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Canal Shores Golf Course North Loop

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Canal Shores Golf Course is a great place to see spring migrants. Meet on Maple Avenue in Wilmette just west of the Canal and walk the golf course’s north birding loop. Free street parking. Participation limited to 15 people. Register with Matt Rooney at

Field Trip: Big Marsh at Calumet-- TRIP FULL

Sunday, April 30, 2023
April 30 Big Marsh Park 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


Come experience spring migration at one of Chicago's most successful restoration projects.  The entire trail system at Big Marsh Park is now open, allowing access to the entirety of the park.  Shorebirds, songbirds, marsh birds and more!  Meet at the Ford Calumet Environmental Center in Big Marsh Park.  Walking will be on paved paths; we'll make an approximately 1.5-mile loop. This is a joint Evanston North Shore Bird Club and Chicago Ornithology Society trip. Leader: Carl Giometti.  Register at least 24 hours in advance with Pamela Feldman,

PROGRAM: Waukegan Beach, a Local Hotspot: Adam Sell

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Waukegan Beach: Local Birding Hotspot: Adam Sell

For bird watchers in the Chicago area, Waukegan Beach is a familiar name. Waukegan beach has been a favorite birding spot for ENSBC for decades.  Both new and veteran birders know Waukegan Beach as a migration hotspot in both fall and spring for warblers, shorebirds, and waterfowl.  In winter, the harbors and open water of Lake Michigan host overwintering specialty ducks, gulls, and if luck is on your side, a Snowy Owl.  Waukegan Beach is also renowned as a location for vagrants, with some highlights over the years including Gyrfalcon, Reddish Egret, and Arctic Tern. 

In his presentation, Adam Sell, a guide and tour manager for Chicago-based Red Hill Birding who has called Waukegan Beach his "local patch" for over 15 years, will attempt to distill this knowledge into a thoughtful and engaging presentation on how to make the most of your visit to the Waukegan Beach area. 

This talk is the second in our series about local birding hotspots, following last year’s presentation on Big Marsh in Calumet.

Field Trip: Air Station Prairie Woodcocks

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Come out to see the spectacular aerial displays of the American Woodcock at dusk!  The Air Station Prairie in Glenview is a great location for these displays, and we may even spot a woodcock on the ground. Meet on the deck of the interpretive center at 6:45 p.m.  The parking lot is across the street on Compass Road. Registration required.  Register with Leader: Tom Lally

Field Trip: Gillson Park, Wilmette

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Saturday – April 8, 7:30 a.m.  Meet by the Coast Guard Station to look for ducks and loons, as well as early warblers, sparrows and thrushes.  Enter the south entrance of Gillsson from Sheridan Road and park on Middle Drive or Michigan Ave. A scope is recommended for the first part of the trip.  Leader:  Owen Woodhouse.

Field Trip: :Looney Trip is Back!

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Dave Johnson's Looney Trip is Back.  Details TBA.  Registration will be required.

PROGRAM: All About Swifts

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Considered by many the most mysterious birds on our planet, swifts are currently one of the most threatened avian groups.  Some species have long migratory routes, including the North American Black Swift and the Chimney Swift, who winter in South America. In her presentation, Renata Biancalana, ornithologist from Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, will talk about her field work and expeditions studying these and other switt species in different parts of Brazil, including the Amazon, and the results of her research.




Field Trip: Woodcocks at Air Station Prairie

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Air Station Prairie Woodcocks.

Our  first opportunity this spring to look for the magical displays of woodcocks at dusk.  Meet on the deck of the interpretive center at 6:30 p.m. Leader: John Leonard. Register with  The field trip will be over at 8 pm.

Program: John Bates: Falkland Islands to the Antarctic by Sailboat

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

John Bates, Field Museum Curator of Birds, will present on a January 2022 expedition by sailboat from the Falkland Islands to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Island, and back.  The trip was led by five female researchers to gather scientific samples and data on multiple penguin species, particularly Gentoos. Come learn about these captivating birds from Adeles and Chinstraps on the Antarctic Peninsula to Kings and Macronis on South Georgia, to Southern Rockhoppers and Magellanics on the Falklands as well as other south polar birds and mammals. The program will be on Zoom and will be recorded.


Hygge Fest Winter Bird Walk in Downtown Evanston

Saturday, February 11, 2023


Join Josh Engel of Red Hill Birding for a free family-friendly winter bird walk on the frozen lakefront! Even in the depths of winter, birds manage to thrive on the Evanston lakeshore. Maybe we will find winter resident ducks like mergansers and goldeneye or the familiar year-round crows and woodpeckers.

Meet at the entrance to Clark St. Beach at 11am and expect to be out for about an hour. Bring binoculars if you have them, but Josh will also have optics to share. Event is free but please register. Bundle up and see you soon!

This event is co-hosted by the Evanston North Shore Bird Club, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the study, protection and enjoyment of wild birds and the protection of natural resources. As a member of the Bird Conservation Network, the ENSBC work to bring bird conservation issues before the public and to help resolve them. Learn more and find out about more local birding events here.

The Winter Bird Walk is part of Downtown Evanston's Hygge Fest, a series of workshops, classes and outdoor experiences to help you get cozy and feel comfort and joy during the winter months. To register:



Program: Matthew Cvetas, “What’s that bird? Ask Merlin!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


7:30 p.m. “What’s that bird?” Ask Merlin, the innovative bird identification app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Just like magic, Merlin Bird ID will help  you solve the mystery.

Merlin Bird ID helps you identify the birds you see and hear.  Merlin is unlike any other bird app – it’s powered by eBird, the world’s largest database of bird sightings, sounds, and photos.

Merlin offers four fun ways to identify birds.  Answer a few questions, upload a photo, record a singing bird, or explore birds in a region.  Join Matthew Cvetas, eBirdData Reviewer and former president of both Illinois Ornithological Society and Illinois Young Birders, to learn more about how this app works, including a brief overview of its features, integration with your eBird account, and its bird ID capabilities. The program will be on Zoom and will be recorded.

Waukegan Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Compiler:  Adam Sell.


Monday, December 26, 2022

ENSBC Christmas Bird Count

Monday, December 26, 2022

The ENSBC annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be held on Monday, December 26, 2022. John Leonard, Compiler, will contact area leaders who will organize groups of field observers. We will hold a Zoom countdown as we did last year. Joel Greenberg will again coordinate the feeder counts, and sign-up sheets will also be available at Wild Birds Unlimited in Glenview.

 The CBC is the premier community science project, running now for 123 years. We send our data to a central repository at the National Audubon Society, and one can easily view historical trends at their website ( ).

Chicago Lakefront Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 25, 2022

For more information, contact Joel Greenberg,


Chicago Urban Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 18, 2022

For more information, contact Jeff Sanders,


Program: All About Parrots

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Taylor Hains has had a life-long fascination with parrots, a pantropical family with almost 400 species.  He also developed a passion for genomics.  As a graduate student with the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, he is combining these interests.  He will talk about how genomics can help understand how New World parrots have diversified and be used as a tool to help conserve them into the future. o

Field Trip: Jeff Sanders Annual fall specialty trip

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Jeff Sanders Annual fall specialty trip

North Shore lakefront. 52nd Annual Jeff Sanders’ Fall Specialty Trip.  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 Gillson Park Beach.  If you want to see way out onto the lake, bring your own scope. For more details and to register, contact Jeff Sanders at


Program: What Explains Colors and Patterns on Animals?

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

7:30 p.m.

Coloration and patterns (spots, stripes, etc.) are important elements of animal morphology. What accounts for the colors and the patterns we use to recognize animals and birds?  Velizar Simeonovski, zoologist and artist, Associate of the Field Museum Life Sciences Section, will present some of the current understandings and unknowns regarding the developmental mechanisms and the function of the coloration and patterns in birds, mammals and other vertebrate animals. 

Field Trip: Northwestern University Campus North

Saturday, October 8, 2022

October is sparrows' peak migration time.  Also look for late fall warblers, both kinglets, Brown Creepers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and maybe Jaegers or Franklin's Gulls. Meet at 8 am at the north end of campus.  Turn east on Lincoln Street into campus.  Stay on Campus Drive to the parking lot by the lake.  Leaders:  Sarah Flax and Libby Hill.