch at Gale Street Inn Restaurant parking lot. RSVP to Dave at or 224-567-9650.  Bring Family Radio Service walkie-talkies or radios with the second security channel if you have one.  Lunch out at local lakeside eatery.  Record numbers of migrating loons are often seen on this trip as well as pelicans.  Leader: David B. Johnson.

Air Station Prairie Woodcocks

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Come out to see the spectacular aerial displays of the American woodcock at dusk!  Air Station Prairie in Glenview is a great location for these displays.  We may even spot a woodcock on the ground.  Meet on the deck of the interpretive center at 6:45 p.m.  Leader:  John Leonard. 847-845-5563

PROGRAM: "Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was established in November 2012. Hack ma tack is an Algonquin Indian word for the tamarack tree. The Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge boundary employs a Cores and Corridors concept for wildlife preservation with a focus on migratory and grassland birds.  Our speaker, from Friends of Hackmatack NWR, will bring us up-to-date on this exciting new and only National Wildlife Refuge in our area.

6th Annual Memorial Ralph Herbst Duck Trip CANCELLED DUE TO FROZEN PONDS

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bird the lakes and ponds of the Palos region for a variety of spring waterfowl.  Meet at 7:30 a.m.  From I-55, exit south onto US Rte. 45/LaGrange Rd.  Head straight south to the McGinnis Slough parking lot on the west side of La Grange Rd.  Leader:  Jeff Sanders. (Note:  If ponds are frozen, trip may be rescheduled or cancelled.  Check the website for update.) or 847-657-6431, the night before the field  trip.

PROGRAM: "Cordillera Azul National Park, Peru"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The eastern foothills of the Andes are among the least accessible, little explored yet most diverse parts of South America.  Come learn about Cordillera Azul National Park from John Bates, Associate Curator, Bird Division Field Museum. On a recent expedition, a Field Museum Bird team trekked into this spectacular area and did survey work, documenting birds and their parasites.

PROGRAM: "Bird Topography"

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Knowing the names of all the different parts of a bird gives us a language for communicating in an unambiguous fashion about what a bird looks like. Bird topography is so critical to bird identification that you'll be hard pressed to find a field guide without a section covering the topic. However, that section is usually neglected. Geoff Williamson will provide an introduction and review to the topic and will deepen our appreciation of how incredible birds are. Geoff is active in local, state, and national birding organizations and was a 2013 recipient of the American Birding Association's Ludlow Griscom Award.

Christmas Count: Waukegan

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Contact compiler Joel Greenberg, 630-725-9416 for information and to participate.

Christmas Count: Chicago-North Shore

Saturday, December 27, 2014

54th Chicago-North Shore Count and ENSBC Post-Count Potluck dinner at Libby Hill’s house, 2715 Woodland Rd, Evanston. Arrive any time after 4 p.m. Contact Libby Hill at 847-475-2096 or for information about the dinner. Compiler: Contact Tim Wallace, 847-548-2654, for information and to participate in the count. Feeder Count Compiler: Eleonora di Liscia, 847-568-0160.


Christmas Bird Count: Chicago Lakefront

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Chicago Lakefront Christmas Count
Please contact compiler: Joel Greenberg, 630-725-9416 for information and to participate.

Christmas Bird Count: Chicago Urban Count

Sunday, December 14, 2014

49th Chicago Urban Count.
Contact compiler: Jeffrey Sanders, 847-657-6431 for more information and to participate.

PROGRAM: "The Seychelle Islands"

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

LOCATION CHANGE!  Mary Lou Mellon will take us on a trip to see the birds of the Seychelles Islands, a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean 1000 miles from everywhere:  north of Madagascar, east of Kenya, west of India.  Traveling via the 290-foot sailing vessel Le Ponant, a boat that was captured by the Somali pirates and released a year before Mary Lou traveled on it, you'll see the spectacular scenery and wonderful avifauna of islands few people have the opportunity to visit.  IMPORTANT LOCATION CHANGE: THIS PROGRAM WILL BE HELD IN THE LINDEN ROOM AT THE LEVY CENTER IN EVANSTON, 300 Dodge Ave, 60202. The office telephone number is 847-448-8250.  Directions: from McCormick Blvd., turn east at Oakton, then turn right (south) at the stoplight at the corner of Oakton and Dodge. Turn right at the first stoplight onto the road leading to the large parking lot.

Jeff Sanders’ Fall Specialty Trip, North Shore Lakefront

Sunday, November 23, 2014

45th Annual Jeff Sanders’ Fall Specialty Trip.  North Shore lakefront – Northwestern, Gillson Park, Maple Park, Tower Road Park, Park Ave., Rose Beach in Highland Park, and other areas as time permits.  Meet at 8:00 a.m. at Northwestern University beach.  Go east on Lincoln St. from Sheridan Rd., turn south past the giant fitness center, then turn east (left) and go almost to the end.  Bring scopes and dress for cold lake wind.  Leader: Jeff Sanders.

PROGRAM: "Birds and Windows – The Chicago Database"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

David Willard of the Field Museum will interpret the database of nearly 70,000 bird fatalities from window strikes in Chicago.  As unfortunate as these deaths are, there is a lot we can learn from them---about bird migration in general, as well as ways to reduce the number of fatalities.  This program will be an up-to-date progress report on some of the things we have learned and hope to learn from all of these birds.